The 1965 Porsche 911 might have been called the 901 but for a complaint from Peugeot, who claimed the rights to all three-digit car names with a zero in the middle. This forced Porsche to change the name of the car from “901” to “911.” Had the 911 not been such a success, it wouldn’t have mattered. But the 911 has become one of the most popular Porsches ever.
The 911 came into being as an update to the popular 356. As changes were being considered, it became apparent that it wouldn’t just be a matter of changing a few things, but rather a complete redevelopment of the car. The 911 would feature more space, a stowage area big enough for a set of golf clubs, and a longer wheelbase. It was Ferry Porsche’s eldest son, Ferdinand, who brought the design to life, with the help of his cousin Ferdinand Piech. The idea was to combine the performance of the 356 Carrera 2 with the refinement of the Carrera. In 1963, the 911 debuted as the 901 in Frankfurt.
The 1965 911 offered by Sothebys was a “barn-find” in California before being shipped to Europe for a complete restoration. Only the right front fender was replaced; the rest was original. The 1965 Porsche 911 was built on the 300 series chassis number, making it one of the earliest 911’s completed in that year. The car is believed to have had two previous owners.