My Car Quest

October 24, 2014

The Oldest Porsche “911” – The 901 Prototype, A Video

by Mike –

The only Porsche 901 Prototype still around was saved from oblivion by Don Meluzio who is featured in the video below.

The photos below compare the red Porsche 901 Prototype to my silver 1996 Porsche Carerra 911, the last air-cooled engine 911 model.

Porsche 901 Prototype

Porsche 901 Prototype

The shape did not change much.

1996 Porsche 911

1996 Porsche 911

Comparing some features of the 901 Prototype to the 1996 911

As a prototype, this car exhibits interesting detail differences from the production 901 and 911. Its manual sunroof slides forward to open, in contrast to the electrically-operated, rearward-opening roof that went into production.

Porsche 901 Prototype

Porsche 901 Prototype Sunroof

1996 Porsche 911

1996 Porsche 911 Sunroof

Instruments are housed in two pods, rather than the large central tachometer and four flanking gauges, which have always been a trademark of the production Porsche 911.

Porsche 901 Prototype

Porsche 901 Prototype Instruments

1996 Porsche 911

1996 Porsche 911 Instruments

On the prototype, hot air was ducted to the side window sills to keep the glass free of condensation; early 911s were not so equipped.

Porsche 901 Prototype

Porsche 901 Prototype Side Window Air Vent

1996 Porsche 911 - No Side Window Air Vent

1996 Porsche 911 – No Side Window Air Vent

The front lid is counterbalanced by torsion bar springs, and the engine cover is held open by coil springs; the production version would adopt gas struts to hold the lids open.

1996 Porsche 911

1996 Porsche 911 Engine Compartment

The gas cap lid is round on the prototype and oval shaped on the production versions.

Porsche 901 Prototype

Porsche 901 Prototype Gas Cap Lid

1996 Porsche 911

1996 Porsche 911 Gas Cap Lid

The Porsche 901 Prototype owner Don Melizio – The Video

In addition to owning what is probably the most important Porsche “911” Don Meluzio is also the president of the Iso & Bizzarrini Owner’s Club and he was my traveling partner for about nine days this past April in Italy for the Iso and Bizzarrini Extravaganza.

We celebrated Iso at the old Bresso factory, had lunch with Giotto Bizzarrini in Livorno and spent a day at Zagato with Piero Rivolta in attendance in addition to Marella Rivolta Zagato and Andrea Zagato. None of this had anything to do with Porsche.

Below, I can see some subtle differences in the nose badge between the 901 Prototype and the 1996 911.

Porsche 901 Prototype Logo

Porsche 901 Prototype Logo

Become a My Car Quest Member – click on either of the Porsche badges.

1996 Porsche 911 Logo

1996 Porsche 911 Logo

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