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Porsche 911 50th anniversary gallery: the early years

The Porsche 911 is turning 50 this year. Here is the history of the model's formative years in pictures.

Later in the year, the Porsche 911 will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first public showing at the Frankfurt motor show. The German model has undergone a gentle evolution over the years – and has managed to avoid being killed off on more than one occasion.

Here’s a gallery of 911s from the model’s early years through the 1960s and 1970s:

Old meets new
Porsche 901 prototype
1964 production model
Porsche 912
1. Old meets new

Early 911 looks worlds apart from the 2013 model, but the car's major features have remained almost unchanged from the beginning.

2. Porsche 901 prototype

Shown at the 1963 Frankfurt show as the 901, Peugeot blocked the use of a three-digit name with a 'zero' in the middle.

3. 1964 production model

When launched the 911 came with the same 2.0-litre aircooled flat-six engine as the 356, effectively replacing the earlier model...

4. Porsche 912

In 1965 Porsche built a 'bargain' 911 with a four-cylinder engine to over sales from the 1600 356 models.

911 Targa
1969 911S
1970 Monte Carlo Rally
1970 911T
5. 911 Targa

Porsche introduced the semi-convertible 911 in 1967, with a stainless steel roll-bar to aid rigidity.

6. 1969 911S

From 1969, the 911 got a slightly longer wheelbase to settle the handling, and fuel injection for the 911S and 911E models.

7. 1970 Monte Carlo Rally

Thanks to the weight distribution and good pace, the 911 won the Monte Carlo Rally three times from 1968-1970.

8. 1970 911T

Engine capacity rose to 2.2-litres in 1970, and again to 2.4 in 1972 throughout the range.

Carrera RS 2.7
911 Carrera 3.0 RS
Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7
1974 911 2.7 cutaway
9. Carrera RS 2.7

Carrera RS legend was born in 1973 with this homologation special. It came with a larger engine and many weight-saving measures.

10. 911 Carrera 3.0 RS

3.0 RS model came in 1974. Costing almost twice as much as the 2.7, weight was down to 900kg and power was up to 230bhp.

11. Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7

1974 saw the introduction of the new integrated 'impact' bumpers, and the engine was increased in size to 2.7-litres.

12. 1974 911 2.7 cutaway

This cutaway drawing shows why early 911s got such a reputation for being hard to catch - all the weight sits behind the rear axle-line.

930 Turbo
3.0 Carrera
Porsche 911 SC
13. 930 Turbo

Huge rear wheel arches, rear wing and forced induction turned the 911 into a true '70s supercar.

3.0 Carrera

The 3.0-litre version of the Carrera came in 1976 - packing Bosch fuel injection and 200bhp.

15. Porsche 911 SC

3.0-litre SC model came in 1978, carrying the 911 into the 1980s. The 911 was now considerably heavier due to safety and equipment.