Porsche Celebrates 75 Years of Engineering Excellence at CIAS

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This 1952 356 pre-A Coupe represents the first series-production Porsche built at Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen and was one of the very first examples equipped with a single-piece windshield and a 1.5-litre boxer four-cylinder engine.
One of the most iconic 356 models is the lightweight, bare bones Speedster. This 1959 356 A Carrera GT Speedster is one of only 14 built that featured the legendary race spec Fuhrman 692/3 four-cam engine, which made the Speedster hugely successful in motorsport.
This 1962 356 B Roadster, pays tribute to a very similar car once owned by legendary singer Janis Joplin, which featured a psychedelic paint job, that included every colour of the rainbow.
Porsche introduced its first purpose-built sports racer, the Carrera GTS (904) at Sebring in 1964. Utilizing a steel ladder frame and bonded glassfibre panels it proved highly successful. This one received a first-in-class award at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.
In 1969, Porsche introduced its Type 917 Endurance Sports Racer. This Long-Tail version, Chassis #005 driven by Jo Siffert, made its debut at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in May that year. It later crashed at LeMans killing driver John Woolfe. Current owner David Seabrooke restored it to its former glory and it is currently the only 917 Long-Tail in privateer hands.
The iconic 911 was introduced in 1963. This 1970 911 ST lightweight, was designed to compete in the FIA’s Group 4 Special GT class for production sports cars. It featured a wider track, thinner steel roof and inner structure, aluminum bumpers, doors and rear decklid, glassfibre fascias and plexiglass windows. Only around 33 examples are believed to have been assembled.
Porsche introduced its first front-engine rear-drive GT car in 1976, the 924. The first Porsche to also be powered by a watercooled engine, in this case a 2.0-litre inline four, it proved to be a suitable platform for racing, which led to the GTR model seen here, featuring a turbocharged engine generating 375 hp.
Originally conceived as a replacement for the 911, the 928 debuted for 1977 as the brand’s flagship model. It was also unique in being the very first Porsche designed and engineered completely in-house. The 928 S model featured a 4.7-litre V8 with 300 hp (though detuned to 234 hp in North America to meet stricter emissions requirements).
Conceived as a homologation model for the FIA’s Group B Rally regulations, the 959 emerged as the ultimate version of the 911. Featuring all-wheel drive, it proved dominant in the 1986 Paris-Dakar event, with examples finishing in first and second place. The street version, the 959 Komfort arrived in 1987, but was never officially imported to North America.
Porsche introduced the iconic 911 Turbo (930) in 1974. For 1986, it began offering the Flachbau (slant-nose) as a special-order option. Inspired by the 935-race car, it featured a hand-crafted front end with pop-up headlights and improve aerodynamics. 948 examples were built.
The ultimate evolution of the original air-cooled 911 was the 993 model. The twin-turbo, introduced in 1996, featured 402 hp, all-wheel drive (derived from the 959) and Porsche’s first six-speed manual gearbox. It has since become recognized as one of the most desirable of all street-going 911s.
Built to satisfy GT racing requirements, the GT3 RS was a lightweight homologation special based on the 993 GT3. Powered by a 381 hp flat-six water-cooled engine, it sported a carbon fibre front lid and rear wing, polycarbonate back window, track-optimized suspension, and 90-litre fuel tank.
A true exotic, the mid-engine 918 Spyder was a plug-in hybrid-hyper-sports car and entered production in 2014. It features a 4.6-litre V8 engine and twin electric motors, resulting in 844 total horsepower and a top speed of 344 km/h (214 mph). Only 918 examples were built during the car’s 21-month production run.
Photos Huw Evans

Iconic and rare models from the beginning to 21st century showcase the ingenuity of the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer.

Each year, an exquisite display of vintage and classic vehicles is chosen for the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance exhibit at the Canadian International AutoShow.

For 2023, which represented the return to a physical AutoShow for the first time since 2020, as well as the 40th anniversary of this major consumer event, the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance display pulled out all the stops, with a special tribute to 75 years of Porsche.

Many of us who got into the automotive service trade, often did so because we love cars and right at the top of the list in terms of desirability rank the iconic sports cars from the esteemed German manufacturer based in Stuttgart.

World-beating sports cars

Porsche has long been known for its engineering excellence and somewhat unorthodox approach to sports car design (taking the foundation for what was originally the ultimate people’s car—the rear drive, rear engine, utilitarian Volkswagen Type 1—and transforming it into a world-beating series of sports cars). Porsche later developed a series of successful front-engine Grand Tourers and sporty coupes during the 1970s—cars that became iconic in their own right, alongside the traditional rear-engine 356 and 911 models.

Since then, the company has also ventured into exotic mid-engine race and street cars, and more recently plug-in hybrids and battery electrics.

Here, in this pictorial, we celebrate some of the milestone vehicles manufactured by Porsche over the last 75 years.


Categories : Editorial, Mechanical
Tags : CIAS, Event, Porsche

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