The 911 can trace its roots back to sketches drawn by Ferdinand Porsche in 1959. The Porsche 911 was developed as a more powerful, larger, more comfortable replacement for the Porsche 356. The new car made its public debut at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show and It originally was designated as the “Porsche 901″. 82 cars were built as 901s, However, Peugeot protested on the grounds that in France it had exclusive rights to car names formed by three numbers with a zero in the middle. So, instead of selling the new model with another name in France, Porsche changed the name to the 911.
Posts Tagged ‘german’
(happy birthday k-star!) The 356 was porsche’s first production automobile. It was a lightweight and nimble handling rear-engine rear-wheel-drive 2 door sports car available in hardtop coupe and open configurations. Production started in 1948 at Gmünd, Austria where approximately 50 cars were built. In 1950 the factory relocated to Zuffenhausen, Germany and general production of the 356 continued until April 1965, well after the replacement model 911 made its autumn 1963 debut. It is estimated approximately half of the total production of 76,000 356s still survive.
The Porsche GT3 is a high performance version of the Porsche 911 sports car. It is the latest in a long line of high performance models which began with the 1973 911 RS. The GT3, named after the FIA GT class it was intended for, has a 3.8 litre naturally-aspirated six cylinder engine which is based on the unit used in the Porsche 962 and Porsche 911 GT1 race cars. Since its launch in 1999 a number of variations, designed for both road and track, have been added to the range. Porsche is currently developing a hybrid version which uses two electric motors and a Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems which was initially developed for Formula One.
The Porsche 944 was a sports car built by Porsche from 1982 to 1991. It was built on the same platform as the 924, although 924 production continued through 1988. The 944 was intended to last into the 1990s, but major revisions planned for a 944 S3 model were eventually rolled into the 968 instead, which replaced the 944. The 944 was a successful model and was available as both a coupe and cabriolet in naturally aspirated and turbocharged forms.
i spotted this porsche gt3 patrolling the foot of the roppongi hills mori tower in tokyo. i’m sure the gt3 is fast and the most splendid thing since sliced bread, though there really is no way around the fact that the huge spoiler is probably one the top 3 douchiest things in all of creation. whats more is that it was a dorky looking middle to late age japanese woman piloting this craft….. lost in translation, aye ??
(photo courtesy of boice tomlin) another great sighting and shot from our indiana operative….. thank you boice. i have been yammering recently about selling my 2009 carrera and buying an early 911…. i think this year depicted would be within the target range, i would prefer a short wheel base pre-1969 but have not identified the vagaries to be able spot these versions properly, so i just guess. i have been counseled to skip the 912 as they were under-powered and prone to issues as a result. if a 4 cylinder is desired, look into a porsche 356…. which is a car i have considered.
my buddy steve in seattle recently acquired this very nifty porsche 911 targa. he was gracious enough to let me take it for a spin and i must say there really is no substitute for pure analog manual controls… no power steering, no power brakes, no traction control, no BS… just good times behind the wheel. i snapped this shot on the way out of town of mr. lodefink piloting his craft whilst donning an Andy Capp hat and cool shades.
it isn’t very often that you get the opportunity to photograph one of your cars at freeway speeds piloted by an entity other than yourself. but…. by cracky, this opportunity materialized a few weeks ago whilst enroute to the uber dork-fest known as the rose city bug-in. depicted here is my 1960 volkswagen beetle in fine fiddle.
The Volkswagen Type 181 “Kurierwagen”, popularly known in the United Kingdom as the Trekker, in the United States as the Thing, and in Mexico as the Safari, was a small military vehicle produced by Volkswagen from 1969 to 1983, although civilian sales stopped in 1980. It was based in part on Volkswagen’s Type 1 (Beetle), and was a continuation and improvement over the Kübelwagen, which had been used by the German military during World War II. The name Kübelwagen is an abbreviation of Kübelsitzwagen, meaning “bucket-seat car”.
i spotted this single cab on approach to the rose city bug-in. i got me quite a hankerin’ for a nice restored single cab with canvas hoop cargo bay. if anyone knows of a good one for sale, why let me know !
