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2013 Frankfurt auto show: The Porsche 911 at 50

Creating an icon is a difficult thing, so Porsche's efforts with the 911 are nothing short of staggering. We take a look back at the 911's roots and where Porsche is going next.

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So, the Porsche 911 (nee 901, but thanks to Peugeot that was swiftly changed) was launched at the Frankfurt auto show in 1963. Since then much has changed -- the Berlin wall has fallen, David Frost took down Nixon in the most public way imaginable, they stopped making Twinkies, "Arrested Development" stopped being funny, and they started making Twinkies again. But the 911, it's not changed per se, it's simply evolved.

Y'see, the 911 started out so well -- it was stunning to look at, went quick enough, and was (almost) practical. It was an instant hit. I'd wager that if Porsche had its own way, the car we'd be celebrating today wouldn't be as far removed from the original product as it is today.

Legislation is what really forced the beast to evolve from its pure form. Well, that and the advancement of technology.

As Porsche tinkered with the formula the 911 grew, became faster, more efficient, and more accomplished. Porsche poured money in to R&D to make sure its product is pure, but still able to keep up with the big boys.

Without the development of the 4WD 959 supercar, the 964 Carrera 4 would never have come to be.

Similarly, without the development of the 918 Spyder eco-hypercar, the 911 GT3 RSR racer wouldn't have come to be. And I'll place some fairly hefty wonga down on a similar system finding its way in to an upcoming 911...

We take you through a potted history in the vid above -- it's nowhere near as in depth as I'd like it to be, but that, my friends, is another video for another day.