Porsche 911 F-Model: The beginning of a new era

PORSCHE 911 F-MODEL

911 – Three numbers have been causing many sports car fans to gasp since 1964. But even detached from the high emotional factor triggered by the sports cars from Zuffenhausen, the brand achieved a great success with the Porsche 911 F-Model that has endured to this day.

PORSCHE 911F-Model – FROM WHITE PAPER TO IAA

In the 1960s, increasingly stringent emissions and safety laws were introduced in Porsche’s important US sales market. It was unclear whether a convertible version of the 356’s successor, the 911, would be eligible for registration. A new car was needed, innovative, sporty and charming, but clearly recognisable as a Porsche in terms of its shape and appearance.

Erwin Kommenda, head of the body design department, and Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche were commissioned to create a car for the coming decades on a blank sheet of paper. Butzi’s design won the race because of its much more pronounced recognition value as a “real” Porsche and legitimate successor to the 356. In 1963, the time had finally come to present the new Porsche at the IAA in Frankfurt am Main.

As Porsche aficionados know, at that time it was called the 901. Competitor Peugeot, however, was quick to raise its hand, pointing to its legal protection of car names consisting of three numbers with a 0 in the middle. And so the car was already called 911 at the official market launch.

The 82 901s produced until autumn 1964 had already been sold, however, and are now all the more sought-after and expensive collector’s items. The story of the barn find from 2014, which is now perfectly restored in the Porsche Museum, made big headlines.

porsche 911 f-model – COMMITTED TO TRADITION, FACING THE FUTURE

In many areas, the Porsche 911 F-Model carried on the traditions of the 356, but went its own new way. The body was longer but narrower. The window areas and the luggage compartment were enlarged, which increased the everyday value.

The engine was based on the proven arrangement of the air-cooled boxer engine in the rear. The four-cylinder engine was no longer economically justifiable to develop further, and in any case the use of a larger engine with higher power and better running smoothness had almost only advantages. The 911 series, later called the “Urmodell” or “F-Modell”, was initially only available as a coupé with a 1991 cm3 six-cylinder engine producing 96 kW/130 hp.

Porsche subsequently launched the L and S versions with more power and the T version with 81 kW/110 hp and a four-speed gearbox instead of the five gears used in the other models. In two model updates in 1970 as well as 1972 the engine capacity increased to 2.2 and 2.4 litres.

The Carrera RS 2.7, which was launched in 1973 initially for homologation purposes for racing, took on a special role.

THE OPEN TARGA VERSION OF THE PORSCHE 911 F-MODEL IS STILL POPULAR TODAY.

From 1967, Porsche also offered an open-top version of the F-Model. Due to safety regulations, a pure cabriolet version was not feasible, so the safety cabriolet called “Targa” was built with a permanently mounted roll bar and removable folding roof.

This variant can still be found in the Porsche portfolio today, despite the full convertible also being available from the G model onwards. Basically, Porsche has always remained true to itself. From the 356 to the Porsche 911 F-Model to the current models, it is easy to recognise a Porsche by its shape, sound and style. Precisely because the “original form” was manifested in 1964, the early Ur- or F-models exert a special attraction on a potential clientele.

TIPS FOR BUYING A PORSCHE 911 F-MODEL

Just as with any other classic vehicle, there are numerous plus points of the original 911, but also things that require special observation. It often helps to consult a proven expert in order to be able to distinguish a true treasure from a phoney. For initial advice, we find valuable pointers from a Porsche man through and through.

Thomas Lundt has been running his family business in Berlin for more than 35 years and has made a name for himself not only locally. A few years ago, for example, his two-year restoration of a 1973 Carrera RS 2.7 made headlines around the world. From one of the last RS produced, which had identical numbers in all relevant parts, he put a car on the road that, strictly speaking, was even better than when it rolled off the production line in Zuffenhausen.

If you ask such an outspoken Porsche expert what you should look out for, he’s quick to dispel any hope that you’ll know the hidden pitfalls within a few lines of an article or a few weeks’ study of the subject matter itself. “Possible traps lie behind the façade. As beautiful and harmonious as a Porsche 911 F-Model may appear on the outside, only if you have the opportunity to actually and figuratively look behind the façade can you see the true core of the specimen,” says Thomas Lundt.