(photo courtesy of boice tomlin) cars-i-have-seen blood brother boice tomlin spotted this porsche 911 in bloomington indiana, quickly assembled his photographic arsenal (iPhone) and successfully captured the specimen we witness here. nice shot…. thank you boice !
i loves me a good volkswagen bus. i spied this one tootling down interstate 5 with a sticker in the window proclaiming “0-60 in 11 minutes”. it was piloted by a young lad who looked not a day past 19 and every bit a character. i remember my friend steve lodefink had a volkswagen bus in college…. t’was in sweet condition and i believe it was a ’76 in two-tone cream yellow and white. i also recall him telling a tale of how he fell asleep at the wheel and the bus flipped over on its side and skidded that way for 100 yards coming to a rest in jackpot nevada. luckily ‘old fink emerged with nary a scratch. magic bus.
i think perhaps the 993 might be the quintessential 911. it represents the last of the revered air-cooled cars, yet it was technologically advanced. my only nit is the shaved head lamps……. the rest of the car looks so pure but the lamp cowls look like they were hastily amputated in a manner that conveys a certain lack of respect for the form. i dunno, maybe its just me……
(photo courtesy of tamerlane) The Volkswagen Beetle was an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003. It used an air cooled rear engined rear wheel drive. Over 21 million Beetles were produced in all. In the 1950s, it was more comfortable and powerful than most European small cars, having been designed for sustained high speed on the Autobahn, and ultimately became the longest-running and most-produced automobile of a single design. In 1933, Adolf Hitler gave the order to Ferdinand Porsche to develop a Volkswagen (literally, “people’s car” in German). Hitler required a basic vehicle capable of transporting two adults and three children at 100 km/h. The “People’s Car” would be available to citizens of the Third Reich through a savings scheme, or Sparkarte (savings booklet),at 990 Reichsmark, about the price of a small motorcycle.
there is no way around it, the volkswagen rabbit was a revolutionary vehicle. the boxy unlikely successor to the revered beetle, the rabbit represented the dawn of a new age of automobile design and technology…. a world away from the mechanical and hand-built aesthetic of the beetle. i spied this rabbit sprinting along and it occurred to me i seldom see nice roadworthy rabbits out and about.
i have been going through a pretty significant air-cooled volkswagen phase lately…… to the degree that i just purchased my 2nd beetle this year, a 1953 standard ‘zwitter’. there is something just so ‘right’ about an air-cooled volkswagen…. the quality, the simplicity, the mechanical nature, the design, the egalitarian appeal. i don’t see too many type 3′s running around, so when i spied this one i knew i had to apprehend it.
continuing my journey from stockholm to amsterdam, i entered danish road-space and spied this majestic old mercedes-benz ponton sedan. this shot was taken about 60 kilometers prior to embarking on the ferry which carried me into german road-space. an interesting thing about denmark is the tax on a vehicle is 100% of the purchase price….. a real discouragement to car ownership. on the bright side, denmark has the best modern bridge designs my weary eyes have ever seen.
shortly after i captured the porsche 996 with me trusty iphone, i spied this here audi A5 in the swedish countryside. i’m not so sure i “get” the A5…..is it germany’s answer to the camaro? or perhaps it is audi’s answer to the bmw 335i coupe. either way i think i will pass
The Trabant was produced by former East German auto maker ‘Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau’. It was the most common vehicle in East Germany, and was also exported to countries both inside and outside the communist bloc. The main selling point was that it had room for four adults and luggage in a compact, light and durable shell. With its mediocre performance, smoky two-stroke engine, and production shortages, the Trabant is often cited as an example of the disadvantages of centralized planning; on the other hand, it is regarded with derisive affection as a symbol of the failed former East Germany and of the fall of communism. It was in production without any significant changes for nearly 30 years with 3,096,099 Trabants produced in total. Since it could take 15 years for a Trabant to be delivered from the time it was ordered, people who finally got one were very careful with it and usually became skillful in maintaining and repairing it. Used Trabants would often fetch a higher price than new ones, as the former were available immediately, while the latter required the infamous long wait.
i spent a couple of days in berlin recently and spied this un-identified mercedes van. subsequent attempts to discover the model and year of production of this specimen proved fruitless. any sleuths are welcome to comment and enlighten us with any knowledge below. for some reason this van reminds me of the david bowie song Panic-In-Detroit: “looked a lot like che guevara, drove a diesel van, kept his gun in quiet seclusion, such a humble man. the only survivor of the national people’s gang”
i spied this new bmw z4 traipsing past the kunsthaus museum in zürich. well, actually i was camped out for a spell because i decided it was a great scene for car-spotting, plus there was already blood in the water. for you see, about 30 minutes previously i spied my first ferrari 458 italia in this same spot and was secretly hoping it would sneak by again. no such luck, so i had to settle for this relatively homely z4.
