15 years ago, our Swiss friend Laurent Missbauer had the opportunity to bring a visit to the pre-opening of the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen. He was kind enough to send us some pictures that we were happy to share with you. The readers that once visited the old Porsche Museum, realize the huge difference with the new, rather futuristic museum on the other side of the round about.
15 years ago, the Porsche Museum opened its doors to visitors from all over the world for the first time. Since 31 January 2009, it has taken 5,824,325 people on a fascinating journey through the history and development of the Porsche brand. This figure includes many celebrities that spend some hours in the museum. In 2023, the Porsche Museum broke the 2009 record for the number of visitors.
In its opening year, the museum welcomed 511,513 guests, while in 2023 there were 535,613 guests. “We would like to thank all the fans and enthusiasts who made last year such a special one for us,” says Achim Stejskal, Head of Porsche Heritage and Museum. “Because of our ‘75 Years of Porsche Sports Cars’ brand anniversary, the number of visitors to Zuffenhausen was 54 percent higher than in the previous year. The many interactive exhibition elements and the state-of-the-art presentation techniques make a visit to the museum a thrilling experience for guests of all ages,” Stejskal adds.
Together with his team, he conveys the brand’s passion for performance and design, both looking back and turning to the future. The Porsche Museum is not just a place where historical cars are showcased and their history documented, but also a living space that pays tribute to the cultural significance and the heritage of the brand through regularly changing exhibitions and special exhibitions.
“The 15th anniversary of our Porsche Museum also pays homage to the history, innovation, and passion that have shaped the brand,” says Stejskal. The Porsche Heritage and Museum department is of course involved in future-oriented projects within the company. “The Porsche Museum not only represents the past by preserving the values and spirit of the brand for future generations. It is already a key part of Porsche’s history that will continue to be written in the future,” Stejskal concludes.
A diverse programme planned for 2024
2024 will be all about the 50th anniversary of the 911 Turbo. Half a century ago, the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer presented the first 911 Turbo with racing technology. This car launched the era of the high-performance sports car. On 30 July, the museum is opening a special exhibition to mark “50 Years of the Turbo”, and will be supporting further Turbo exhibitions in various museums worldwide. From 25 to 28 April 2024, the Porsche Heritage and Museum will present a special selection of Turbo exhibits at “Retro Classics”. This trade fair will gather vintage car fans and sports car enthusiasts from all over the world in Stuttgart. At “Solitude Revival” on 22 and 23 June 2024, visitors will be taken on a motorized journey through time with a selection of historical models from the company’s collection. Additionally, the Tradition team is sending a selection of cars from the collection to events such as the Festival of Speed in Goodwood and the Monterey Car Week in California. This year, once again, a range of workshops and activities for children and young people will be on offer in Zuffenhausen, including “Social Media Ready” or the new exciting and educational smartphone and tablet rallies in which puzzles are solved throughout the Porsche Museum.
Two special exhibitions per year and collaborations all over the world
Since its opening in 2009, the Porsche Museum has usually curated two special exhibitions per year to mark car- and company-related events and anniversaries. “Depending on the topic, we focus on the past, present, and future, and on fascinating people and groundbreaking technologies,” says curator Iris Haker. “For the ‘75 Years of Porsche Sports Cars’ anniversary last year, we restructured the entire exhibition and created a variety of themed displays. Our concept is vivid, and we modify it to flexibly suit the special exhibitions.” The Porsche Museum also works with other museums all over the world, including the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse Museum, the highest-altitude automotive exhibition on one of the most beautiful panoramic roads in the world.
The company archive – the backbone of Porsche
For the last 2 decades, I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Porsche Archive many times. We were always welcomed with open arms, first by former head of the archives Dieter Landenberger and later by his successor Frank Jung. We even had the opportunity to help the archives with manuals and literature that we had twice, and that the archive had not in its collection. The archive is a repository for any information with an economic, technical, social, or cultural connection to Porsche. It is a resource for expanding knowledge about the brand for the purposes of historical public relations, and for maintaining a dialogue with Porsche fans all over the world. The employees at the Porsche Archive and the Head of the Archive Frank Jung process more than 6,000 queries every year, on average. These queries come from internal departments, journalists, scientists, influencers, and the authors of books about development, motorsport and the history of the company.
Over the past 15 years, more than 90,000 queries have been submitted to the team. “We see ourselves not only as the keepers and administrators of valuable knowledge and innovations from the past. We also have one eye on the future, because the innovation of today is the tradition of tomorrow,” Jung emphasizes. He and his team are preserving a comprehensive record of the company’s history for future generations and supporting their colleagues in the museum with special exhibitions or the content of the permanent exhibition, and those working with the car collection on external presentations. The legal department is also helping to verify historical facts based on the knowledge and documents in the archive.
Picture Porsche Archives ©Laurent Missbauer
The car collection: museum exhibits as brand ambassadors
Over decades, the Porsche Museum has established and extended its car collection covering the history of all the models from 1898 to the present day. In the last 15 years, a number of the 800 or so vehicles in the collection have traveled as brand ambassadors and showpieces from Zuffenhausen to places all over the world. Porsche Heritage and Museum has supported more than 3,300 events and trade fairs with these exhibits. The world has been their home and historical public relations their mission. “The cars in our collection are contemporary witnesses that tell the company’s story. We see them as cultural assets to be protected, and the act of preservation is also a cultural asset,” says Alexander E. Klein, Head of the Car Collection and Heritage Concepts. Alongside celebrated cars such as the Porsche 911 (901 No. 57), which was discovered by the team from the TV program “Der Trödeltrupp” (“The Jumble Gang”), the collection also features current model versions that complete the picture for the future.
The majority of the museum exhibits fulfil the purpose for which they were originally built: they drive. And they proactively bring the historical work out into the world. This is also the case with the new Heritage Experience event concept, which has already been implemented in China, Hawaii and Germany. “We centre everything around the creativity of people. The focus is on communicating about heritage conservation work – eye to eye. Journalists thus get to meet the people who have passed on their knowledge, and the traditions they have learnt and lived, from generation to generation.”
The Porsche Museum in a few numbers
– 5,824,325 million visitors and 2,000 events since its opening in 2009.
– The company archive comprises 25,000 small exhibits, five million photos, 1,700 hours of film material and around three kilometres of documents.
– The archive has received more than 90,000 queries over the past 15 years.
– Over a million people follow the Porsche Museum on social media (Instagram/Facebook/Weibo).
– 314,219 women, men and children have taken a factory tour.
– To this day, there have been 28,301 guided tours of the museum.
– Team Porsche Heritage and Museum has supported more than 3,300 events all over the world with cars from the collection.
– Over 3,000 vehicles were technically maintained in the museum workshop and prepared for their missions.
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Edited Porsche Factory Press Release
Pictures & Video courtesy Porsche AG