WATCH | Driving the originals: Porsche 901 and 959

Porsche 901. Image: Youtube
Porsche 901. Image: Youtube

The Porsche 911 is arguably the world's most famous sports car, and while its grown substantially larger over the years it is still instantly recognisable as Stuttgart's original sports car. 

In fact over a million 911s have been sold worldwide. 

Pronounced Nine Eleven or in German: Neunelfer, the German two-door sports car differentiated itself by having a layout where the flat six-cylinder engine is situated behind the rear-axle. 

It sports a fully independent suspension has an enormous breadth of talent from the entry-level Carrera with two-wheel drive to the Targa model with four-wheel drive and the motorsport versions like the GT3 and GT2 RS. 

But if we look back at when the car we know as the 911 began production in 1963, it wasn't originally called the 911. That car was built to replace the ailing 365, was named the 901. But at that time French carmaker Peugeot were using a naming method of _ 0_ for their cars and took asked the men from Stuttgart to rename the car, 911.  

Jonny Lieberman from Motortrend, a man I envy right now, gets to drive an original 1964 901 2.0 Coupe and Porsche's first supercar the 959. 

In 1986, Porsche built a car powered by 2.8-litre twin turbocharged flat six-cylinder engine producing 331kW and 500Nm, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. 

Watch this awesome clip where Lieberman drives two fascinating models from the pre-modern Porsche era. 

Motortrend says: In just over 20 years, Porsche went from building its first 911s to creating the moonshot 959, replete with all-wheel drive, adjustable suspension, and a turbocharged flat-six that, in race capacity, was tuned to 800 horsepower. At the offer of Porsche, who flew over two museum specimens for the occasion, MotorTrend’s Jonny Lieberman does his best to track from one 1960s icon to a legend of the 1980s.

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