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Gallery: 50 years of Porsche 911

The evergreen 911 is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2013, and Porsche will be marking the occasion in style with a series of events throughout the year. We thought we'd mark the anniversary, too, by bringing you a gallery of all the important road versions you could buy over the years.

During the past 50 years, Porsche has built more than 820,000 911s, and that makes it the world's most successful sports car. It was launched in 1963 to replace the 356, and through five generations, it has continually evolved, grown more popular, and ultimately seen off the cars its maker created to replace is. Don't believe us? When did you last see a 944 Turbo or 928? Exactly.

The Porsche 911's heritage comes not only from its success on the road, but also through its racing - and rallying - exploits. From the very beginning it has been at home on circuits all over the world, earning a reputation as a versatile and dependable winner. Indeed, a good two thirds of the 30,000 race victories achieved by Porsche to date were notched up by the 911.

Here, then, are some of the most significant 911 variations from over the years.

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1987: Porsche 959

Although not technically a 911 at all, the Porsche 959 was visually so closely linked to the older car that it's retrospectively become part of the family. The 959 was created for Group B competition, and as a tecnically no-holds-barred category, it meant Porsche could really go for it.

It packed twin-turbochargers, four-wheel drive and went on to a claimed maximum speed of 197mph. But what made the 959 so special was how its 450bhp was harnessed so well that its driver wasn't constantly fighting with it in a battle of man vs traction. Much of the technology that featured in it made its way into the regular 911, and today's Carrera 4 owes rather a lot to it.

Vital statistics
2849cc, 450bhp, 1450kg


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