i was cruising south-bound interstate 5 during the magic hour when what did i spy creeping through the mist but a very serviceable and nimble looking porsche 928 GT ? this car had a commanding presence and seemed very nice. i predict good 928 porsches in the next 10-15 years will appreciate quite a bit and command a more appreciative collector audience. now the only problem is finding a ‘good one’.
what is the best all-around car ? the bmw 5 series touring. why ? easy: it is fast, it is sporting, the quality is uncanny, it has all wheel drive to safely transport you over-the-river-and-through-the-woods, it hauls stuff, it looks great, it is german made, it is available with a manual transmission. and guess what ? you can’t have one. why? because the muckety-mucks over at bavarian motor works have decided that americans are doltish enough to be satisfied with the new horrible bmw 550i gran turismo. thats right….. no new generation 5 series touring for the u.s.a. the truly civilized of us will eschew suv’s and new bmw’s in favor of hunting down and gobbling up used e61′s. good thing i saw the writing on the wall and ordered a 2010 535i touring last summer… black on black with 6 speed manual. i am set! though my only beef is that BMW wouldn’t let me order a M5 Touring, i would have sold all my other cars as an M5 touring satisfies every need.
i spied this 1968 volkswagen campmobile careening down the highway and noticed someone took pains to paint “penny lane” on the back of it as well as lower the front end….. Vroooom! “In Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass. And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen. He likes to keep his fire engine clean. It’s a clean machine”
a sheep in wolve’s clothing, the porsche 914 is actually a volkswagen in disguise. don’t believe me ? the 914′s birth certificate belly-button plate clearly reads “manufactured by volkswagen”. i have always referred to these as the “ice cream sandwich car” due to the horizontal, rectangular flat nature of the design. Volkswagen: There Is No Substitute.
the audi TT is a rare instance of a truly original ground breaking automotive design from an era of retro-this, retro-that PT cruiser and new beetle abominations. classic yet contemporary at the same time, the audi TT has a succinct and appealing germanic sensibility that is even more pronounced when painted silver. this example sports a great green/grey tone and has the smart sport package… truly a striking specimen!
landing for the first time in jolly ol’ england i was semi-fascinated by all the cars and drivers on the “wrong” side of the road. with my nose pressed to the glass in one of london’s strange cabs enroute to london from the heathrow airport i spied a majestic sight: a pristine grey 993. it might as well have been a wayward leprechaun in a lush green land as i was so whelmed by the apparition.
i spied a curious 1996 volkswagen golf parked in and around the general vicinity of my work-place. upon the first sighting i assumed it was owned and customized by some wacky artist trying to assert his/her artiness as it is always parked by a cluster of fine galleries. the next time i saw it i decided on two things: 1) i need to do a bit of research (which these days counts as spending 15 seconds on google) 2) i had to have one. i quickly discovered these multicolor golfs were factory made limited editions of approximately 260 cars and came in 4 color variations…. you can tell the original color of each version by the roof and rear pillar colors…. this car was originally blue and then panels were switched at factory. if anyone knows of a good condition harlequin for sale with a manual transmission i have cash money waiting for an acquisition. (photo courtesy Chris Haak as i haven’t been able to capture my local harlequin in motion)
everyone has their own personal favorite iteration of the porsche 911, the only car i know of that can boast continuous production from 1964 to present, so there are a lot of versions to choose from. for me, i chose the 1994 964. why ? it is the most advanced porsche that still retains the classic porsche look, specifically the front cowls and upright head-lights. this is the quintessential 911 form….. updated, yet classic. i like this version so much that if i found a minty fresh 1994 964 2 with under 35k miles on it, i would be very tempted to sell my 2009 997 S and buy the 964. What Is Your Favorite 911 ????
the E39 M5 has been referred to as “the best motor car on the planet” ….. after owning a 1995 E34 540i with 6 speed manual transmission i can understand how such a claim was plausible and not simply hyperbole. the 540i was as close to perfection as one could expect from a manufactured good. i regret i have never driven a E39 M5 nor the monstrous E60 though i can imagine they are good…. very good. i considered purchasing a E60 M5 but after comparing performance, and considering timelessness, engineering and style i chose a 2009 porsche 997 S as it is a keeper for life where as the M5 will always just be a souped-up sedan, it does not have the pedigree and heritage of 60+ years of direct engineering & design refinement that the 997 benefits from eons of perfecting the 356 and 911…. plus there is something just really cool about having a rear-engined super-car.
