The past present and future of Automotive

Factory car museum Museums

The Porsche Museum is the right place to celebrate the brand’s 70th anniversary

When in Stuttgart, the Porsche factory museum is a must see. This summer, I passed by for the third time, and I always leave speechless. Now that the words are back, it’s time to convey my impressions. The Porsche paradise is located near Porsche’s main factory site, the address is Porsche Platz 1 (What did you expect? : ) ) 70435 Stuttgart.  The site hosts a flagship dealership with exquisite test drive possibilities (for payment), and offers an unforgettable insight into the brand’s past, present and future. The Museum is also supported by an extensive warehouse and restoration centre that allows a considerable variation and targeted temporary exhibitions, hence I always try to pass by if possible, usually in combination with the Mercedes Museum.

The building complex is dominated by a neutral white colour, providing an elegant background for the legendary cars without any distraction. The restoration centre is not accessible to the general public, but a transparent glass wall by the entrance allows insight into what the Museum’s restoration division is up to. The public area of the Museum takes about two floors and can easily be finished in less than two hours, unless one takes lengthy minutes before each car to let the impressions sink deeply. The thematic focuses mainly Ferry Porsche’s car company, and leaves plenty of ammo for the private collection of the Porsche Family in Salzburg (called Fahrtraum), that is dedicated to Ferdinand Porsche, and also commemorates the defunct Porsche Diesel tractor company.

The Porsche Museum also keeps a few essential memorabilia from the days before the Porsche Car Company, (the Sports Car Manufacturer, as we know it) was established. Ferdinand’s true genius is illustrated by the electric Lohner car and the Austro Daimler Sasha sportscar, that made quite a reputation in early races like Targa Florio.

The sister model Lohner Mixte (a petrol-electric hybrid car from 1901!!!) is part of Fahrtraum’s permanent exhibition in Salzburg, and this summer, they also showcased a red Sasha.

The Porsche Museum would not be complete without an extensive set of race cars exhibited throughout the full territory of the Museum. The selection is impressive, from all ages and category, dating back the Sasha and the 356 aluminium body (the 1939 Porsche 64) to the victorious LMP1. The brand proudly showcases its humble set of favourite trophies symbolising 30.000 wins with a few dozen racing cars they deem relevant for the time of the year.

My personal favourite is the pink coloured 917/20 “pink pig” with a livery to highlight its not so advantageous waistline. According to the gossips, the colouring was chosen when the traditional sponsors refused to put their colours and motives to the rather hideous car.

There are a quite a few Le Mans prototypes from the legendary 907 to the impressive 962, with a wide variation of liveries (Gulf, Martini, Rothmans), there is one also glued upside down to illustrate the downforce the car generates. 

The Porsche brand has an extensive curriculum in racing in all segments, and the rolling stock from the warehouse allows a great variation from road to circuit from cup racing through prototypes to open-wheel racing. The photos below cover a wider timespan of three visits in the past four years. 

There is a great variety of exhibits that are difficult to categorize, such as the 911 in German Police uniform (that also happened to be the millionth Porsche ever made), or the many mass market concepts that Porsche developed for emerging markets.

There is also a number of series production models (from all decades), that are showcased with a continuous variation depending on anniversaries or specific needs.

Porsche is very skilled in utilizing the museum exhibitions and resources (e.g., by touring events and other Museums) to help to underpin the prestige of older models. The Stuttgart company is among the three historical brands that allot maximum attention to their classic models in terms of limelight and service.

The skills of the museum are used to underpin classic models that needed some help in obtaining the attention they deserved. A few years ago, the Museum brought together a really lovely special exhibition covering the transaxle models, and those exhibits also toured the major classic car shows like Techno Classica). Seen the prices of 928 skyrocketing from the bottom of a few years ago, I give them credit for it.

Last year, the museum went further with a special exhibition on SUVs, starting with off road beasts like the Rallye version of the 959. Obviously, this year’s thematic is the 70th anniversary.

The Porsche Museum is a compulsory program for all car maniacs who pass by the south of Germany, not just for the brand enthusiasts. It’s a great showcase of the brand’s commitment to motorsports, the variety of production models, but most of all the evolution that the brand has gone through over the past seven decades.

 

 

 

A non-partisan yet active car-maniac.