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Old 11-01-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
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Why do Porsche's start with 9?

Dumb question, may be obvious, but I don't know about it.
Why do all Porsche models have internal names beginning with 9? For example the 914, the 911, and the 986/987 etc.

Some history behind it? I just found out today why Porsche puts the ignition switch on the left side of the car.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:07 PM   #2
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Gimmick, I guess... I've always wondered why all Lotus models start with E, but not enough to Google it.

(time passes)

Don't google it. It's more fun to wonder.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:13 PM   #3
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I've always thought of Porsche as a form-following-function manufacturer, but alright
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:46 PM   #4
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Porsche 901
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Porsche 901 was the name originally intended for the Porsche 911.

By the early 1960s, Porsche project design numbers had reached into the 800s. For instance, Porsche's 1962 F1 model was called Porsche 804.

At the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (Frankfurt Motor Show) in Frankfurt in September 1963, Porsche presented its successor to the Porsche 356 as the 901. It took several more months until the cars was sold to customers. In late 1964, after having sold about 82 cars, the 901 was presented at the Paris Auto Salon. There, French car maker Peugeot objected to Porsche using any three digit number where the middle number was 0, owning the naming rights and having already sold many models with that scheme.

So, Porsche simply replaced the middle 0 with a 1, and called the car Porsche 911.

Also, other Porsche models were affected, which were primarily intended for racing but also sold as road legal cars. Here, Porsche kept the internal part number of 90x, but sold the car with a name, like

* Porsche 904 as Carrera GTS
* Porsche 906 as Carrera 6.

Porsche enthusiasts continue to refer to these cars by their three digit design numbers.

Later, Porsche introduced pure racing cars which were not sold for road use, so not competing with any road-going Peugeot. These carried the design numbers

* Porsche 907
* Porsche 908
* Porsche 909

Nearly three decades later, a 905 was entered in the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans, but not by Porsche (which then had won over a dozen times already), but by Peugeot: The Peugeot 905 won twice, in 1992 and in 1993. A Peugeot 908 Diesel was entered in the 2008 event, and won in 2009. Peugeot never used the number 901, though.

Additionally, the 901 number is used among Porsche enthusiasts as shorthand to identify the aluminum 5-Speed transmission used in early 911s, the part number for these transmissions used an 11 digit code that began with 901 as did many other parts on the early cars. Later 911s from 1969 used a different magnesium case and a part number beginning with 911.
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lordblood
Why do all Porsche models have internal names beginning with 9? For example the 914, the 911, and the 986/987 etc.
They don't.........ever hear of the 356?

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Old 11-02-2009, 05:39 AM   #6
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The 986's granddad, the 550 Spyder:

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Old 11-02-2009, 05:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Samson
The 986's granddad, the 550 Spyder:

Don't you just want to climb into that car and drive when you see it.
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:50 AM   #8
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Left Hand Ignition Switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lordblood
.....I just found out today why Porsche puts the ignition switch on the left side of the car.
Pray tell, why?
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by schnellman
Pray tell, why?
Back when a LeMans-style start (drivers run up to and get in the car) was used, the driver could simultaneously start the car and put it in gear, saving a few fractions of a second.
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:12 AM   #10
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This thread should certainly be added to with "Porsche peculiarities everyone asks about"

I always wondered why the key was on the outside (I believe it's on the right side in a left hand car for the same reason... can any right hand drivers here validate this?)
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:07 PM   #11
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I have been told at some point that the key was on the outside of the wheel to aid in the speed of starting the car.
This was thought of because a famous race (perhaps LaMans) was once started by the driver standing out of the car and then they would dash to the car, jump into it, start it and then drive away.

May be a myth, but it that is what i was told.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:28 PM   #12
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Yes, I've been told that it was because back in the day, racing rules said that drivers must dash to their car, start the engine, then take off. The key was on the opposite side of the gear lever so that the driver could ignite the engine with the left hand and put the car into gear simultaneously.

It's good that the nomenclature isn't just a gimmick and actually has some reasoning to it :P. We are paying homage to the early racers when we call our cars by their internal names.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:49 AM   #13
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My right hand drive Boxter has the key on the right.

If it is of any interest, we also have a Lotus, Benz and Ford, and all have different operation of all column controls.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:52 PM   #14
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outside key placement

Having the key away from the passenger is a good idea.
Though I've only seen it be a problem in movies.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd_boxster
Gimmick, I guess... I've always wondered why all Lotus models start with E, but not enough to Google it.

(time passes)

Don't google it. It's more fun to wonder.

Lotus didn't always start with an 'E'. It began in 1948 with the Mark I thru Mark VI, then the Seven, Eleven, Type 12, etc.

Then in 1957, Chapman basically 'Bet the Farm' - went 'All in' (something he continued to do throughout his life) to produce the Elite, Lotus 1st real turnkey street car.

It was an instant success and ever since, in homage to the Elite, all future Lotus street cars were named with a word beginning with 'E'.

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Old 11-09-2009, 11:48 AM   #16
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The 356 and 550 have been mentioned, but there were many model numbers I'm to lazy to look up in Ludvigsen like the RS and the F1 cars. Both in the 740-ish range IIRC. Anyone know the tractor number?

As a design firm Porsche numbered designs consecutively. Some designs never made it to production which is why there are gaps in the numbers. After the 911 reached near god status it kinda stuck, altho the Carrera designation was a move in that direction for a time.

Now we have Boxsters, Caymen, Cayennes and Panameras. Kinda like the Miata vs MX-5 conundrum.

Wonder what will follow the 989 and 999?
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