immortalized in the films ‘risky business’ and ‘scarface’, the porsche 928 is a good design but currently is in that awkward stage between dated and classic. few pristine examples have survived and i’m assuming that in 5-10 years these cars will become increasingly desirable. though who really covets a 924 or a 928 ? the only porsche ever made that people actually want is the 911. if i had it my way from here on out porsche would only build the iconic 911 and the boxster. porsche should keep on refining these cars for another 40 years and kick the cayenne, cayman and panamera to the curb. if porsche wants to make a different car, then i vote for something small and semi-affordable like a hatchback GTI type car or a modern day BMW 2002. the catch is that it would have to be an entirely original driver’s car from the ground up and not a bunch of re-branded VW bullshit like the cayenne.
being a huge fan of the porsche 911 i can’t help but cringe a little when i see a cabriolet or targa……. from a design perspective the classic hard-top lines are soo much better. and it always adds insult-to-injury to see a cabriolet or targa wearing the ridiculous whale-tail. talk about taking something terrific and making it incredibly douchey. that said, even with those indignities it is still fun to spot a 911 and snap a photo of it while its at play.
“Well my baby, she’s alright, Well my baby, she’s clean out-of sight. Don’t you know that she’s … she’s some kind of wonderful.” some kind of wonderful indeed. you don’t see too many vehicular communes motoring down the road these days…. not as many as in the 1960′s-70′s i would surmise. this american made rabbit was not really road-worthy… it had a severe right-rear list, was over-loaded with what might be best described as band mates or fellow fugitives from an unknown realm. piled high with nook-sacks on the roof, suggestive in appearance of some sort of freakish cupcake. and nary a gas cap. you have to give them credit for running diesel though.
in part, the original intent of this site was to display a few esoteric semi-arty images, so please accept this snippit of e28 5-series as a genuine, valid & true car-spotting photygiraffe. honest osshiffer, i tried to get the whole car in the frame, but being that i was in a moving car trying to snap at it, and the subject was in motion too…. well, by the time the shutter opened and closed on the iphone, this here was all she yepped by crikey ! (and i like it)
(photo submitted by molly mcglynn) the german mercedes sprinter van is an inspired commercial vehicle for the 21st century… meanwhile gm, ford & chrysler still try to pass off 1970′s technology vans as new 2010 vehicles. despite suffering from excruciating banality, has the american citizenry become sophisticated enough to reject the big 3′s cynical proffering of obsolete soviet worthy vans ? or could it be that the american cargo van has become emblematic of a corrupt and confused society?
(photo submitted by boice tomlin) this “speedster” was handily captured by boice on may 16, 2008 and he kindly turned over the photo so all of us could bear witness. this image is pretty much the text-book example of what we are looking for here at carsihaveseen…. it is spontaneous, has movement, was captured with an iphone in horizontal position, was not cropped, photo-shopped or color corrected, and is aesthetically pleasing. the only bummer is that this speedster appears to be a repro kit-kar.
this late 1960′s porsche 911 was caught tootling up the highway 26 hill, all-the-while shamelessly sporting what appears to be a bogus RS tail spoiler. it was almost getting past the magic hour so i quickly snapped a few snaps in low light and i like the outre’ ‘artistic’ affect the photygiraffes spawned.
as we live a life of ease, every one of us, has all we need… sky of blue, and sea of green…. and a yellow submarine… so we lived beneath the waves… In our yellow submarine.
the famous, distinctive, and durable design of the porsche 911 is notable for being rear engined like the porsche designed volkswagen beetle it is based on. the 911 was air-cooled from 1963 until the introduction of the all-new Type 996 in 1998. Since its introduction 46 years ago the 911 has undergone continuous development, refinement and evolution…… always improving on the basic concept which has remained essentially unchanged throughout its lifespan. it is safe to say that the porsche 911 is the only car being built today with such a pure and un-interrupted lineage…… it is refreshing to drive a car that has received such extensive refinement. the thing about striving for perfection is that as technology evolves, ultimate perfection becomes a moving target which will never be achieved…… that porsche is so committed to building a perfect car is a refreshing testament in this day of soul-less cars.
