A Brief History of an Iconic Sports Car: The Porsche 911

RelayRides blogger Trent Fletcher shares a brief history of the iconic Porsche 911 as well as info on how you can get behind the wheel of one today.

With RelayRides, you have a unique opportunity to drive a vast array of different vehicles at a moments notice. It’s one of the few sources in which just a few clicks is all it takes to get you behind the wheel of some incredible machines. Porsche has always stood for zero-compromise performance, so if you’ve been itching to see what this legendary brand is all about, RelayRides can take you there.

A History Nearly a Century in the Making

Founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, the company’s initial purpose was to provide vehicle development consulting to other brands. Amongst Porsche’s first assignments was to design a “car for the people.” This effort would result in the Volkswagen Beetle, one of the best selling passenger vehicles of all time.

It wasn’t until after WWII that Porsche was able to shift gears and began creating the sports cars it would later be known for. The first of these vehicles was the Porsche 356, which was released to the German market in 1948. Borrowing heavily from the Beetle, the 356 shared many mechanical elements with the Beetle, including its air-cooled, rear-mounted engine design. As Porsches continued to progress over the years, these design elements would become a hallmark of Porsche sports cars, and would eventually lead into the 911, a vehicle which has evolved to such a high degree that the current generation Carrera is considered by many to be the performance benchmark by which all other sports cars are judged.

Capitalizing on the popularity of the 911 and other Porsche models, the company unveiled its luxury crossover mid-size luxury SUV in 2002, the Cayenne. While market reception for the Cayenne was mixed upon its release, the Cayenne eventually proved its status as a performance vehicle among SUV’s and was praised for its excellent handling and powerful engines.

Drive One Today

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite Porsches available for rent in the RelayRides marketplace.

Calvin’s 2009 Cayman in Los Angeles, CA: The 911′s mid-engined little brother is one of the best handling sports cars money can buy. Equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox, iPhone 5 docking connector and free roadside assistance, this hassle-free Germanic speed demon is ready to go when you are.

Mike’s 2006 Carrera 4 in Chicago, IL: While the tail-happy antics of a typical rear-drive 911 are fun, the stability and control provided by the all-wheel-drive system in a Carrera 4 allows you to really wring the car out with utter confidence. Mike’s 911 comes equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox, Bose sound, and a built in K40 radar/laser detector/jammer just in case you happen to forget what the speed limit is in your area.

Douglas’s 2006 Porsche Cayenne S in Boston, MA: A Porsche of a different feather, the Cayenne is a V8 powered brute that brings back the “sport” to sport utility vehicles. This particular example is a fully loaded Titanium edition model which, according to Douglas, is one of only 70 models clad in this particular shade of red.

Reid’s 2002 911 Carrera Convertible in San Francisco, CA: When the top goes down, the fun goes up. When it comes to a great ragtop driving experience, it’s hard to beat a Porsche 911. This sleek black example comes equipped with a manual transmission, all wheel drive, and an iPod hookup mated to a killer sound system so you can roll around in style.

Alex’s 2006 Porsche Cayenne at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood and Miami International Airports: If you are planning a vacation in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, you might as well treat yourself to the luxury of Alex’s Porsche Cayenne. With the option of getting the from FLL or MIA, it will make all of your bad memories of waiting for a traditional rental car a distant memory.