On the road and on the track, Porsches have always had a presence. But some have had more of an impact than others. We take a look at ten of the best
After WWII, Ferdinand ‘Ferry’ Porsche, the son of company founder Ferdinand Snr, decided to build his own car. ‘I saw that if you had enough power in a small car it is nicer to drive than if you have a big car which is also overpowered. On this basic idea we started the first Porsche prototype,’ he explained. The prototype was shown to German auto dealers, and when pre-orders reached a set threshold, production began of what was to be called the 356. The rest, as the saying goes, is history…
1948 Porsche 356
The model that started it all. In 1948 Porsche launched a simple, bathtub-shaped, rear-engined car using humble VW Beetle mechanicals that offered a refreshingly sporty post-war driving experience.
1953 Porsche 550 Spyder
With the engine cantilevered out behind the rear axle, the 356 did present a challenge in the handling department. For the 550, the engine was placed ahead of the transmission and improved balance was the result.
1970 Porsche 917
The car that gave Porsche its first overall victory at Le Mans. But initially it was a scary drive and unstable at high speed, only after the bodywork was altered to create proper downforce did it become a success.
1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7
Amongst the air-cooled 911s, the 1973 Carrera RS is regarded as the most desirable. Effectively a homologation special, only 1 508 were built. The Carrera script and ducktail spoiler were visual highlights.
1975 Porsche 930 Turbo
Another homologation special, the required 400 road-legal examples proved so popular that it became a regular production model, with 2 819 built with a 3.0-litre motor, and 18 770 with the later 3.3-litre motor.
1978 Porsche 935 ‘Moby Dick’
Introduced in 1976, the 935 was the factory racing version of the 911 Turbo. The final version was built in 1978 to contest Le Mans, and the car’s colouring and extra-long tail led to it being nicknamed ‘Moby Dick’.
1982 Porsche 956
The 956 was the most successful sports-racing car ever built. It won 71 races between 1982 and 1986 and for 35 years held the record for the fastest lap of the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife. A giant among giants.
1986 Porsche 959
Initially built for rallying but later turned into a production car, at the time it was considered to be the most technologically-advanced road car ever produced. It had a 2.8 twin-turbo flat-six engine and all-wheel drive. Fancy stuff.
1996 Porsche Boxster
This was Porsche’s first mid-engined roadster since the 550 Spyder, from which it drew inspiration. Acknowledged as a right-first-time design, from inception to its replacement in 2012, it received just mechanical upgrades.
2004 Porsche Carrera GT
The Carrera GT came about as a result of a still-born Le Mans sports car project. Apart from the 5.7-litre V10 engine, one of its engineering highlights was the absence of a mass flywheel for quicker engine response. And boy does it yawl!