Monthly Archives: June 2011

Would a New Porsche 550 Be Good for Porsche?

By   June 30, 2011

You have probably seen all of the rumors floating around about Porsche make a new 550 using a 1.6 liter turbo charged Audi engine. While I am not sure if these rumors are true it does beg the question if this is a good move for Porsche.

While the early stats for the car sound impressive, with 200 hp at only 2,600 pounds and a 0-60 time of about 6 seconds, will the Audi engine be a problem for the cars image? We all know that one of the problems that the Porsche 924 had was the Audi engine. Having said this it sounds like Porsche is giving this car much more power (the early 924’s where underpowered, especially in the U.S.) and I believe that in the U.S. Audi is now thought more highly of than it was in the late 70’s.

So, what do you think? Will this be a good car that only helps Porsche (especially with it being priced below the Boxster) or will it be seen as NOT a “real” Porsche? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Are K&N Air Filters Worth the Risk?

By   June 28, 2011

This past week on my 1983 Porsche 944 (a.k.a. Project 944), I check the air filter and it looked very dirty. The car was running fine, but I try to prevent trouble by doing maintenance before something goes wrong. Early last year I had bought a K&N air filter, so I got out my “official” K&N cleaning kit and started working.

Everything went fine with the cleaning and after letting it dry over night and checking that it was completely dry I oiled the filter (the oil is what makes these filters work). After I left it out to dry my 3 year old got a hold of it and it looked like he had shaken most of the oil off. So, I made a big mistake and gave it another coat of oil and let it dry.

After about an hour of letting it dry I put it back in the car and fired it up. Immediately the car started to smoke and run very rough. I let it run for about 15 minutes and it got slightly better, but never got anywhere near back to running how it was before I cleaned the air filter. After some research I found that I must have over oiled it, so I checked with a few auto-parts dealers and they said to just let it run out as the 83 944 does NOT have a MAF sensor.

I drove it for a few days, but the problem never got any better and other then the fact that the smoke was no longer happening. Because of this I went and ordered a traditional paper air filter and cleaned all of the electric air flow sensors (a pre MAF sensor is found in these cars) contacts with electric contact cleaner and also cleaned all remaining oil out of the air box. After this that car has run much better, but still isn’t back 100% to how it ran before cleaning the K&N air filter. I’m going to check my spark plugs next to see if the oil from the filter somehow caused them to no longer deliver good spark.

After all this I checked the instructions and box for the K&N air filter cleaner kit and I haven’t found one word warning you to not over oil the filter (perhaps it appears on new boxes). The interesting thing is I doubt that I was getting any real performance gains from the product and with the possibility of ruining the running of your car, it seems like it is better to stick with what Porsche put on the car originally. Up until this I thought all of the warnings about the K&N air filters were not true, but now I really have started to believe them (and if you have a MAF sensor you run an even larger risk when you run a K&N air filter).

So, if anybody wants a gently used pre-oiled K&N air filter for a Porsche 944 with a hardly used cleaning kit, I can make you quite a deal. To answer if K&N air filters are worth the risk I would have to say no, but maybe you have had better luck with one. I would love to hear your own story.

Update: You can read how the car is running now here.

Great Racing Weekend for Porsche

By   June 27, 2011

This was a great racing weekend for Porsche.

First even though the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid had troubles it battled back to finish, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was able to win the 24 Hours of Nurburgring race. Congratulations to the winning Porsche Team Manthey on their great win.

In the below picture from the 2011 24-Hours of Nurburgring you will find the winning 911 GT3 RSR (#18) along with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid (#9) and a Cayman S (#232) cross the finish line after 24 hours, 156 laps and over 2,500 miles – the later two records!

Also this weekend was the Pikes Peak race. Jeff Zwart drove a completely street legal Porsche 911 GT2 RS. The car is now the fastest street legal car to climb Pike Peak.

About the race Jeff said the following:

The Porsche 911 GT2 RS ran great, and we now have the fastest street-legal car ever to climb Pikes Peak. We broke last year’s record by 24 seconds, but we fell three seconds short of beating an all-out race car that is hundreds of pounds lighter with no street safety or emission equipment. Porsche Motorsports North America prepared a great car for us, and I laid it all on the line, completely wearing out the rear tires by the finish. We can all be proud of the Porsche – I can’t see any sports car legal for the street beating us anytime soon.

