Take a look at the incredible vehicle that made the 911 possible.
This vehicle is a particularly unusual car as it is essentially the mash-up of two cars that would become synonymous with the Porsche brand. Being the first year of the famous Porsche 911, 1963 saw the creation of many new styling cues for the brand. One of the vehicles which contributed to this style change was the 1963 Porsche 356B S. It's clear to see the influence of the aforementioned sports car on this tiny coupe. Still, if you look closely, you may see a different vehicle in this car's eyes. The front end appears to be essentially an elongated Volkswagen Beetle hood calling back to Porsche's hand in creating Germany's most instantly recognizable vehicles. As the predecessor to the 911, this car has a lot of history behind so let's explore that a bit.
It's easy to see by the bulging hood that the Beetle had a lot of influence on the car when it comes to design. Along with the looks, both vehicles came with similar H-pattern engines, with this particular 356 boasting a 1.6-liter flat-four. Eventually, the engineers would phase this engine out of their sports car lineup as flat-six became the company standard. That engine is producing 102 horsepower in this vehicle, which was a pretty peppy number for its time. Adding to the performance is the lightweight, which makes the 956 a great track car, but you may be surprised to learn that the vehicle wasn't made for an autocross track or small circuit racing.
Instead, this sports car was made for Grand Touring, deemed Gran Tourismo for any of you European car enthusiasts. Essentially, the creators of this car wanted the driver to feel comfortable driving at speeds over 100 mph for prolonged periods. That's precisely why the engine is connected to an engaging yet efficient, four-speed manual transmission. It's clear to see the comparisons between the 956 and 911 as they both focus significantly on the driving experience. However, the 956 also has its unique style and appears more refined for particular automotive enthusiasts. Along with the incredible history of being the 911's parent vehicle, this is a genuinely astonishing car and would fit perfectly for any German car lover with a passion for Porsche.