Few brands manage to intertwine the world of cars and watches to such an extent as Porsche Design. It is of course closely linked to Porsche as a car manufacturer, albeit it is a stand-alone design studio. Founded by F.A. Porsche in 1972, Porsche Design now celebrates its 50th anniversary. And what could be better than to present a special watch to remember that joyous occasion? Well, a watch and two special 911’s, that’s what!
It’s no secret, Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche, grandson to Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche, is the one who penned the legendary 911. It is quite frankly one of the best, if not the best (depending who you ask) sports car ever made. He founded Porsche Design in 1972, and the very first product to emerge from the design studio was a chronograph wristwatch. Named the Chronograph 1, it was the first watch ever that had a black PVD coated case and bracelet.
Now, 50 years later, Porsche Design returns to its origins with a faithful recreation of that very first watch. But, as we’ve already covered that and this is the Petrolhead Corner after all, we’ll instead focus on the two special Porsche 911 Targa’s created for Porsche Design’s birthday. Presented along with the watch, Porsche Design opted for the remarkable 911 Targa, both old and new.
The history of the 911 Targa goes back to 1967, following the introduction of the first-gen 911 in 1963. Afraid US safety laws would put a ban on an entirely roofless 911, Porsche decided to give the 911 an exposed roll hoop and removable roof panel. Naming it the Targa, after the Targa Florio road race was a stroke of genius really, as the name has stuck and found its way to the very latest generation Porsche 911.
The one-off 1972 Porsche 911 2.4S Targa
Next to the Chronograph 1 – 1972 Limited Edition, Porsche Design has worked with Porsche (the car manufacturer) to painstakingly restore a classic Porsche 911 Targa. As F.A. Porsche was largely responsible for the design of the 911, it seems only fitting to pay tribute to the founder of Porsche Design with such a car.
The car in question is a 1972 Porsche 911 2.4 S Targa from the year Porsche Design was founded. Inspired by the original Porsche Design Chronograph 1, it is now finished in a deep black both outside and in. Its roll hoop is finished in contrasting Platinum silver. Classis racing stripes on the side, combined with Porsche Design lettering are paired with the roll hoop in terms of colour. The grill on the rear engine cover features a special plaque, with F.A. Porsche’s signature, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Porsche Design. And of course, it sits on the legendary Fuchs wheels.
The original car was a top-spec 2.4 S, which means it had a 2.4 litre 6-cylinder boxer engine. It made 190 horsepower, which back in the day gave it more than admirable performance figures. Bringing it back to better than when it left the factory meant going through every little detail and sourcing various new parts as the car was apparently in a bad shape.
The special project has been made possible with Porsche’s Sonderwunsch (Special Wishes) Program and took two years to complete from start to finish. It is a true one-off and will be on display at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. A special exhibition dedicated to 50 years of Porsche Design will run until June 11th 2022 and will include the cars, the watch and many other commemorative items from the Porsche Design portfolio, as well as a historic overview.
The Porsche 911 Design 50th Anniversary
Next to the classic one-off, Porsche and Porsche Design also presented the Porsche 911 Design 50th Anniversary. Again based on the 911 Targa, this time the 992 generation obviously, it is limited to just 750 cars. All will be finished in black and will have special features to distinguish this special run of cars from the “standard” production models. Do bear in mind though, the customizable options pretty much allow you to create a unique 911 if you want. None will ever be badged as the special tribute 911 Targa however, that remains reserved for this car only.
The 992 series Porsche 911 Targa dedicated to the anniversary starts life as a 911 Targa 4 GTS which was introduced in 2021. In terms of specifications, there’s nothing new that we know of. The changes are mostly about the cosmetics of the car, as each one will be finished in black for instance. And yes, that is again directly linked to the Porsche Design Chronograph 1. The roll hoop is finished in the same Platinum silver colour as the vintage 911 Targa, as are the graphics on the side of the car.
The interior is finished in black too, with a classic checked Sport-Tex fabric on the centre panels of the seats. As the car comes with the Sport Chrono Package, it has a Porsche Design Subsecond clock in the dashboard, here finished with a red small seconds hand. Other touches include a silver “911” badge with a limited edition number on the dashboard trim.
Being a Targa 4 GTS at heart, it means you get 480 horsepower, a big increase over the power of the 50-year-old version. You can either select a Porsche PDK automatic gearbox or a seven-speed manual one. Performance-wise you’re looking at a car capable of zero to 100kph in 3,5 seconds and plough on to a top speed of 307kph. With the roof down if you will just don’t be too attached to your hairdo when attempting to hit 300+. The Porsche 911 Design 50th Anniversary will set you back about EUR 175,000, a little over 21k more than a standard Targa 4 GTS. Be quick though, as these will surely be gone rather fast, given Porsche’s popularity!
For more information on Porsche Design’s 50th anniversary, and the cars go to Porsche-Design.com