With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Porsche’s fastest race car – winning at the Nurburgring earlier today, Porsche 911 owners can be assured that the company will continue to use its advanced performance and reliability knowledge in race cars to make its street cars great.

Below is a video about Jeff.

This was a great weekend to be a Porsche enthusiast, so tomorrow take your Porsche out in a show of pride that Porsche still makes the finest cars for the street and the track.

Porsche 911 GT3 Hybrid 2 Hours From Win

By   June 26, 2011

At the Nürburgring 24 Hours Race the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid came two hours from winning the race. Even after early problems that made them fall way behind in the pack, they were able to battle back to the number one spot. It looked like they would win the 24 hour race when with about 2 hours left they had engine problems that caused the car to not win the race.

The Porsche 911 GT3 Hybrid made a great attempt to win the race, but it looks like they have a little more work to do before they are able to win the classic 24 hour race. Hopefully next year will see them crowned as the winners.

A Wet Start to the 24 Hours of Nürburgring

By   June 25, 2011

It has been a wet start to the 39th ADAC 24 Hours of Nürburgring Race. However conditions are supposed to dry later on.

Because the race is supposed to dry the Porsche GT3 R Hybrid team “grooved” their own tires to avoid switching to full rain tires.

Earlier today we also say Melanie Snow have a disappointing race Saturday Morning at the Carrera Supercup race. She talks about this in the below video.

Stay tuned for more updates…

Melanie Snow – Video

By   June 25, 2011

Melanie Snow will be the only woman against 99 other 911 GT3 Cup cars on Saturday, June 25, 2011. In the below video she talks about her experience at the Nurburgring.

Steve Anderson Interview

By   June 21, 2011

You may or may not be familiar with Steve Anderson’s work. He is a talented illustrator that works on Excellence magazine as well as others. He was also involved in the creation of the New Beetle, Nissan’s Z and Titan, GM’s (Pontiac) Solstice, SoCal Belly Tanker and, most recently, the EcoJet supercar for Jay Leno..

I was fortunate to get a chance to interview Steve about his work and experience with Porsches.

Q. How long have you been interested in Porsches?
A. Since childhood – the early 70’s. A family friend was a Porsche owner and that exposure i what really started the fascination.

Q. What was your first Porsche experience?
A. Growing up in Pasadena, Ca, we lived down the street from the Rusnak (Porsche Dealer) family – always something interesting coming up the street at days end – after school, I used to sit and wait for the daily Porsche parade!

Q. What is your favorite part of working on Excellence magazine ? 
A. Working with Pete Stout was and is a pleasure. Pete really appreciates the idiosyncracies that give Porsche the credibility it has today. In the early planning stages of my illustration, which is featured in the pages of Excellence, Pete and I would have these great discussions of color, body style and options… how do we visually differentiate 60+ years of production vehicles and show them all in a very interesting light relative to their era. All the memorable details of Porsche’s production history – they made for some really fantastic illustrations.

Q. What started your passion for illustrating automobiles?
A. I was an artistic kid and loved cars, it just what I did. I’m pretty sure a touch of OCD hasn’t hurt either! Even today, creating a really successful illustration has, for me, the same feeling of satisfaction as having driven it.

Q. What has been your favorite Porsche related artwork?
A. Probably one I completed back in ’08, a 1976 Turbo. The illustration was created as a son’s gift to his father, the original owner of the 20th Turbo Built, on his 80th birthday,. The car had a lot of early production details and we ended up doing a five view illustration to really thoroughly “tell the car’s story”. The detail level was extensive… on the Instrument panel image, I swapped the odometer readout to show the car’s VIN!

Q. What automobile of any make would you love to have the opportunity to drive and why?
A. Porsche… the 904 or 935. The 904 for sheer lightness and delicacy. I can imagine it surreal being seated in such a unique and beautiful little machine. The 935 because I love 911’s and sort of came of age in the era where they dominated international racing. Moby Dick just does it for me – sorry Melville not yours. Non-Porsche, I would have to say a Bugatti Type 35 – just getting the pedals right would be a kick. I love everything about those cars.

