The original Porsche 911 was quick, but its performance was hardly earth-shattering. At launch in 1963, its 2.0-liter, flat-six engine produced 130 horsepower (97 kilowatts) which translated to a 0 to 60 miles-per-hour time of 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph (209 kilometres-per-hour).
Contrast that with the Jaguar E-Type, with cracked the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 7.1 secs and topped out at 149 mph (240 km/h). And cost considerably less.
It wasn’t until 1966 that Porsche addressed the relative lack of performance with the 911S. Forged alloy pistons helped lift the power output to 160 hp (119 kW) which brought an incremental improvement to the performance, while Fuchs alloy wheel and vented disc brakes meant it could be taken straight out on the track.
The 911S was followed by faster models with more glorious competition records, so it was largely ignored by collectors for decades. But in the last few years, as prices for the iconic 2.7 Carrera RS have rocketed, collectors have come back around to it. And the one you see here is among the very best examples in the world.
Owner Henry Wilkinson spotted it languishing in the corner of a Porsche specialist’s workshop in Florida. The proprietor, Bud Stiles, had owned the car since new and, despite Wilkinson’s best efforts, wasn’t about to be parted from it. He eventually relented, though, and Wilkinson had himself an incredibly original 911S. It even came with the original 4.5-inch wheels.
Having been sat so long, it needed some attention. But where most owners would have had it stripped back to bare metal and fully restored, Wilkinson set about making the car usable while carefully preserving its originality.
It was a painstaking process, but the results are stunning and brought a class win in the Amelia Island concours earlier this year.