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Resurrecting a 911T, Dust and All

Graham bought his 1969 Porsche 911T back in the mid-1990s, long before the air-cooled 911 boom. Graham found his purple 911T in the Netherlands, and after parting with a then-substantial number of guilders (which Porsche reports was equal to about €21k), he drove the car home. Upon his return the purple T became Graham’s daily driver. It made regular forays to UK shows, trips across the continent, and braved London traffic for the next four years.

After four years with the car though, Graham left for the UAE, and the car was left behind in a London parking facility. While Graham thought he would be spending just a few years in the UAE, his brief move quickly turned into a decade, and the 911 sat. It sat, accumulating dust, and amusingly the word « shill » was fingered into the dust on its flank.

When Graham returned, the dust-shrouded 911 was sent to Tower Porsche, who had cared for the car before he departed. Surprisingly, the long-idle car returned to life swiftly with a fresh battery and a few cranks on the air-cooled flat-six. With some further fettling, fresh Michelins, and tuning the car was returned to running order.

But Graham opted not to clean it. Still ensconced in its protective layer of London car park dust, the car was driven from London to the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed. There Porsche spotted Graham and his purple 911T, and concocted a plan: Bring John’s classic T and the marque’s modern-minimalist Carrera T together.

While the Flatsixes staff is somewhat split in our feelings on the new T, seeing the new and old cars together warms the cockles of even my curmudgeonly, blackened heart. The two cars are separated by five decades, seemingly dozens of ECUs, and about 1,000 pounds, but they are united in both layout and spirit.



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Origin of the Species: Type 64 Goes to Auction in August

The Type 64 was many things, but it was not conventionally beautiful. Designed to make the most of a tuned, 32-horsepower variant of the Volkswagen Type I flat-four, the all-aluminum car was a masterpiece of 1930s aerodynamics. The riveted construction was strong and rigid for the day, and emulated the construction techniques used on then-current German aircraft like the Bf 109 and Fw 200.

This particular car, the third built, was actually completed in 1940 using the remains of the wrecked first car. Ferry Porsche and his family used the car routinely for several years, and the car received its first restoration in 1947 at the hands of a young Pinin Farina. Yes, this car was first restored a year before 356/001 saw the light of day. Perhaps most importantly, it is allegedly the first car to ever carry the Porsche insignia on the front.

During the premier of  the first 356, the Type 64 was demonstrated by Austrian driver Otto Mathé, who was smitten by the car and owned it through his death in 1995. From 1940 through 1995, the little Type 64 had just two owners, each a legend in their own right. From 1997 through the present day the car has belonged to Doctor Thomas Gruber of Vienna, who has shown the car at vintage events periodically throughout his ownership.

While owners love to toss around words like « numbers matching, » making such claims about the Type 64 is more challenging than average. The hopeful Type 64 owner will not be able to reference a Kardex, but will have to rely on experts. Per Andy Prill, a marque specialist who recently inspected the car, « I have found evidence that all of the key components were manufactured in 1939/40, » which by itself is special. How many sports cars were completed in that part of the world during the opening phases of the Second World War?

Though its origins were shrouded by war, and muddled slightly by being built for a race that never actually happened, the Type 64 remains one of (if not the) most significant Porsches of all time. When the Type 64 crosses the auction block in August with RM Sothebys, the result is virtually guaranteed to be tremendous. What the Type 64 lacks in pace it more than makes up for in pure provenance.



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Porsche’s First Half of 2018: By The Numbers

We’re well into the second half of 2018 now, and Porsche’s month-to-month growth shows no sign of slowing. Indeed, save for Cayenne sales in North America, all models are up in 2018. The sales figures tell just part of the story, as Porsche’s increasing investments in new fields are beginning to have larger and larger effects on the company as a whole. As Porsche’s investment in electromobility begins to ramp up, other similarly ambitious brands are feeling the pinch. While sales are up about 3%, the total Porsche workforce is up 5%, due in part to the electric initiatives and new facilities. Between the new Panamera, new 718 models, and 70 years of Porsche sports cars, there is much to be excited about from the first half of 2018.

Increasing Revenue and Impressive Return on Sales

In the first half of 2018 Porsche saw a return on sales of 17.5%, down slightly from 2017’s peak of 18.1% (for the sake of comparison, Volkswagen’s return on sales in late 2017 was about 7%). Per CFO Lutz Meschke, this result is keeping the brand on target, despite mounting challenges from the global political and economic climate, as well as tightening emissions standards. “Nevertheless, we will continue to pursue our strategic objective of achieving an operating return on sales of at least 15 per cent”, said the CFO. The total operating result and revenue are up 1% and 4% respectively.

A Growing Workforce

Alongside increased sales and emerging model lines comes an increase in global staffing. New facilities are being built to produce Porsche’s new electric models, including the Taycan. With the increase in facilities comes an increase in staffing demand. Perhaps more impressive than 2018’s 5% increase in staffing is the whopping jump from 22k employees in 2014 to more than 30k in mid 2018, shown above.

Increasing Global Deliveries

Sales globally are up 3%, with larger regional increases in the Americas, Europe, and Germany in particular. Sales have fallen in China, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asian-Pacific region, though these losses are offset by gains elsewhere.  The overall trends seen now reflect those from the first quarter of the year.

