There’s really no substitute for seeing what is going on inside, as any radiologist will tell you. The guy who really gets the best view, though, is the surgeon, looking straight into the matter at hand rather than reading shadows, and it is this view that is favored by Porsche when demonstrating the workings of their products. Which is how there have come to be several hundred pictures in my photographic files carrying the keyword “cutaway” showing the guts and bolts of Porsches from 356 to 959 and well beyond, and of Porsche parts from seats to cams to turbochargers.
Typically meticulously prepared by Porsche technical trainees for the needs of the press department, they often show up at new car introductions as static displays to demonstrate relationships and provide a visual demonstration of how things work as they do, although some have found their way into museums and—rarely—private hands. Recent cutaways have featured a plaque shaped like a 911 that credits their origin, as in this image. In spite of the impressive amount of work and expense required to produce them, they don’t receive much hoopla, that being reserved for the complete product being introduced and they tend to disappear, after the cycle of press launches, into obscurity.
I suspect that somewhere in Stuttgart there may be a semi-secret warehouse full of these old dissected warhorses; I’d love to slip in there someday and renew old friendships with these Porsches that never turned a wheel on the road, that were seen but never heard, the cutaway castaways.