Dreams change the world. This has always been the case. Ferry Porsche once dreamed of a car that didn’t yet exist. So together with his team, he built it himself. With the Porsche 356 ‘No. 1’ Roadster began the success story of the brand and the Porsche legend. On 8 June 1948, the model received its general operating permit.
The highlight of the anniversary celebrations for ‘Driven by Dreams. 75 Years of Porsche Sports Cars’ is the most extensive special exhibition ever in the Porsche Museum. ‘Driven by Dreams’ is a value that captures the history of the company while transporting it into the present and the future. The people behind the brand will be the focus of the museum until 7 January 2024. People who, like Ferry Porsche, believed in their dreams, in achieving great things, and in implementing big ideas: Dreamers.
Because many dreams originate in the night and are endless like the cosmos itself, the Porsche Museum presents the protagonists of the special exhibition in the night sky. “Like the universe, the Porsche company is dynamic and always changing. There is no standing still. With values like honesty, pragmatism and courage the brand has been developing innovations for 75 years,” says Achim Stejskal, Head of Porsche Heritage and Museum. “For the special exhibition celebrating the anniversary we’ve modified the museum more comprehensively than ever since it was opened in 2009. Seeing the feats of engineering and the many ideas from the past 75 years, and using them to shape the future, makes the importance of heritage more topical than ever.”
A success story full of dreams and daring
“With this special exhibition we are opening up a cosmos full of dreams. When the guests arrive at the top of the escalator, they enter a place where dreams and thoughts are endless,” curator Iris Haker explains. On a journey through the Porsche cosmos, visitors experience up close the evolution of the brand over 75 years of sports car history. “We’ve created themed displays that bring the cars and the content together to recreate the dreams and experiences of the decades in an exciting way,” says Ilona Hoppe, Exhibition Design and Management.
The whole museum is infused with a new atmosphere. Between the prologue and the epilogue, the special exhibition covers many topics of the present and the future, with fascinating people and trailblazing technologies, digital animated. During the special exhibition, a completely new created epilogue shines a light on the current and future orientation of the Porsche company with rotating highlight cars such as the Mission R or the Vision GT painted by the artist Vexx.
From the first Porsche to the latest concept car
The journey through the Porsche cosmos begins with the Porsche 356 ‘No. 1’ Roadster and its new media presentation. A dream belt connects the founder of the Porsche brand, Ferry Porsche, with his dream car, the Porsche 356 ‘No. 1’ Roadster. In the process, the model is presented within a special setting. On new walkways, guests on the exhibition level are immersed in stories about pioneering spirit, feats of engineering and courage. While the Zuffenhausen site was growing in the 1950s, Porsche was thinking about exporting the 356 model to the US. In Max Hoffmann the sports car manufacturer found the ideal partner for this project. Franz Xaver Reimspieß designed the crest that would become a timeless trademark. The first clubs were also founded in which enthusiasts could share their passion for Porsche sports cars.
In the 1960s the iconic 911, which celebrates its 60th birthday this year, was the focus of everyone’s attention. Visitors not only encounter exciting facts about the 911 but can also witness the evolution of its design. Among the highlights of the special exhibition are a drawing of the 911’s predecessor, the 901, and the revelation of many insider names for the first prototypes.
At Porsche, innovative concept cars have always laid the groundwork for the future. The sports car manufacturer is continuing this tradition with this latest concept study. Mission X is a spectacular reinterpretation of a hypercar, with Le Mans-style doors that open upwards to the front and a high-performance, efficient electric powertrain. For the first time, Porsche is presenting its dramatic-looking two-seater to a wider audience at the Porsche Museum from 20 June to 2 July 2023.
The motorsport of the past and the electrification of the future
In the 1970s, visitors are introduced to dreamers such as Porsche engineer Norbert Singer, racing driver legend Hans-Joachim Stuck and entrepreneur Louise Piëch. A display case on ‘100 years of the 24 Hours of Le Mans’ celebrates the endurance race on the Sarthe with exhibits such as a lap timer, a helmet, and models of the 917 and the 956. A decade later the focus shifted to the Porsche 959 as a technology carrier. Guests on the exhibition level will also find out a lot about the transaxle design and enjoy exhibits such as a TAG Turbo engine and pop-up headlights. The 1980s also include the story of ‘Monoposti at Porsche’ for interested visitors.
The following decade, the 90s, got off to a gloomy start for the sports car manufacturer. Sales figures went into a steep dive and Porsche was in danger of becoming a takeover candidate. CEO Wendelin Wiedeking made changes that included revamping production processes and started an upturn in the company’s fortunes. The Porsche Boxster was a hit in Detroit as a study, and shortly thereafter as a series model it manoeuvred the company out of its crisis. In the 2000s, ground was broken in Leipzig as the existing plants in Zuffenhausen and Weissach continued to grow. Rally legend Walter Röhrl tuned the Carrera GT, series manager Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert dared to launch an SUV at the turn of the millennium, and Achim Stejskal opened the new Porsche Museum in 2009.
In the 2010s, Porsche saw the transformation of the motorcar industry and its electrification as an opportunity for further development. Four years separated the presentation of the Mission E concept study and the start of production for the Taycan. The very limited 911 R model received a lot of attention, the 911 of the 991 generation was a big hit with Porsche enthusiasts, and Marc Lieb and Timo Bernhard won important races for the brand. The following decade, the 2020s, has been characterised by Porsche finding new paths, and by anniversaries, art and electrification. As an all-electric sports car, Mission R represents the future of customer motorsport, and the Sonderwunsch department continues to make many dreams come true.
Porsche supports exhibitions in neighbouring countries
The celebrations for ’75 Years of Porsche Sports Cars’ are also transcending the country’s borders. From 23 June, the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne is staging an exhibition for the 75th birthday. With around 600,000 guests every year, it is the country’s most visited museum. There, in addition to various exhibits on loan, the Porsche Museum will also have his “Driven by Dreams” ´heritage truck` on display which is specially designed for the anniversary year.
The anniversary of the sports car manufacturer will also be celebrated at an altitude of 2,369 metres in the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse Museum in Austria. Running for 48 kilometres and including 36 hairpin bends, the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse is one of the most beautiful panorama roads in the world. The exhibitions cover topics such as heritage, environmental protection, art, motorsport and innovation, which are of central importance to Porsche. For each topic there are three dreamers representing the past, the present and the future. The event managers display cars and other exhibits relating to these dreamer trios. Visitors are introduced to the visions of 40 further dreamers whose quotations and realisations of their dreams add to the experience of the installation.
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Edited Porsche Factory Press Release
Pictures courtesy Porsche AG