Porsche’s long history of racing was front and center in Monterey Car Week. By sheer number alone, the German car maker was also the very popular at this yearly gathering of automotive enthusiasts. Never was that more evident than in the Corral de Tierra Country Club on Friday. An estimated 1,300 Porsches from fans throughout the continent were built in a rainbow sea of automotive classics.
One of these was a sunflower-yellow Porsche 914 that, in 1973, served as the first pace car used in the Canadian Grand Prix. It’s currently owned by a Californian. A printout from the automobile clarifies the confusion and chaos of the rain-soaked event at Mosport, east of Toronto, where drivers allegedly followed a yellow Porsche driven by a privateer, believing it was the pace car. Controversy endured for ages.
Nearby, a black Porsche 928 includes a indication that calls it “The $1,000 Porsche 928 Parts Car.” The proprietor, from Santa Clara, Calif., says that he discovered the automobile listed on Rennlist, a favorite car-enthusiast site. He learned the former owner had spent $59,000 (U.S.) in repairs before running out of cash and ambition to complete its restoration. The new owner purchased the car, finished the job for another $25,000 and now uses his beloved Porsche as a daily driver.
It is a sound investment, if auction sales are a sign. A famous Porsche, a 1970 917K featured in the Steve McQueen movie Le Mans, fetched $14-million in the Gooding and Co. auction on Friday night. A less famous 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Speedster nevertheless did well; it also sold on Friday in Gooding for $297,000.
Porsche’s racing tradition is anywhere. At Saturday’s classic-car races held in the local Leguna Seca racetrack, the Porsche 959 driven by racing legends Claude Brasseur and Jacky Ickx in a 1980s Paris-Dakar rally sits proudly on display, with a sign warning audiences not to wash off the filth still there by the race.
However, Porsches will also be evolving for an electric future. In The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering on Friday, Porsche showed off its Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid plug-in. Combining the energy from both gasoline and electric motors, the hybrid outmuscles its gasoline-only kin, making 680 horsepower and 626 lb-ft of torque. The gas-only Panamera Turbo S, in contrast, shows amounts of 520 hp and 567 lb-ft.
Mike DePetro, the product manager responsible for the vehicle, says the excess power shows itself most dramatically in the all-wheel-drive automobile when accelerating from beginning. It easily outpaces the gas-only car by 20 metres.
“We are using [hybrid technology] not just for efficiency, but for functionality,” DePetro said. “It is a halo car for the model. It is the potential for Porsche.”
Earlier this season, Porsche announced it would create its first all-electric automobile, the Mission E, by 2020. This past year, it had been revealed as a concept car at Frankfurt.
The author was a guest of Porsche Canada. Content wasn’t subject to approval.
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