Can I get a 911 over here, 911 over there? For Porsche aficionado this can get a bit obsessive. However Porsche has not just done that car since its creation. Without digging up projects made for others ( Studebaker for example, Lada as well, and even Seat, not to mention the chinese call to tinders with the C88), the brand from Stuttgart made interesting cars and prototypes. Here is a compendium of 4 cars that you may not necessarily know about.
Porsche Typ 64
It is a popular belief that the 356 was the first Porsche in history, considering that Ferdinand Porsches before the second world war creations didn’t have anything sporty about them.
However, the brilliant engineer, creator of the famous KdF Wagen (that became the Beetle) and its military derivative Kübelwagen also got busy making a sports car with the Typ 64.
This Typ 64 foreshadowed what the firm was going to become after the war : round and aerodynamic, motor in the back, the flat 4 of 985 cc and 50 horsepower only able to bring the car to 160 km/h. We also know it under the name of 60K10 since it was the 10th carbody proposal of the Typ 60, the famous Volkswagen.
3 examples were built in 1938 in order to participate the following year in the Berlin-Rome race, that was cancelled because of the war. One of these three cars was destroyed during bombings, a second was destroyed by American soldiers in 1945. Only one of these cars was kept by Porsche and then sold… It was thankfully preserved and then restored. It is today the museums Petersons property in Los Angeles.
Porsche 356 Carrera GTL Abarth
Yes you just read correctly: there is a Porsche 356 signed by Carlo Abarth in a totally official way. Even if at first the endeavor to build a lighter, more powerful and more aerodynamic version of the 356, judged too heavy, was entrusted to Zagato in 1959, he bailed out and, rapidly, a replacement had to be found. It was passed onto Carlo Abarth, an old Porsche family acquaintance.
In fact Carlo Abarth met Anton Piech in the 30s and had even married his secretary. At the end of the 40s he even became the Porsche patent distributor in Italy. Even though he wasn’t a constructor yet but just an engineering office. In the 50s Karl Abarth, a german speaker that became Carlo to swiften his integration, is in-the-house with his sporty preparations and sport prototypes.
Abarth asked Franco Scaglione to draw a new version of the car (a 356B) and put all his science together to improve the original flat-four with a 1.6 liter of 115 horsepower pushed by Carlo to 128 and then to 135 horsepower. The car only weighs 780 kilos. About 21 copies were produced in Italy before the contract was stopped. Porsche judged that the quality wasn’t there. Despite it all the 356 Carrera GTL expressed itself in several races and won Le Mans in its category (1960,1961 and 1962).
Porsche 928 Typ 942
One can roll in a Porsche all the while enjoying a vast luggage space. That is what the Cayenne or the Macan drivers say today but in 1984 the only choice was the 928. It gave more volume but stayed a pure coupé.
For Ferry Porsches 75th year the Stuttgart team wanted to kill two birds with one stone : give a beautiful gift to the boss and all the while making a lovely style study to open new perspectives. This is how, on the base of the 928 S, the engineers decided to grow the wheelbase by 25 centimeters and study a new back to offer the typ 942. A zooming station wagon with a V8 5 liters of 310 horsepower for a weight of 1625 kilos.
This car, a true demonstration piece was particularly well built and even with technical documentation. Some improvements on the details were also used for the 928 such as the re-designed bumper. Ferry Porsche rolled some time before it was stored away. Other tentatives of the 928 “break” were discontinued and then we had to wait for the Cayenne to see this kind of bodywork at Porsche.
Porsche Typ 984
At the beginning of the 80s and despite the commercial success of the 924, Porsche felt that its fan base regretted the passage of the motor to the front. After working with Seat on a project of a small sports car with a central back motor the German brand began to work on a baby 911 project. This launched the 984 project a premise of what the Boxster (type 986) would be years later.
Launched in 1984 the project was ambitious to the point that Porsche invested at least 10 million marks! Four models were planned for initially : coupé, Targa, Cabriolet and Roadster. Stylistically the 984 was inspired by two stars of the moment the 928 and the 911 by offering a hybrid drawing that was very nice.
In the back it was planned to put a 4 cylinder boxer of about 150 horsepower which allowed to get a price of 40,000 DM and to seduce many a young clientele. But in 1987 the stock market crash fragilized the firm that sold a lot on the American market and the headquarters preferred cancelling the project and to concentrate on its best-seller the 911. They had to wait till 1996 for such a car to appear in the catalogue.