One of the most newsworthy aspects of the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show is the introduction of the eight-generation Porsche 911.

You can read a lot about this car elsewhere, but here we are looking back rather than forward across more than half a century of 911 history.

That history began 55 years ago at the 1963 Frankfurt Show, the year before the 911 first went on sale. Porsche was going to call it the 901, but Peugeot pointed out that it had the rights to sell cars with three-digit numbers including a middle zero in France.

Rather than market its new car with different names in different countries, Porsche simply switched to 911. Whether the car would have been as successful if it had been known as a nine-oh-one rather than a nine-eleven (or, in Germany, a Neunelfer) is something we will never know.

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