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By the mid-1950s, Porsche’s groundbreaking 356 series rapidly approached its development limits and, in particular, its air-cooled four-cylinder engine effectively limited Porsche’s racing aspirations to class, but not overall, victories. The 356’s eventual successor began with sketches by Ferdinand A. “Butzi” Porsche in 1959 predicting a larger, more powerful follower to the long-lived 356.
Testing commenced in November 1962 at Porsche’s new Weissach facility, and, the following September, the “901” debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Once released for public sale, the 911 went on to immense and enduring worldwide success on the road, track, and showroom floor.
As confirmed by its accompanying certificate of authenticity, this Porsche 911 Coupe was completed on September 16, 1965. Finished in a light ivory exterior with black leatherette upholstery, it was factory-equipped with Phoenix 165/15 tires, a Webasto heater, and an electric sunroof.
That an electric sunroof was ever fitted to this 911, let alone any early first-generation 911, is in itself a good story. As related by noted author of Porsche 911: Forever Young and Porsche historian Tobias Aichele, “The sliding roof had long been on the sales department’s wish list, especially since no open version of the 901 could be offered to customers.”
The first car for 1965 was completed on January 4th and, thanks to forceful lobbying from Porsche’s sales department, the sliding steel sunroof was eventually brought into 911 production with the first examples so-equipped in June 1965. Consequently, this September-built 911 is one of the earliest cars of the series to have been factory-fitted with a sunroof.
A California car for many years, this early sunroof-equipped 1965 Porsche 911 was the highly enjoyable daily driver of a prior owner for many years. After the owner passed away, the car was sold by his estate; and under a prior owner’s stewardship, a painstaking three year, nut-and-bolt restoration was performed to return this 911 to its factory-original condition. In its most recent stewardship, the car has benefited from minor servicing and dutiful care. While all generations and models of Porsche’s 911 are celebrated as objects of unbridled desire, astute collectors and marque enthusiasts have returned in force to the earliest examples of the 911.