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Rare Porsche 911 Cabriolets

Porsche isn’t one to miss a good marketing opportunity. Throughout the 54 years of 911 production, in which over a million examples of this iconic sports car have rolled out of Zuffenhausen, the company has bestowed worldwide customers with a whole host of special editions to celebrate anniversaries, milestones and notable racing achievements.

The latest addition is Motorsport’s new 935, a track-only car based mechanically on the 991 GT2 RS but styled on the revered Moby Dick of 1978. More interestingly though, there’s also a new Speedster. However, the fact it’s being built to commemorate 70 years of Porsche isn’t particularly significant, and neither is the numbered production run of just 1,948 examples. No, it’s a special-edition, open-topped Porsche.

Think about it, most special-edition Porsche 911s are Coupes. From the 930 S to the 991 Turbo S Exclusive Edition, via the 993 GT2, 996 Anniversary and 997 Sport Classic, these limited cars, often built on a numbered production run, are tin-top. There appears no specific reason for this: all body styles hail from the same production line at Werk II, and it’s not like an open-topped 911 is unpopular – in fact, widespread endearment to both the Cabriolet and Targa is such that Porsche has kept both models running concurrently since 1983. And while it’s true 911 Coupes will always enjoy a certain cache over their open-topped stablemates, what’s not to like about a special-edition Cabriolet?

To find out we’ve come to Long Beach in southern California to sample two stellar open-topped examples of rare Porsche in the 3.2 Commemorative Cabriolet and 964 America Roadster. Owned by serial Porsche owner and Total 911 subscriber Bruce Brown, these cars are used as they were intended, cruising the boulevards and carving through the inland canyons, roof down, revelling under the year-round Californian sunshine.

The cars arrive at the beach just after us, pulling off the highway and driving onto a slipway down to the Pacific Ocean, the 964’s almost V8-like thrum a striking note against the 3.2 Carrera’s more agricultural resonance. Bruce, in the 3.2, and his friend Simon Birch, piloting the 964, kill the cars and jump out, which gives us a chance to absorb both 911s as they cool off in the brisk sea wind.

First, the Commemorative 3.2. Built to honour 250,000 911s having been built, it’s sometimes referred to as the 25th Anniversary – this at a time before Porsche thought of the 30, 40 and 50 Jahre Anniversary models in the ensuing years. The 3.2 Commemorative Edition was available in either Coupe, Cabriolet or Targa body styles.


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Porsche Has Recreated The First 356, And They’re Taking It On Tour

It isn’t really possible to find a car more significant to the history of the Porsche brand than the very first one to wear the Porsche name. 356 « No. 1 » Roadster was first registered for road use in June of 1948, and heavily influenced the styling of the original run of Gmund 356s. Over the next seven decades, this Porsche was reshaped by the sands of time as it was damaged, repaired, and updated. That original design no longer exists, but thanks to the painstaking work of a few folks in Porsche’s restoration shop, they’ve built a brand new original 356 No. 1.

Using the original car as a basis to start from, Porsche’s craftspeople scanned the 356 in three dimensions to create a digital model of the car’s shape as it sits now. They then uploaded the known dimensions from the original design drawings created in 1948. By compiling the two data pools into a single car, working to get certain curves correct based on period photographs, the archivists determined their best guess as to the original 356’s original sheet metal. The last step of the design process was to mill the body of the 356 out of solid block of foam to provide a shaping buck from which to build a wooden body buck. The replica was crafted in the same manner as the original, by hand hammering, pulling, and bending metal sheet into the right shape.

Details were sweated in the eight-month process of this project, with attempts made to get the 356 as close to perfect as possible. The original 356 was painted silver at some point, but based on a paint chip from underneath the dashboard, the workshop was able to determine the original shade of blue, and color matched it perfectly. The gauges, switches, and even hardware were recreated to the most precise degree. For most intents and purposes, the new recreation is closer to the original car than the original No. 1 356 is today. The front axle was cribbed from a period-correct Volkswagen Beetle, as was proper for the first 356. The only thing missing, however, is the drivetrain, as the show car doesn’t even have one, relying instead on a wire frame rear axle to support the rear wheels in place of the original 356’s mid-engine layout.

If you want to see one, or both, of these 356s, Porsche will be trotting them out for events all over the world this year in celebration of the original 356’s 70th birthday. Porsche says this list is ‘some’ of the stops, so it is perhaps not an exhaustive list, but you can for sure see them here.

The original 356 No. 1 Roadster can be seen at:

  • June 8 Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany: Porsche Museum ceremony
  • July 12–15 Goodwood, United Kingdom: Festival of Speed
  • September 8–9 Vancouver, Canada: Luxury & Supercar Weekend
  • September 27–30 Laguna Seca, USA: Porsche Rennsport Reunion

The 356 No. 1 Show Car can be seen at:

  • Until May 31 Berlin, Germany: DRIVE exhibition, Volkswagen Group Forum
  • June 9–10 Johannesburg, South Africa: Kyalami racetrack, Sportscar Together Day
  • Mid-July through September Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany:Porsche Museum exhibition
  • November 15–25 Guangzhou, China: Guangzhou International Motor Show

It will be awesome to see the original Porsche 356 No 1 at Rennsport Reunion, which will surely feature the interesting juxtaposition of this car with the most modern 919 Hybrid Evo. If the people who worked on that original Gmund assembly line could only see how far this company has progressed on the back of what they created, surely it would bring a tear to their eyes.


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L’avenir de la Porsche 718 en cause

L’avenir de la toute récente Porsche 718 est-il en cause ou en question ? Au-delà d’une légitime discussion de sémantique, il semble bien que l’avenir de la 718 ne soit pas serein. Autant l’avenir de la 911 est assuré, autant celui des deux SUV de la gamme le semble, autant l’arrivée d’une version civile du […]

Cet article L’avenir de la Porsche 718 en cause est apparu en premier sur le blog auto.


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Porsche : Plus de 16.000 voitures au rappel

Porsche : Plus de 16.000 voitures au rappel

Il y a peu, Porsche lançait le rappel des Porsche 718 Cayman et 718 Boxster ainsi que celui de quelques 911. Le problème était à chercher du coté des gonfleurs d’airbags latéraux montés dans les sièges et qui présentaient un risque important d’inflammation en cas d’accident. Porsche a donc du lancer le rappel de 85 […]

Cet article Porsche : Plus de 16.000 voitures au rappel est apparu en premier sur The Automobilist.


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Porsche 718 : The legend is back (vidéo)

Hier nous vous annoncions les futures évolutions techniques, esthétiques et mécaniques des actuelles Porsche Boxster et Cayman qui vont se muer l’an prochain en 718 Cayman et 718 Boxster.Porsche reste toujours aussi discret au sujet de ces futures 718 version 2016 à moteur H4. Pour renforcer la crédibilité du projet et ne pas effrayer les […]



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