The 911 was originally designed to replace the Porsche 356. That makes the 911 just the second car made by Porsche. Unlike the 356, the 911 is large and very powerful.
The first 911 was sold as a coupe, a convertible, and a targa top. The engine for these cars was the flat 6, sold in a wide number of varieties. The turbocharged models were obviously the most powerful. Transmission options included a 5 speed manual and the less popular 4 speed automatic.
The 1973 and 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS models are among the most prized by collectors. The RS actually stands for Rennsport, unlike in the United States where RS is usually used to denote "rally sport."
The bumpers required by U.S. regulations were introduced to the 911 series in 1974 as part of the G, H, I, and J series 911's sold until 1977.
Porsche tried to replace the 911 with the 928, a car with a V8 engine mounted in the front. Not only did the 928 not sell better, but it also was a terrible race car. These cars are among the most hated among Porsche fanatics. Needless to say, the 911 lived on.
The Porsche 911, today sold as the 997 Series, remains one of the top performing production cars in the world. It has a legacy of top-level quality and reliability. If you don't feel like dropping 80 grand at your local Porsche dealer, you can find some great deals on nearly new and classic Porsche 911s on eBay, along with parts for the older models.