Q. You where recently selected by Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche AG to be an officially licensed artist of Porsche automobiles. How did getting this selection make you feel?
A. Actually was granted the honor in ’03. Porsche has a great relationship and mutual respect for the work of the Excellence staff so my efforts were validated largely by association. I try not to dwell on it (and my similar arrangement with Ferrari SpA) as it is perhaps the highest honor for someone in this line of work – I never take something like this for granted.

Q. I have seen on your website that you are able to illustrate a clients car. About how long does it normally take to get a finished work of the car (with the understanding that time will vary)?
A. Yes, that’s actually how I got my start outside of my “day job” as a car designer. A coworker and mentor, Freeman Thomas, gave me a copy of an early 911 blueprint and I thought it’d be cool to render it out and match the exact spec of  an existing car. Word spread in the local PCA crowd and I was soon doing this for owners throughout the U.S. and points abroad. Today, this is my main endeavor – creating one-off illustrations which depict the exact specification of a client’s car. I try to keep the turn around within 3-4 weeks for the standard profile illustration but multi-views typically run 2-3 months depending upon complexity.

Q. What is the best way for one of my readers go about getting one of your works?
A. My prints are available directly (www.saillustrations.com) or through vendors such as Pelican Parts, Griot’s Garage or Auto Trend Graphics. Custom illustration orders are still done the old fashioned way with conversation and imagery via phone or e mail. It’s a privilege to have the talent to provide this service and I know these cars mean A LOT to the guys who commission my work so it’s important for me to understand their wants and how to best exceed their expectations. I’ve been lucky to have developed some great friendships out of this endeavor. My typical backlog is comprised of about 60% return clients.

After looking at Steve’s work I am planning to get an illustration of my current Porsche project once it is done. So, if you are looking for a great gift for a Porsche enthusiast or for yourself check out Steve’s website at http://saillustrations.com.

A special thanks to Steve Anderson for his time in take this interview and to Kerry Anderson for helping to setup the interview.

Please note that I am not affiliated with Steve Anderson in any way and this is NOT a paid interview.

Porsche Museum Hits One Million Visitor Mark

By   June 16, 2011

In just two and a half years after opening the Porsche Museum has already passed to one million visitor mark. This high interest in the museum shows just how highly thought of the marque is thought of throughout the world. The million visitor mark was passed by a group of students from India.

New_Porsche_museum

Below is the official press release about the million visitor mark.

ATLANTA – June 3, 2011 – The museum of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has passed the million visitor mark just two and a half years after opening: Today, museum director Achim Stejskal welcomed not just one, but 13 school children from India as anniversary guests. “We are very pleased to have been able to surprise these Indian boys and girls from Mumbai,” explained Achim Stejskal. “Almost 35 percent of our visitors are guests from other countries. Fascination for the Porsche brand and its history continues undiminished, all around the world.”

Stejskal invited the class from Mumbai to take a look behind the scenes: In the museum workshop, which is not normally accessible to visitors, the school children were able to take a seat in a 1954 Porsche 550 Spyder. At the end of their visit, the young jubilee guests received a very special surprise: The Porsche Museum is to support their school project. The boys and girls are constructing a well in a village close to their school.

Since its opening on 31 January 2009, the Porsche Museum has provided more than 5,100 tours through the 5,600 m2 (60,000 square feet) exhibition and hosted ten special exhibitions. Many celebrities from all over the world, including Jerry Seinfeld, Paris Hilton, Jamiroquai, Robby Naish, Udo Lindenberg and Peter Maffay have also taken an interest in this historic vehicle collection on Porscheplatz. Tickets sold to date would stretch a total of 150 km (93 miles) from Stuttgart to Lake Constance. Furthermore, more than 300 classics from the museum’s collection have been travelling the world as rolling brand ambassadors, attending historic racing and classic car events.

The Porsche Museum is featuring the current special exhibition “Ferdinand Porsche – Pioneer of the Hybrid Drive” running until Monday, 13 June 2011. The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday; from 9 am to 6 pm. Entry costs € 8, € 4 for concessions. Children under the age of 14 are free when accompanied by an adult. Further information is available on the internet from www.porsche.com/museum.

About Porsche Cars North America
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga. is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars, the Cayenne SUV and Panamera Gran Turismo. Established in 1984, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs approximately 220 people who provide parts, service, marketing and training for 196 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand’s 63-year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety and efficiency. At the core of this success is Porsche’s proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000 motorsport wins to date.