• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Porsche 911 gracefully races into middle age

The Local · 10 Jun 2013, 07:59

Published: 10 Jun 2013 07:59 GMT+02:00

"Look daddy, it's a Porsche," my daughter yelled from the backseat one day last summer as we rolled down the autobahn.

It's a familiar enough expression, and we all dutifully looked out the window to admire the iconic, rear-engine car roll past. What surprised me, however, was that the information came from my six-year-old daughter, who is oblivious to other car brands.

Many may be surprised to learn that the German beauty, the Porsche 911, is turning 50 this year, giving children and adults alike the chance to celebrate the car's enduring appeal.

Stuttgart's Porsche Museum is throwing a summer-long birthday party with a new exhibition entitled "50 Years of the Porsche 911." Everyone is invited to join in the party, and 911 owners and those born in 1963 get in free.

The anniversary exhibition, the biggest new addition to the museum since its opening in 2009, promises to draw crowds of 911 fans from across the globe.

Housed in an elegantly designed building in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, the museum provides informative displays detailing Porsche's past and present, with at least 80 exhibits on display. The must-sees include the world-famous 356, the 911, 550 and 917, as well as technical displays highlighting the innovative know-how of founder Professor Ferdinand Porsche from the early 1900s.

Prof. Porsche designed the first production-line hybrid car with an electric engine, for example, debuting it to much acclaim at the Paris World Fair in 1900. This marked the first historical instance of Porsche proving to be ahead of its time, launching the brand's long legacy in innovative motoring.

Other museum highlights include several rally cars, films about the production process, sound chambers where you can feel and hear the power of the Porsche engines, engine displays, and a restaurant with seated viewing of a workshop where visitors can watch expert mechanics fine tune various models.

For the anniversary exhibition, visitors get the added treats of seeing a variety of never- before-displayed automobiles and exhibits. To mark the birthday, Porsche engineers have created a stunning replica of the very first 911 (then called the 901) to be shown at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt in 1963. They will also learn how Ferry Porsche's son came up with the famous design – to meet the demands for a 2+2 seat, rear-engine sports car that could carry a golf bag in the boot – which has helped cement the brand in motoring history.

In all, the 911 anniversary exhibition gives visitors a chance to see more than 40 different 911 versions, including limited edition models, race cars and even prototypes. Mostly, however, it's a chance to celebrate the classic style and appeal of the 911, which speaks to children and adults alike.

Unlike other exclusive sports cars, the Porsche 911 draws admirers from all walks of life and every social scale. "For most people, it's the dream car," said Astrid Böttinger from the museum's press office.

The cars on display offer a visual history of the 911's evolution, from its early heyday through its redesigns and innovative changes. The models enable visitors to see the subtle yet technically impressive changes up close, including the innovative Targa roll bar introduced in 1965, the bellows-style bumpers of the 1970s, the 911 Turbo with rear spoiler, first introduced in 1974, up through to the ultra-streamlined models of the 2000s and today.

One wall has been dedicated to the silhouettes of all of the varieties of 911 ever produced, from 1963 forward, and what strikes the eye is how little the design has changed, despite seven generations and various overhauls.

Porsche's engineers strive, said Böttinger, to retain the integrity of the beloved design. "They can't touch the basics," she explained, "because our customers are purists. They're passionate about the 911's design." In other words, fans love the look of the 911 – they always have and always will.

The low-slung bonnet and gentle curves – which have always enabled the Porsche 911 to look both classic and modern at the same time – make the car recognizable from any angle. This is why even my American daughter, age six, can knowingly and admiringly spot a Porsche.

The fact that the 911 is loved by young and old alike bodes well for the brand's next 50 years as well. "Perhaps, one day the 911 will fly," Böttinger said.

Story continues below…

The final museum exhibit is of a breathtaking 50th edition model, a 911 Coupé capable of 300 kliometres per hour. Only 1,963 of these cars will be made.

For those wanting to leave their own mark on Porsche's history, a creativity wall has been set up at the end of the tour where visitors can draw their own version of a the Porsche 911 silhouette.

The Porsche Museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday, 9am to 6pm. For non-911 owners and those born in any year other than 1963, the entry fee is €8. The 911 exhibition runs through this September. The museum is located at 1 Porscheplatz, Stuttgart-Zuffemhausen, 70435.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
President who pioneered Moscow ties dies aged 97
Former Cold War President of West Germany Walter Scheel. Photo: DPA.

Former West German president Walter Scheel, who helped pave the way for his country's rapprochement with the communist East, has died aged 97, his party's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Former East to lag behind West for years to come: study
Poverty in eastern Germany. File photo: DPA

Eastern Germany remains economically anaemic with little prospect of catching up with the rest of the country by 2030, a study published on Wednesday said.

Turkey's spy network in Germany 'thicker than Stasi's'
Photo: DPA.

Turkey has around 6,000 informants working in Germany, which experts say means they're each monitoring more people than the Stasi did in West Germany during the Cold War.

Germany's first 'intelligent' bridge to open in Nuremberg
File photo: DPA

An €11 million bridge, which is nearing completion in northern Bavaria, is set to include technology never seen before on the German Autobahn.

Stockpile food in case of attack, Germany tells citizens
Photo: DPA

Germany on Wednesday urged its population to stockpile food and water in case of terrorist or cyber attacks, as it adopted its first civil defence strategy since the end of the Cold War.

Ten injured after freight train crashes into bus in Osnabrück
The crash site in Osnabrück. Photo: DPA

A freight train crashed into a bus in Osnabrück on Wednesday morning, leaving several people badly injured, local media report.

Man wins ten-year court battle over €2.50 surcharge
Photo: DPA

An Austrian man has won a ten year court battle over an extra €2.50 he was asked to pay to get into a swimming pool in Bavaria a decade ago.

In Pictures
Düsseldorf swoons as Prince William comes for royal visit
'Well hello Mr. Prince'. Photo: DPA.

Prince William paid a visit to the Rhineland city of Düsseldorf on Wednesday to celebrate the state of North Rhine-Westphalia's 70th birthday. Here's a look at his royal stay.

Brexit
Frankfurt attempts to charm banks away from London
Frankfurt am Main. Photo: DPA

Germany's finance capital has spotted an opportunity with the Brexit-wary banking beasts of the Square Mile.

How did this bike end up on top of Berlin’s Molecule Man?
A professional climber 'rescuing' the bike hanging from the Molecule Man. Photo: DPA.

Berliners are still scratching their heads over how a bicycle ended up dangling from the capital’s iconic statue.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,647
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd