• Germany's news in English
 

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.

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
Kiel scientists: MH370 search in wrong place
The Malaysia Airlines plane which disappeared on March 8th 2014. Photo: Laurent ERRERA / Wikimedia Commons.

Kiel scientists: MH370 search in wrong place

29 minutes ago

German scientists have challenged conventional wisdom on the crash site of the MH370, the Malaysia Airlines plane missing since March 2014, suggesting the search is being conducted in the wrong place.

Five reasons to love Germany in autumn
What's not to love about the start of Lebkuchen season? Photo: DPA

Five reasons to love Germany in autumn

1 hour ago

September 1st may be the first day of autumn, but it's not all sad news for those living in Germany. Here are five reasons why we should welcome autumn with open arms.

Opinion
Studying in Germany left me down in the dumps
Students in a lecture theatre at Cologne University. Photo: DPA

Studying in Germany left me down in the dumps

1 hour ago

Finnish student Juuso Nisula moved to Cologne to study business administration, but found a catalogue of failings instead in the model of German educational efficiency he was expecting. He explains just what went wrong - and how to fix it - in an opinion piece republished by The Local.

Teen fined for sharing 13-year-old ex's sexts
Photo:DPA

Teen fined for sharing 13-year-old ex's sexts

2 hours ago

A court in Berlin has ordered a teenager to pay €500 in damages to his 13-year-old ex-girlfriend after sharing intimate pictures of her over WhatsApp, the girl's lawyer has revealed.

Migrant crisis
Munich police swamped with refugee donations
A woman working for Refugee Aid Munich (Flüchtlingshilfe München) hands a soft toy to a refugee child. Photo: DPA

Munich police swamped with refugee donations

9 hours ago

UPDATE: As over 1,000 refugees arrived in Munich from Hungary by train on Tuesday, police in the Bavarian capital said they were "overwhelmed" by the amount of food, water and other supplies donated by local people to those in need.

Löw backs Schweini after shaky United start
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

Löw backs Schweini after shaky United start

3 hours ago

Germany coach Joachim Löw is backing Bastian Schweinsteiger to brush off his shaky start at Manchester United when he captains his country in Friday's key Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland.

Unemployment level stays at record low
Photo: DPA

Unemployment level stays at record low

5 hours ago

German unemployment remained at historically low levels in August as the recovery in Europe's biggest economy continued on track, data showed on Tuesday.

Bavarian minister uses n-word on live TV
Singer Roberto Blanco (left) and Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann (right). Photo: DPA:

Bavarian minister uses n-word on live TV

7 hours ago

Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann (CDU) has become the target of widespread outrage after calling singer Roberto Blanco a "wonderful negro" on live television - and failing to apologize when challenged on Tuesday morning.

Orang-utan shot after shocking zoo breakout
File photo: DPA

Orang-utan shot after shocking zoo breakout

9 hours ago

Zoo workers in Duisburg shot an orang-utan late on Monday evening after two of the apes escaped from their cage in the westerly city.

Eurozone crisis
Nobel economist says Germany bullies France
Photo: DPA

Nobel economist says Germany bullies France

9 hours ago

France has been intimidated by Germany into pursuing an economic policy that isn't working, Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz told AFP in an interview on Monday.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Features
'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'
Features
How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
Sport
German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Travel
Retiree finds parked car after three-week search
National
Ten ways Germany puts Britain to shame
Business & Money
German gadget clamps down on Nutella thieves
Society
Is Germany now a nation of couch potatoes?
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,915
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd