Porsche History

The name Porsche instantly conjures up for most people an image of high-performance, high-speed motoring, and this is usually visualized as the 911, Porsche’s defining car. The company was started in 1931 by the legendary Ferdinand Porsche; it is based in Zuffenhausen in Stuttgart, Germany, and is part of the Porsche-Volkswagen marriage.

It is almost impossible to talk about Porsche without mentioning the 911, its most famous model. It was launched in 1941 by Ferry Porsche, Ferdinand’s son. The 911has garnered a reputation as an ‘everyday supercar’, that is, a car you can comfortably drive to work every day yet still capable of astounding performance if needed. It’s one of very few sports cars that still utilize a rear-engined design, in which the main engine block’s location hangs out behind the rear wheels. This caused 911’s of old to have tricky handling characteristics because of the front end’s lightness- in fact it was common for drivers in those days to place weights and ballast in the car’s front-end boot to counter the rear weight bias. But this has been largely cured in recent models thanks to some clever engineering and electronic aids. Porsche has also manufactured many other cars, but the 911 will forever and indelibly be its most famous product.

Porsche Models

In New Zealand the Porsche range begins with a large array of 911s to suit almost every need. There is the base Carrera which can be configured in nearly any permutation of coupe/ convertible/ targa, as well as rear/ 4-wheel drive and a normal/more powerful S version. There’s also the 911 Turbo, GT2 and GT3, which are serious performance machines with serious sticker prices to match. There’s also the Boxster, a mid-engine roadster with excellent handling; and its coupe sibling the Cayman, even though Porsche insists they are very different cars. The Cayenne is a largeish SUV with polarizing looks, most people find it rather ugly, especially the front end. The Panamera is Porsche’s latest model, and it’s a large luxury SUV, but with oddly styled rear quarters.

Looking at buying a Porsche? Check the vehicle history of any Porsche by entering its number plate in the field above.