To mark 70 years of Porsche sports cars in 2018, twenty special edition restorations were commissioned by Porsche Cars GB. Porsche GB cherry picked some of the most iconic models that have been produced, representing half a century of evolution in the Stuttgart marque, covering a spread of front-engine, mid-engine and rear-engine sports cars.
The lineup of cars included:
1970 Porsche 914 1.7 litre Manual Coupe
1981 Porsche 924 Turbo Manual Coupe
1982 Porsche 911 SC Manual Coupe G-Model
1986 Porsche 944 Turbo Manual Coupe
1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 (C4) Manual Coupe 964-series
1993 Porsche 928 GT Manual Coupe
1996 Porsche 968 Sport Manual Coupe
1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 (C4) Manual Coupe 993-series
1999 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 (C2) Manual Coupe 996-series
2003 Porsche 911 Turbo Manual Coupe 996-series
Plus a series of ten 986 Porsche Boxster S:
2000 Porsche Boxster S 3.2 Manual Convertible 986-series (four in total)
2001 Porsche Boxster S 3.2 Manual Convertible 986-series (five in total)
2002 Porsche Boxster S 3.2 Manual Convertible 986-series (one produced)
This exercise not only led to a selection of fine Porsche cars being fully restored to ‘better than new’, it also demonstrated the capability in-house with the older Porsche models. Working in partnership with Porsche Centres and Porsche Recommended Repairers, each of the cars is finished in the same colour and feature all-black interiors. Underlining the sports car character and tradition, each model has a manual gearbox.
Each car has undergone a bare metal restoration and is beautifully finished in a special ‘Liquid Metal’ silver metallic paint (Porsche Colour Code S8), which was developed especially for the Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid hypercar. A full engine rebuild, some using a new ‘short block engine’ (as available for Boxster and Type 996 911 models), has also been carried out. This short block engine rebuild is now available to customers who need an engine rebuild, at reasonable repair costs in the UK at many Official Porsche Centres (OPC) in the network.
Among the twenty cars, there is a mix of air-cooled, water-cooled and transaxle models – and ten examples of the Boxster mid-engine roadster. The attention to detail on each car is exceptional and the aim was to keep them as original as possible, in line with the Porsche Classic approach, whilst adding a few bespoke touches such as the paintwork (including a subtle 70 years of Porsche graphic) and bespoke seat trimming in original ‘Porsche’ branded cloth.
The interior will also feature a ‘70 years of Porsche’ commemorative plaque. To bring the Porsche ethos of everyday usability up to date, each car will also showcase selected Classic Parts, from the new transaxle and water-cooled classic Motoroils, to the Classic satellite navigation System and the Classic Vehicle Tracking System.
Each car will come with a commemorative presentation folder which will document what work has been carried out and list the new ‘feature’ parts.
The innovative programme is co-ordinated by the Porsche Classic team at the marque’s GB headquarters in Reading, Berkshire, and underlines the commitment of the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer to the continued enjoyment of the over 70 per cent of Porsches still on the road today; supported by 52,000-plus Classic Genuine parts from over 1,000 Classic suppliers.
Following the success of previous restoration projects, we were keen to find another initiative to tie in with celebrations of 70 years of Porsche sports cars.
The customer feedback from our Centres participating in the previous restoration competitions indicated that there was demand for authentic restorations of Porsche models across the spectrum. Bringing our history and tradition alive in this manner is also a great way to help celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first Porsche sports car and to highlight the passion for Porsche Classic at both Porsche Cars GB and our Centres.
Jonathan Mannell, Manager, Owner Services, Porsche Cars GB.
The earliest car is the 1970 914. In its day, no sports car sold in greater numbers, with almost 120,000 examples of the diminutive mid-engined, flat-four ‘targa’ topped, two-door being produced.
The oldest representative of the Porsche 911 icon is an SC Coupe, arguably the archetypal 1980s poster sports car. Distinguished by the characteristic large bumpers and large rear wing, the so-called ‘G-Model’ is powered by an evocative 3.2-litre flat six offering 230bhp.
This is joined by one of the earliest examples of the all-wheel drive 911, the ‘Type 964’ Carrera 4 from 1990. The successor to the G-Model, the 964 featured 85 per cent new components. Appropriately for the 25th anniversary of the 911, four-wheel drive was available for the first time, and a larger 3.6-litre version of the flat-six engine developed 250bhp.
The ‘Type 993’ 911 unveiled in the autumn of 1993 featured a new rear suspension beneath its newly-designed bodywork, and further upgrades including a 285bhp version of the flat-six delivered class-leading dynamic capabilities.
Although the 911 shape has remained familiar through the years, advances in aerodynamic design ensure the car maintains its peerless performance. By the same token, beneath the skin the Porsche engineers always strive to maximise the dynamic responsiveness while at the same time maintaining the relevance of the 911 in changing times. Thus, the characteristic flat-six engine fitted to the Type 996 became water-cooled to deliver ever-greater efficiency combined with 345bhp. In the case of the 911 Turbo, the performance reached hitherto uncharted heights – the pairing of a 400bhp twin-turbo flat-six with all-wheel drive setting a new benchmark.
The front engine ‘transaxle’ era 1976 – 1995 is often over-looked in the span of Porsche history, but the cars of this time reflected some of the most forward-thinking design and engineering solutions in the auto industry. The combination of a water-cooled front engine and rear mounted gearbox/axle (‘transaxle’) ensured optimised front:rear weight distribution.
First launched in 1976, the 924 was for many enthusiasts their first foray into Porsche motoring – the 924 Turbo, presented in 1979, responded to the success of the model by further boosting its four cylinder engine power to 170bhp.
The 944 was positioned between the 924 and 911, and with a 163bhp four cylinder based on one half of the V8 in the 928 GT coupe. Featuring two contra-rotating balancer shafts, the engine revved particularly smoothly. This was just a hint of the pioneering engineering features under the bonnet, which also included digital engine electronics and L-Jetronic fuel injection. With increased power to 220bhp and revisions to the chassis, brakes and interior comfort, the 944 Turbo is particularly desirable.
The king of the transaxle Porsche sports cars is undoubtedly the 928. Featuring an aluminium V8 engine, aluminium chassis and passive rear steering axle, the 2+2 coupe showed a new design direction for the company. The spring of 1989 saw the launch of the 928 GT. By this time, the V8 had adopted four valves per cylinder, and the power reached 330 hp. Further technological developments included a tyre pressure control system.
In 1991, the 968 succeeded the 944 – power came from a large capacity 3.0-litre four cylinder engine featuring VarioCam valve timing control to deliver high power and high torque. The 968 Sport was a GB market specific model, with a mix of dynamic attributes and comfort features.
The Boxster created a sensation when first presented, and in the 25 years since its debut as a Show Car in Detroit, has established itself firmly within the Porsche family circle. It in honour of this quarter century achievement that 10 examples of the Boxster have been prepared. The combination of a mid-engine, two seats and open roof makes for a compelling roadster driving experience – and the first ‘Type 986’ Boxster S models with the evocative 3.2-litre flat-six are a great companion on a cross-country drive.
All the cars were presented on the Porsche Cars GB stand at the Classic Motor Show, Birmingham NEC on 9-11 November 2018.