This year, Porsche is celebrating its 75th
birthday and the good folks at the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the 2023 Canadian International Auto Show were not about to let this important anniversary slip by unnoticed. To celebrate, they have partnered up to cultivate a selection of some of the most recognizable and famed vehicles in the brand’s illustrious history.
1969 Porsche 917 LH Chassis 005
The famous Le Mans racer stands just outside the main gallery, looking dashing in its white and red livery.
It wasn’t always so, however; back in 1969 when the car debuted it was involved in a large crash during the race. Driver John Woolfe didn’t survive the accident and current owner David Seabrooke decided to restore it to its original glory as a tribute to Woolfe.
1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS
While currently every available Porsche model can be had in GTS-spec, it wasn’t always the case. This ultra-light 665 kg road racer (achieved in no small part through usage of fiberglass body panels) was the first Porsche model to wear the now famous moniker. It was built so Porsche could qualify it for GT-Class racing.
1962 Porsche 356 B 1600 Roadster
The hippy design here was no happy accident; it is designed as a tribute to rocker Janis Joplin’s psychedelic 1964 model that she used as a daily driver. It starts with a base coat of candy apple red but as you can see, gets plenty more bright from then on.
1952 Porsche 356 “Pre A” Coupe
It’s taken three years to perform a ground-up restoration on this classic from the early years of Porsche’s evolution, but even with its diminutive size it looks somewhat imposing with its deep black paint and dog-dish wheels. It may only make about 55 horses from its 1.5-litre “Boxer” four-cylinder engine, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at it.
1981 Porsche 924 GTR
If you though a set of lil’ old dog-dish wheels was imposing, then the ultra-flared fenders and deep-dish BBS alloys found on this racer will have you shaking in your racing boots. While versions of the turbocharged 924 have raced all over the world, this particular example has competed on the storied tarmac – with a Canadian at the helm, no less -- of the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
1987 Porsche 959 Komfort
Don’t let the nomenclature fool you; this is no silk glove as it comes powered by a twin-turbo flat-6 engine good for 443 horsepower and a 315 km/h top speed. Add all-wheel-drive and what you see here is arguably the
car that started the AWD revolution over at Porsche.
1988 Porsche 930 Turbo Slantnose
Quick! Grab your white blazers! Roll up the sleeves! Light that Cuban – it’s time to hit the road in one of the most Miami Vice-spec cars Porsche has ever produced. While we may think of all that Hollywood flare when we consider this particular body style, it was actually the gritty world of racing that led to its creation. For better aerodynamics on the race track – racing being never far from one’s mind when considering Porsche -- Porsche campaigned specialized slant-nosed versions of the 911. Noticing their popularity on the track, the Kremer Racing team started developing slat-nose (or “flachbau”) conversions for the road car. Not wanting to miss out on the action, Porsche themselves started doing the same in 1987.
1996 Porsche 911 (993)
This particular version of the famous sports car is becoming evermore sought after ever since Porsche stopped making air-cooled vehicles two years after this model rolled off the line in 1996. This pocket rocket was capable of almost 300 km/h thanks to its six-speed manual and biturbo Boxer motor making over 400 hp.
2004 Porsche GT3 RS (996)
Garish wheel colour notwithstanding, this particular version of Porsche’s road-racer is regarded by many as the best 911 of all time. Being from the early aughts, it walked the line between the air-cooled old and techy new, and did it with such style and panache it was easy to forget that it was based on the 996, never the most highly-regarded 911 variant.
2006 Porsche Carrera GT
What happens when you have to abandon an F1 project? Well, you start a GT racing project, of course! And what happens when you have to abandon a GT racing project? Well, you start a road car project, of course! Which is precisely how this V10-powered, 603 horsepower masterpiece of a supercar came to be. It sounds apocalyptic, has a shift lever descended from the famous 917 racer that opened this list, a difficult to operate ceramic clutch and you can even take the roof off. What more could any driver worth their salt want?
2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4S (992) Heritage Design Edition
No list celebrating an important birthday would be complete without a heritage special, a style that Porsche has become rather adept at developing in recent years. For this one-of-992 (tapping into this generation’s chassis code) model, Heritage Classic buyers could select from a number of classic touches, including a race number and two-tone leather interior. The modern take on the “Fuchs” wheel style was a given, as were the silver targa bars.