Porsche Special Editions
Includes 930 Turbo Flachbau, GT1, RUF, Singer Vehicle Design, IROC RSR, Club and Anniversary Specials, and More
by Matt Stone
This book’s author, seasoned automotive journalist Matt Stone, devotes only a few pages to reciting the litany of the manufacturer’s regular production cars. Instead he concentrates on special commemorative or tribute models or editions produced in limited numbers—production cars outfitted with extra equipment or interiors or special paint jobs—that “sold out quickly becoming nearly instant collectibles among those appreciator-customers.”
Stone broadens his survey of specials to include people ranging from those appreciator-customers to include some of the creators of same; tuners and customizers, independent performance enhancing firms and other specialty firms. Oh, and there’s the cast of celebrity owners of various year/model Porsches. Obviously the McQueens, father and son (see image below) are included but so too is the writer of the book’s Foreword, Magnus Walker. (On the off-chance you’re not familiar with Walker, look him up for he’s an accomplished and interesting character: a fashion designer whose successes in that arena permitted him to become a car collector. Or pick up a copy of his 2017-published autobiography Urban Outlaw: Dirt Don’t Slow You Down.
The above pages are from the book’s first chapter covering “Factory Special and Limited Editions,” mainly 1970s to current. The second chapter covers a similar timeframe of “Anniversary Editions and Porsche Club Specials.” The page pair immediately below is from the third chapter that talks about “Homologation and When Road Cars become Race Cars (and Vice Versa).” The image in lower right is that of the original International Race of Champions contenders with each famous, accomplished driver from USAC, F1, NASCAR, pro level SCCA and Champ (Indy) Car, competing against one another in identically built and prepared RST 3.0 Carreras (shown on facing page). As a series, IROC pleased race-going crowds and its driver-participants from 1974 to 2006 but only in the inaugural running did Porsche provide the ride.
Stone introduces readers to Rod Emory and his Emory Motorsports. Emory has earned himself quite the reputation with his professionalism and attention to detail restoring and customizing customer’s cars as shown on the page pair immediately below. He’s the one who returned the original Gmünd #46 racing coupe to its “as originally factory constructed” form after back-in-the-day road racer John von Neumann had lopped its top off. A fourth book publisher will soon be releasing its celebrating-Porsche’s-75th-title presenting the life saga of just this car.
Another whose independent business builds tuned Porsches is Alois Ruf and his RUF Automobile GmbH. So meticulous are his “highly developed, mega-performance, turbocharged creations” that RUF earned “being designated an OEM status.”
Then there are the cars “restored, reimagined, reborn, and optimized by SVD.” Stone devotes several pages to Singer Vehicle Design including conjecture of the origin of the name of the company established by Rob Dickinson that serve the desires of “a very special, demanding, and financially capable client.”
Stone doesn’t neglect Porsche’s origins as the image below shows featuring some of Porsche’s early workhorse farm tractors. Nor does he overlook how Ferry had kept the company, Gmünd Werk Karnerau located in British-occupied territory, alive and all 200 employees occupied and paid during the years immediately following WWII although, when the time arrived that they were released to build cars he’s to have said, “It’s better than repairing tractors and manufacturing water pumps, or gas-engine winches for ski areas.”
Porsche Special Editions also includes a Porsche station wagon, several sedans, and more. There’s even a full-size 919 hybrid racing car built entirely out of Legos. Needless to say, that last one is non-running thus non-drivable. The book concludes with a peek into the future and a chapter that takes the reader for a quick tour of the nearly 300,000 sq ft Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. As Magnus Walker writes in his Foreword, “Porsche is a bit like Heinz with its 57 varieties.” Although I didn’t actually make a count, this book surely shows and tells of considerably more than 57 varieties of Porsche!
Copyright 2023 Helen V Hutchings, SAH (speedreaders.info)