municipal fuzz. city heat. bacon. bobby. dogs. old bill. pigs. flat foots. woodentops. blue meanies. boys in blue. bulls. filth. tha folks. the man. heavies. rashers. rollers. uncle blue. tire biters. whoop-whoops. it doesn’t matter which term you prefer for your local law enforcement, all i know is that i love the mondrian style graphics on this london police cruiser and if i got pulled over by a 5 series sporting such stylish test-pattern embellishments it would make a bitter pill taste just a wee bit sweeter.
beetles, transporters, karmann-ghias & type III air-cooled volkswagens were the coolest cars ever built. they had an irresistible combination of austerity, functionality, affordability, quality, and were ingeniously engineered & designed. these cars appealed to people with brains: professors, hippies, architects, college kids, beatniks, enlightened suburbanites, frugal housewives, design conscious proletariats, etc. an air-cooled volkswagen was not merely an automobile, it became a physical manifestation of ideology, culture, equality and hope for a better world. perhaps the only similar galvanizing product that exists today is the iphone & apple computer…. yet these fall well short in the charm department compared to a minty fresh 1963 vw beetle.
this shot is ostensibly of the new camaro in the lane ahead, though it is also a nice shot of the nether-regions of my 1970 mercedes 280se. the new camaro is a very well executed design and the quality seems good, though i notice that american and japanese cars seem nice when they are new, but after a few years the designs look crude and the cars themselves are falling apart. contrast this with my 1970 mercedes which is about 40 years old and still looks and drives new…. the fact that the design has stood the test of time is really just the ‘icing-on-the-gravy’.
continuing with a second example of the peculiar distortion that can occur when using the iphone for fast motion photography, this bmw was captured merely seconds after the mercedes below. the elongated hood conjures images of an old tex avery cartoon car…. if you squint closely you can even spy a rascally wolf behind the wheel.
one of the more esoteric qualities of shooting moving subjects exclusively with the iphone is that interesting distortion is produced under certain conditions. this passing mercedes benz 450sl was captured in a fleeting moment and the surreal depiction appears as a one dimensional card board cut-out….. yet in actuality it is steel, rubber, glass and man.
the 997 iteration of the porsche 911 has got to be an all time favorite of any self respecting car dweeb. the beneficiary of 45+ years of refinement, evolution and continuous production means this car is pretty much the best new car on the planet. being the only rear-engine car available today, its fun to pretend you are driving an amazingly fast and nimble volkswagen beetle. this specimen was spied in london, though it had french registration and presumably a french pilot….. perhaps it was chunneled ? i would very much like to hear people’s opinions regarding the 997 versus previous generations in terms of the exterior design being as strong as the air-cooled era and how it fits into the 911 heritage, etc.
this ‘smart car’ was running the gauntlet at the Arc de Triomphe at such a rapid clip it began to morph into molten metal. in europe, most cars are turbo-diesels and this smart was no exception. think of the ‘green-ness’ and then consider we cannot buy a diesel smart in the united states.
i spied this one whizzing around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris about dusk on a pleasant spring eve. watching the vehicular traffic racing around the arc is a spectacle to behold, as chaotic as bumper-cars at the county fair, but miraculously with nary a crash.
The 190SL was also referred to as the ‘Nitribitt-Mercedes’ after the scandal surrounding the murder of call girl Rosemarie Nitribitt. Nitribitt succeeded in getting male attention and acquired a stock of posh society clients. She became very wealthy rather quickly, which she demonstrated by buying a black Mercedes 190 SL with red leather upholstery in 1956 and drove it around Frankfurt to solicit customers. in November 1957 she was found dead in her apartment in Frankfurt, her body showing signs of strangulation and a head wound. She was interred at the Nordfriedhof Düsseldorf….. Her head, however, was kept as evidence in police custody and later exhibited in the Kriminal-Museum in Frankfurt; it was eventually buried in February, 2008.
driving in the lane astride it, i was struck by this car’s pristine condition. the shape of the mercedes SL of this era has always been a favorite, and so impressed by this particular specimen i felt compelled to risk life and limb to recklessly snap a photo whilst traveling at 60 mph. this photo became the impetus to create the “cars i have seen” site.
when i caught up to this car much to my surprise i spied an aging but still stylish tony montana behind the wheel….. apparently he has been enrolled in the federal witness relocation program in oregon all these years. say hello to my lil’ friend !
vw beetle’s big brother……..