The Porsche 911 is one of the most timeless designs in motoring history. This unconventional and charismatic car has evolved at a rapid pace throughout its production life. The 911S was Porsche’s top-of-the-range sporting model throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, a period when the purest and most desirable versions of the great 911 were produced. Initially available in two-liter guise from July 1966, it boasted a higher fifth gear, anti-roll bars front and rear, Koni shock absorbers Read More
Mercedes-Benz recommenced private-car production in 1948, revamping their pre-war Type 170, which had been introduced as long ago as 1931. By 1951 Mercedes appeared to sweep away the austerity of those early post-war years and two new models appeared which made no attempt to be economy models. The cars, which were first shown at Frankfurt, were the 220 and 300.
The 220 was based on a strengthened 170S cruciform chassis with wider track, powered by a new 2.2-liter, Read More
The six-cylinder boxer engine was a concept originated by Dr. Porsche’s nephew, Ferdinand Piech. Thanks in large part to Piech’s engineering prowess, this aluminum-alloy, air-cooled engine remained a Porsche staple, developing and evolving while remaining true to many of its original design principles. By 1989 the engine had grown from its original 2 liters to 3.2 liters. Power increased proportionally, from 130 hp in 1963 to 231 hp (DIN) by 1989.
Not unlike the engine, many facets of the 911’s Read More
The boxy Volkswagen Transporter arrived on American shores circa 1949. Using regular Beetle mechanical components, Transporters quickly evolved into mini people carriers.
Dubbed the Microbus, Volkswagen’s unique vehicle became the trademark of a burgeoning hippie counterculture. The combination of economy and practicality made them an instant hit with the flower-power generation. Before long, their slab sides were adorned with Grateful Dead decals and painted flowers.
One of the rarest and most desirable buses built in this era Read More
The first car to carry Ferdinand Porsche’s name was the 356. With aluminum fastback coachwork, pressed-steel chassis and the engine behind the rear axle, manufacture began late in 1948 and the 356 made its debut at the 1949 Geneva Show.
Its power came from a 40 bhp, 1086cc engine mated to a four-speed gearbox, with independent torsion bar/trailing-arm suspension and drum brakes all round. Fuel economy due to good aerodynamics and low weight was excellent. In 1951 1290cc Read More
The Carrera ‘RS’ was the first phase in Porsche’s production car racing program, started in 1972. The ‘RS’ was based on the 911S, and one of the first concerns was to save weight. This was accomplished mainly by removing the rear seats, by making the body of thinner steel and by using fiberglass bumpers. Another concern was to improve aerodynamics and handling, and this is where the ducktail and front air dam played important roles. The engine, also from Read More
n the mid-1970s, a production-based formula (which would result in the dominant Porsche 935) was instituted by the FIA in Europe for Group 5 (Grand Touring) racing. BMW proposed to build a flagship car which would compete in this series and join the ranks of the World’s “supercars.” The M1 was the result.
Contracted out to Lamborghini first, and then Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Ital Design, the M1 featured a multi-tubular space-frame into which was inserted BMW’s magnificent four-valve per Read More
A completely different Porsche emerged for the 1970 model year to replace the rather short-lived 912. This one carried either the 1679cc Volkswagen four-cylinder or the earlier 2.0-liter Porsche flat six with its 125-horsepower rating. The big difference was that the engines were mid-mounted. The 914 was born out of a joint venture between Porsche and Volkswagen with bodies created by Karmann. The two-seat Targa-topped coupe was built to a Porsche design with suspension components adopted from the 911. Read More
he Porsche 911 is probably the single most recognizable car shape in the world, an instant “Classic.” For those who wanted to feel the wind in their hair while enjoying 911 motoring, Porsche manufactured for many years a “Targa” version of their immortal coupe. This “Targa” incorporated a rollover bar behind the cockpit as crash protection.
In the early 1980s, Porsche, like many other car manufacturers, believed that bureaucracy, particularly in America, would prevent a truly open car Read More
The 300 series, introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951, was designed specifically for the export market. Germany’s postwar economy was desperate for hard currency and at the same time, the U.S. economy was booming. It was only natural for Mercedes to design a car to meet the needs of that market. Although not flamboyant, the 300 was nevertheless very attractive, with a modern wraparound windshield and flush-mounted headlights.
The 300S variant was introduced in 1952, and Read More