Per Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “It is particularly pleasing to note that the iconic 911 is in such demand, given that this year we are celebrating ‘70 years of the Porsche sports car’. We are also continuing to invest in the future of our brand: Electrification, digitalisation and connectivity are major challenges that we are choosing to view as an opportunity. Next year will see the market launch of the Taycan, the first purely electric Porsche. It will set standards for the future of mobility.”

Sales by Model

The Macan continues to be the best selling Porsche model and is also the least expensive, undercutting the base Boxster by about $12k in the US. The Cayenne and Macan together are Porsche’s best-selling lines. Compared to the first half of 2017 the Panamera saw the most explosive growth in the Porsche lineup, with a 91% increase in sales, totaling some 20,500 units. The 911 also saw double-digit growth in 2018, for an increase of 28% over the first half of 2017.


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What Does Porsche Classic Have Up Their Sleeve With “Project Gold”?

Porsche Classic is building a new project based on a 993-generation 911 Turbo S. It’s called Project Gold. It’s going to combine some modern aerodynamics with a classic body shape. And that’s just about all we know at the moment, because Porsche has only released the video below called « The Vision », and a short blurb. As this project progresses, we’ll keep FlatSixes readers up to date with progress, but for now we’re going to do a little speculating on exactly what Porsche is building here.

A classic body is the starting point for a vehicle that will ultimately become a truly unique piece – assembled in the Porsche Classic workshop and individualized by the sports car manufacturer’s designers. Porsche Newsroom accompanies the « Project Gold » right from the start throughout the individual production steps. The series starts with « the Vision ».

Is Porsche Building Their own Resto-Mod 993 Turbo?

Perhaps the most interesting frames of the whole 40-odd second video released by Porsche are those featuring the pre-build concept sketches. If you look in the upper left hand corner of the screenshot above, you’ll see what appears to be a sketch of the recent 911 Turbo S Exclusive (below), which was painted a lovely shade of gold. Because of that minor detail in the video, I think this « Project Gold » is an attempt to re-create that same aesthetic in a 993 generation body. In the sketch of the 993 Turbo S, you can see a modified front bumper unlike anything ever seen before, and a large whale tail spoiler on the rear decklid. Throw in a set of over-large wheels and center locking hubs, and you’ve got a modern Turbo S in a twenty-year-old body.

In the sketch of the 993 model, you can see the corner « gills » that were common on Carrera 2 models, but larger and more aggressive. The center air inlet has been massively increased, presumably for a huge oil cooler and modern air conditioning components. There are a few ways we can take this, but I think this would indicate Porsche is going to retain the car’s aircooled engine, possibly pumping it up to 3.8-liters like the modern 991 car’s engine. It is possible that Porsche Classic will build that engine up to make as much power as the existing 991 Turbo S with 580 horsepower, which is up 130 horses from stock in the late 1990s. That should make for an incredibly quick 993.

On the inside you can expect scads of carbon fiber, quilted leather, and Alcantara with a focus on luxury performance. I’m not saying that Porsche is trying to out-do Singer with this car, but that wouldn’t be a wholly undue line of thinking. We can only hope that the 993 retains its original manual transmission, as we don’t know what we’d do if Porsche built one with a modern PDK gearbox. If their aim is to build the ultimate 993 Turbo, however, maybe custom paddle shifters are in the plans. One thing is for sure, it’s going to look incredible when it is done.

Other possibilities

In the resto-mod realm, really anything is possible. While it’s unlikely that Porsche would convert one of their most beloved air-cooled cars to a water-cooled engine, it’s not impossible. Maybe the 993 Turbo S will get a modern 991 Turbo S engine, transmission, and other accouterments. More believable, however, would be Porsche’s willingness to build this 911 into a vintage ride with an electric powertrain. The company has really been pushing their battery electric vehicle storyline in recent years, and that doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. Perhaps if they can entice customers with an EV powertrain in a vintage look body, they can also sell them on a modern EV 911. It isn’t like there isn’t a precedence here.


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Porsche Exec Says The Company Should Build Flying Robot Cars

The Jetsons' Flying Car


Porsche sales chief Detlev von Platen told a German magazine last week that he believes Porsche could and should develop a flying passenger car to compete with potential rivals in an as-yet-nonexistent market for urban flying taxi and ride-sharing services.

Chinese manufacturer Geely and Japan’s Toyota have already expressed interest in this potential future market, as have startups like Volocopter, Lilium Jet, eVolo, Terrafugia, and Joby Aviation. Italdesign and Airbus teamed for the Pop.Up concept unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show a year ago. Thus far, however, nobody has come even close to a production ready or cost effective design.

Porsche, and these others, are attempting to prepare for a day when the transportation market shifts away from conventional consumer-driven cars to a slew of self-driving ride-shared vehicles. In keeping with a Porsche tradition of driver focused design, however, von Platen says that the driver would be able to have at least some minimal control of their flying robot cars. The majority of the flying would be automated, dismissing the need for a pilot’s license, however.

“That would really make sense. If I drive from (the Porsche plant in) Zuffenhausen to Stuttgart airport, I need at least half an hour, if I’m lucky. Flying would take only three and a half minutes,” von Platen was quoted as saying in German magazine Automobilwoche.

I would be at least a little skeptical, however, because the last time Porsche tried to build a flying car, it didn’t end so well.


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