There are very few Porsche Top 5s the 917 can’t win. Top 5 iconic motorsport models? For many people, that’s 917, though Derek Bell understandably disagreed. Top 5 wildest Porsches ever used on the road? That’s also a fight between the 917 and 962, but my nod still goes to the 917 thanks to Count Rossi and Joachim Grossman’s bonkers road cars. Top 5 air-cooled Porsches? Well, it’s hard to ignore the mighty flat-12 for that list as well. Fortunately for us the list of air-cooled Porsches is very, very long, and filling out the Top 5 must have been a challenge for Porsche driver Patrick Long.
I continually root for the 356 on these lists, and I’m always happy to see it make any Top 5. Especially in Carrera 4-cam trim the 356 remains a really compelling sports car thanks to its combination of forward thinking features and fairly ancient architecture. No consumer-oriented Porsche road car since has used bevel-drive valvetrain. The valvegear in the 547 more closely resembles a Ducati Desmo drive than anything produced by Porsche since. The engine is a gem, and unfortunately the video doesn’t show it running. That’s a shame, because it makes quite a noise.
The top five list also includes two flat-eight powered cars; the 804 Formula 1 car as driven by Dan Gurney, and the 908/3, which was one of the few cars capable of defeating the 917 on-track. No list of air-cooled Porsches is complete without the last of the breed; the 993. While it was out-muscled by the 993 GT2, the 993 Turbo was a technical marvel that brought 959 performance to mere mortals.
As I said last time, I’m glad Porsche is taking this approach. Getting experts to present the top 5 really humanizes the brand and makes it easier to connect with these classic models.
What are your Top 5 air-cooled Porsche models? Let us know in the comments!