Porsche Showroom Posters: The First 25 Years
by Everett Anton Singer
Historically, Porsche has actively used graphics and visual aids to promote its racing successes along with its charismatic line of road-going sports cars. Particularly in its early years, the use of printed posters, given away to prospective and current customers, was one way the company recognized the successes of its various models on the track. There was considerable excitement in visiting a Porsche dealer and coming home with the prize of one of the full-color racing posters printed on heavy paper. Aside from the customer giveaways however, the company also produced special posters for dealership showrooms. Everett Anton Singer, with help from SpeedReaders.info’s own Frank Barrett, has assembled these specially-produced sales aids into this book, Porsche Showroom Posters: The First 25 Years.
Showroom posters had limited distribution as their intent was to connect potential buyers with the intangible essence and mystique of the Porsche experience. Visitors to a dealer’s showroom, gazing upon the artful sheetmetal of a 356, or later a 911 or 912, were reminded by the images displayed on the walls of how they too might join the ranks of the highly intelligent, glamorous and active people who owned Porsches. Today we’d call this “branding.”
The images in Singer’s book run the gamut: from highly technical drawings of suspension systems and electrical systems; to images of Porsche 911 racing and rally cars; to lifestyle shots with golf clubs, skis, hunting rifles, and aircraft. The advertising message conveyed is: Porsche owners are clearly people on the go—movers and shakers who appreciate the performance and quality of a Porsche as a part of their everyday lives. The “obvious” conclusion? If you buy a Porsche, you’ll be a part of this same family of go-getters.
Although the book is just 50 pages long, each page has on it a beautifully-reproduced poster in full-color. The introduction notes that “95% of the posters were prime examples that have been direct scanned from the originals…to eliminate any color distortion or film-borne color shifts (and) color corrections were done by either Singer or Barrett, each of who has more than 30 years of…poster experience.” The reproduction of the posters is beautiful. Each is labeled with where it was originally printed, its original size, and the date and artist are included when possible. Trying to find individual examples of these posters to collect would take years and cost a fortune, so we are lucky that Singer has done the work for us.
Even if you are not a Porsche owner, it is fun to leaf through the 12-inch square book and examine what Porsche’s management thought was important to its customers. If you have owned any of the Porsche models covered in the book, ranging from early 50’s split-windshield 356 coupes to the Carrera RS from the early 1970s, you’ll feel an immediate nostalgia for everything that was good about owning a sportscar from Zuffenhausen.
Porsche Showroom Posters has been published in two editions—and do note the quantity of each that were printed. The deluxe version is a cloth covered hardbound with a full-color dust jacket, and only 356 copies printed. It lists for $78.95. The other edition has a laminated cover and is softbound, with 911 copies printed. It is priced at $39.95. (Both of these quantities will of course resonate with Porsche owners…) Note too that the book is also available for free online at www.VintageAutoPosters.com, giving you the opportunity to see the quality of the effort before making your purchase of the paper version. As beautiful as the images of the posters look on the computer screen, it seems so much more appropriate, when looking at 50’s and 60’s sports cars, that you do so by turning page after page of extra-heavy-stock paper while physically holding the real book in your hands.
Copyright 2009, Kevin Clemens (speedreaders.info)