Inside the Porsche Museum
Inside the Porsche Museum. Click image to enlarge

Related links
Porsche.com/PorscheMuseum

Article and photos by Paul Williams

Photo Gallery:
Inside the Porsche Museum

Stuttgart (Zuffenhausen), Germany – Recently, a friend kindly gave me a one-eighteenth scale model of a Porsche Boxster. However, this was no ordinary Boxster; it was a model of the original concept car shown in 1993 at the Detroit Auto show. Coincidentally, I had seen that very car — the real thing — at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, only one week earlier.

A group of us stood around that car, up close, peering into the cockpit, admiring the car’s tidy design and appealing proportions for several minutes. You can do that at the Porsche Museum — get right up to the cars and linger; take photographs — which makes it rather special among automotive museums.

Car enthusiasts know that the history of the Porsche motor company dates back to the immediate post Second World War years, and the introduction of Porsche’s first production car, the 356. However, company founder Ferdinand Porsche’s involvement in the automobile industry significantly predates the 356.

Inside the Porsche Museum
Inside the Porsche Museum. Click image to enlarge

Born in 1875, Prof. Porsche developed a prototype of the world’s first hybrid electric vehicle in 1900 (the Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus). He also designed all-wheel drive systems, four-wheel braking systems, and his company designed and engineered what would become the Volkswagen Beetle. Prof. Porsche received numerous awards and degrees for his technical developments with German automobile companies like Mercedes, Daimler and Wanderer.

Subsequently, the company that bears Ferdinand Porsche’s name has become one of the most storied in the industry, with a legacy continued by his son, Ferry, through the 20th Century. During that time, the company’s motorsports accomplishments have become legendary, and its production vehicles — the 356, 911, 914, 924, 944, 928 and Boxster — are all well-known among enthusiasts. The Cayman, Cayenne and Panamera continue the tradition in the 21st Century.

Porsche now likes to describe itself as the smallest independent German automaker, but also the most profitable. Needless to say, such a long and successful history offers more than enough to fill a museum, which it opened across the road from the Porsche factory in Stuttgart in 2007.

Inside the Porsche Museum
Inside the Porsche Museum. Click image to enlarge

The building itself is spectacular. Based on the designs of Vienna-based architect Delugan Meissl, its dramatic planes and angles are perhaps more futuristic than visitors would expect, giving the impression that the entire edifice could take off and head for the stars.

Inside, 80 historical vehicles (from Porsche’s collection of about 400) and other exhibits are displayed in an area of approximately 5,600 square metres. The interior walkway is flanked by various Porsches, cleverly spiralling upwards at a gentle incline; you don’t really notice that you’re walking up, as you stop to examine and admire the vehicles and special exhibits.

At the end of the walkway, visitors find themselves at the top of the building, looking down at the displays below. The Restaurant Christophorus is located on the second upper floor, where visitors can enjoy a meal and a view of the production building where Porsche cars and engines are built. The restaurant specialty is steak, prepared by a chef from New York City using prime beef flown in from America.

Connect with Autos.ca