I have been a Porsche fan since my earliest childhood. Prestigious, beautiful, capable, dangerous, and (the best of all) stubborn, are the words I would use to describe these machines of Stuttgart. I admit I do not know every detail, race or model number of the long standing history, but I think I have a pretty good grasp.
The soul of Porsche is in the 911, air cooled, engine behind the rear axles, fast enough to kill, a true drivers car. Capable of records on the circuit, the drag strip, the auto show, Dakar and Le mans, yet can comfortably cruise to the supermarket or cater to cross country road trips. It’s the jack of all trades paired with beauty power and prestige, a seemingly impossible mixture.
Through out my years admiring Porsches and driving my own, I have found several I really like besides the standard 911, here they are along with why I like them and some basic history.
550 : This is a more popular model because of its involvement in the death of cultural icon James Dean in 1955. Produced from ’53-’56 the 550’s flat 4, 1.4L mid engine only had 110hp, the car weighed 1300lbs but with a body length of only 11ft and a height of 3ft 4 in. It is little more than a go kart draped in amazing body work. A RS version sold in 2012 for a cool $3.6 million.
RUF CTR3: This is a model modified by a company called Ruf, who use unmarked Porsche bodies as their canvas to create their own legend, starting production in 2007 to current day. The CTR3 uses a mid 3.8L flat 6 fitted with twin turbos to put over 700hp to the ground and propel it to 233MPH. $500,000 gets you a very unique hypercar.
953: Need to race off road across 10,000km in one of the worlds toughest race? Screw the more popular 959 Porsche chassis. This model won the 1984 Dakar first. 300hp and 4×4 will get you anywhere. With only one is in private hands don’t hold your breath trying to find an original.
GT1: Race cars are cool. Thankfully Porsche is in the habit of making their race cars street legal as well. 25 of these mid 90’s rockets are on the street with a 3.2L twin turbo flat 6 putting a de-tuned 530hp on your local blacktop. $2.3 million will get you bragging rights and a Le Mans win.
RWB: Rauh-Welt is a Porsche tuner from japan that builds modified 911’s all over the world with outrageous fashion statements mixed with mean looks and fast lap times . They are growing in popularity and if they where still as underground as they once where, my inner hipster would have gladly shelled out the roughly $30,000 + 911 to get my very own.
904: Called the Carrera GTS, this is one of the most beautiful non 911 porsches ever created. In 1964-’65 106 purred out of Stuttgart under a 2L 200hp mid flat 4, powering a 1400lbs fiberglass body on steel frame. $2.2 million would be a privilege to pay.
935: These bi products of racing had smoothed headlights, two rear windows, twin turbos hanging off the back bumper and +800hp. They won the 1974 Le mans and then the 24 hours of Daytona and 12 hours of Sebring 6x each and then the trans am series…ect. These Monsters kicked ass spit flames and looked bad ass. Check your self for $300,000 before you wreck yourself.
911 GT2: Bolt on over fenders, double stacked wing and deep rims, must be another RWB…Wrong in ’93-’98, 57 of these upgraded 911 turbos where made by Porsche with a style that is still catching up in 2015. 3.6L flat 6 aircooled and twin turbo’ed 450hp. $500,000 gets you 20 years ahead of the game.
962: 1987 Le Mans winner, 3.xL twin turbo flat 6 with 580hp just beyond cool and worth the $600,000 to show up at a 7-11 in one of the many road legal versions across the world.
RUF CTR YELLOWBIRD: Beginning in 1987 29 Yellow-birds where produced from scratch at RUF and the rest converted from customer cars. 2500lbs with a 470hp 3.2L twin turbo’d flat 6 equaled 211mph beating the Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari F40 making it the fastest sports car in the world in 1987. It was notorious for kicking its ass out and produced quite the youtube video blasting around Nürburgring showing what a handful it was. I have a certain liking to this car since my 80’s 911 is styled after the Yellowbird, with RUF bumpers and wing, although doing without the twin turbos and the $300,000 price tag.