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Porsche builds the one-millionth 911     

Published in blog.hemmings.com

All images courtesy of Porsche AG

Porsche AG today resembles very little the company from 50 years ago. Instead of making just sports cars, the Volkswagen-owned operation makes a ton of money by selling SUVs—lots of SUVs which share platforms with Audi and VW models. They also sell a rather sporty and incredibly competent sedan, the distinctively styled Panamera. But none of those hot-selling models would matter if Porsche didn’t sell sports cars and there is simply no other car on the market quite like the Porsche 911. After more than 50 years in production, Porsche recently manufactured the one-millionth 911. As can be expected from a company that makes some of the most desired cars on the planet, they made an appropriately distinctive car to mark the occasion.

With more than a nod to a very special, early 911, Porsche announced that the milestone rear-engined sports car rolled off the line on May 11. Obviously, they didn’t just tag any random, ho-hum, everyday 911. They painted one in the very early hue of Irish Green that was preferred by none other than Ferry Porsche for his personal car, one of the first off the line when production of the then air-cooled car started in 1964. To match that vintage exterior, they also included black seats with houndstooth-patterned center sections. A generous helping of wood in the interior was yet another nod to the 911’s first years before even aluminum or carbon fiber became de rigeur in sports cars.

With some 20 different model variations to choose from, Porsche selected the rear-wheel drive Carrera S coupe to commemorate the 911. Along with treating the example to those special paint and interior options (available to any customer via Porsche Exclusive for a price), it also outfitted the car with the Powerkit, another Exclusive option, which boosts output from the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flax-six from 420 to 450 horsepower via larger turbochargers and related modifications to the ECU. The Powerkit also includes additional brake cooling and a custom titanium-colored engine cover with carbon fiber inlays. A touch of modern, perhaps?

Continuing with the details, Porsche installed crests styled like the originals as opposed to the current badges. They also used gold “Porsche” and “911” badges on the rear in yet another look back. Plenty of chrome accent bits adorn the exterior, including on the rear engine cover, around the windows and even the door handles

They also made up some very special “911 Nr. 1000000” badges to attach to the B-pillars and the passenger’s side of the dashboard. While you could probably order a relatively similar car, sans the “1000000” tags and other special badging and accents, via Porsche Exclusive, this one will eventually end up in a museum. Fortunately, Porsche builds cars to drive, not just to park in a dust-free, fireproof, hermetically sealed room. No, this car will first “embark on a world tour and will take road trips in the Scottish Highlands, around the Nürburgring, and in the USA, China, and beyond,” according to the Porsche press release, before settling in to the museum.

Though Chevy passed the millionth Corvette milestone in 1992 and Mazda with the MX-5 Miata in recent years, Porsche’s achievement is no mean feat. Porsche has never been a high-volume seller, even here in the U.S, its primary market for many years. Still relevant to a worldwide legion of fans, the 911 carries the torch for the street cred of every other Porsche. If it weren’t for the 911, after all, a lot fewer people would bother buying a Cayenne or a Panamera, no matter their prowess on the road.

In deciding when to commemorate seven digits of 911 production, Porsche also included sales of the closely related four-cylinder 912 and other 911-derived vehicles like the 959 and race-only 934 and 935 models. Without being sticklers, we say they deserve to make that call as they see fit, since they have done such a bang-up job of keeping one of the most unique sports-car platforms not only in production but at the top of its game for so long.

Porsche even posted a couple of cool videos online at Vimeo celebrating the 911’s history, including this one on the building of “Nr. 1000000” and this one on the evolution of the model.