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Goodwood Revival 2017: Two Porsche 356 cars turn back time

For Porsche Classic, this year’s Goodwood Revival was all about the Porsche 356: Two very early examples of Porsche’s first series-production model were on display at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in the South of England.

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Stretched Porsche 911 surprises at 2016 Goodwood Revival

On top of the scintillating historic race action, the Goodwood Revival never fails to surprise and entertain off the track too thanks to the raft of expertly curated displays found in the paddock.

For Porsche 911 enthusiasts, one of the most intriguing cars at this year’s Revival meeting was found inside the Earls Court Motor Show recreation, an exhibition of manufacturers’ latest models combined with some rare and retro oddities.

In order to celebrate the launch of the new Panamera, Porsche’s stand delved into the history of Zuffenhausen’s four-seat sports cars, a story that includes this unusual, stretched Porsche 911S prototype.

Porsche 911 Type 915

Even before the Porsche 911 was launched in 1963, Porsche had been looking into the possibility of launching a family-friendly sports car as a successor to the 356 before settling on the 2+2 layout of the Neunelfer that we all know and love.

However, this didn’t stop Ferry (and a number of independent dealers and coachbuilders) developing four-seat prototypes, many of which were based around the classic Porsche 911.

In 1968, Porsche tasked Pininfarina with the task of stretching a Porsche 911S to comfortably accommodate four passengers. The result – codenamed 911/B17 – featured a 2,600mm wheelbase, an ungainly, high roofline and unusually angular rear windows.

Porsche 911/C20 rear seats

The board was not convinced though so Porsche took development in-house, producing the design study displayed at this weekend’s Goodwood Revival. Internally known as the 911/C20 and based around the then-new 2.2-litre 911S, the car would have been known as the ‘915’ should it have made production.

Stretched by a further 15mm over the Pininfarina prototype, 911/C20 featured a more traditional Neunelfer silhouette (at the expense of headroom), increased legroom for back seat passengers and better rear weight distribution (57 per cent of the mass was over the rear wheels, compared to B17’s 61 per cent bias).

After the four-seat Porsche 911 project was shelved later in 1970, C20 – at the mercy of Zuffenhausen’s development engineers – was fitted with an external oil filler flap ahead of the feature’s 1972 launch and a front bumper-mounted oil cooler (a la the 2.7 RS) before going into storage for a number of decades.

Porsche 911/C20 oil cooler

With Ernst Fuhrmann taking over the helm at Porsche in 1972, there was no longer any internal desire for a truly four-seat Neunelfer as the R&D budget was turned towards the new 924 GT project.

Taking a look at the 911/C20 prototype in the metal at Goodwood, it was probably just as well. The proportions just don’t look right. However, it’s easy to see where the idea for the new Porsche Panamera – ever more looking like a stretched 911 – came from.

Now restored by Porsche Classic, the elongated Porsche 911S often takes pride of place in the museum at Zuffenhausen, standing testament to an era of unusual developments in the search of the perfect family sports car.

Porsche 911/C20 rear

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Goodwood Revival: Celebrating the style of the 60s

At this event, the 50s and 60s are brought back to life year after year, with legendary sports cars such as the Porsche 550 Spyder being showcased. A look back.

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Actualité : Embarquez avec Chris Harris au Goodwood Revival

Après s’être illustré en avril dernier au volant d’une Rover SD1 lors du 73ème Members Meeting de Goodwood, Chris Harris est revenu en piste il y a…

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Magnus Walker visits the Goodwood Revival with Porsche

Those who frequent Total911.com and who regularly buy issues of Total 911 magazine will of course be very familiar with the exploits of Magnus Walker, the self-confessed Urban Outlaw with a penchant for all things Porsche. As well as crafting his own hot-rod inspired takes on the early Porsche 911 from his downtown Los Angeles base, Magnus has spent the last few years travelling the world to live and breathe his Porsche passion.

And, at last, officials at Zuffenhausen have finally recognised Magnus’ voluntary contribution to the Porsche brand by linking up with the celebrity blogger, vlogger and 911-fettler for a short video at September’s Goodwood Revival. If this video is anything to go by, we look forward to seeing more from this enviable partnership in the future.

Don’t forget, you can keep up to date with Magnus Walker’s monthly exploits in each issue of Total 911 magazine, the world’s only magazine dedicated to the Porsche 911.

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