That’s why he recommends always consulting an expert. But there he gives hope, there are many competent people who have been dealing with the models from Zuffenhausen for many years and can quickly uncover possible defects. It is also advisable, as a first step, to take a closer look at the supplier. “There are many fair, competent and knowledgeable dealers. If you have a trustworthy seller in front of you, that’s half the battle to get a trustworthy model on offer”.

THE BODY OF THE PORSCHE 911 F-MODEL IS WORTH A CLOSER LOOK.

Even if, as Thomas Lundt points out, even the most detailed buying advice cannot cover all the relevant points in their entirety, there are classic details on the F model, from the belt buckle to the ventilation grille. As far as the bodywork is concerned, you should pay meticulous attention to rust.

Even if most F-models on the market have been well maintained or restored over the years, they are still children of the corrosion-free age. Even restored cars should be checked to see how carefully the work has been carried out. The area of the front of the car around the mudguards, the standing plates and the spare wheel recess can be particularly affected. But the rear wheel arches and the support tube that holds the rear axle suspensions can also be a source of rust.

What is also advisable with such a sports car is to look conscientiously for possible traces of an accident. Crushes and cracks can lead to a rude awakening later on. The technology is not really witchcraft,” says Thomas Lundt.

“But if something needs to be repaired, it can be quite expensive, especially with the early Porsche models. So look carefully, trust the experts, and don’t take any reckless risks,” he advises. The engine is very durable if treated carefully and maintained well, even if some people are concerned about the high revs. The six-cylinder boxer engine with eight plain bearings has proved to be a reliable unit, and not just in the short term.

Worn timing chains, defective chain tensioners and stud bolts that break off or corrode in the cylinder heads are generally regarded as typical weak points of the engine in a Porsche 911 F model. You should also always keep an eye on oil consumption. Which engine you choose is a matter of taste for Thomas Lundt.

“All engines are similar in terms of design and reliability. For a cruiser, the small engine with 110 hp is perfectly adequate. If you like it sportier, you can go up to 190 hp, if your wallet allows it. The higher the power, the higher the price. In terms of driving pleasure, it’s simply a Porsche, so the entry-level 911 is fun to drive,” is Lundt’s assessment. .

THE SPARE PARTS SITUATION FOR THE PORSCHE 911 F MODEL

The spare parts situation for the Porsche 911 F model is more than good, as it is for the entire 911 family. Porsche itself advertises that you can virtually rebuild an entire Porsche 911 F model using spare parts from the Porsche Classic catalogue. There is some truth in this, because everything from indicators to repair panels is available in manufacturer quality.

Of course, you should know that some of these parts are only available at steep Porsche prices, but your 911 should be worth that. Otherwise, there are also plenty of secondary suppliers who have spare parts in stock. Admittedly, driving a Porsche has never been cheap, regardless of whether it is a current model or a classic.

At the moment, prices range from 50,000 EUR in moderate condition to 180,000 EUR in good condition. After the record-breaking hunt for early F-models in recent years, the market seems to have calmed down a bit. Some might say that prices have become more realistic. In any case, it seems to be manifesting itself that unreasonable prices are no longer being paid for moderately good cars.

Therefore, a good example will still fetch a good price. Which is also in line with Thomas Lundt’s experience. He recommends preferring to buy a vehicle from a trustworthy, expert supplier, even if it seems a bit expensive. Some people have fallen foul of supposed bargains with unclear histories and weaknesses in one area or another.

“The joy of owning a Porsche has already ended before it has really begun. And if you then calculate after two or three years how much money you’ve already left in the workshop, how long the car has been in repair and not on the road, then you quickly come to the conclusion that you’ve spent a lot more on the supposed bargain than on the good model at a higher price.”

Text Paolo Ollig Photos Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, vehicle-experts.com

Author: Lennart Klein

Lennart Klein ist Redakteur beim Classic Trader Magazin. Seine Begeisterung gilt zwei- und vierrädrigen Klassikern gleichermaßen. Traum-Klassiker: Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior & Mercedes-Benz 600.

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