1. 919 Program Finds Success
Competing head-to-head with sports prototype racing giants like Audi and Toyota is no mean feat, and Porsche can legitimately say that they put up a significant effort in 2014. Considering that this was the first year of the program, they should be quite happy with their results and proud of their accomplishments. Porsche has not competed for overall laurels at Le Mans since 1998 when they last won, but in 2014, they showed up and led the race overall for several hours. They were in serious contention for the victory, but some teething issues kept them from the top step in France. Interlagos, the final race of the World Endurance Championship season, produced the 919 Hybrid team's first overall victory. It took only one season of endurance racing for Porsche to bring the heat to their competition and come out on top in a fair fight. Here's to more great racing in 2015!
2. Porsche Wins At Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans
Porsche's run in the Tudor United Sports Car Championship kicked off in 2014 with two huge wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. While the rest of the season paled by comparison and didn't feel anywhere near as close of a race as it was, Porsche still eked out a win at Petit Le Mans and in doing so secured the Manufacturer's title for the season.
When there is an invitation-only aircooled Porsche show in Southern California hosted by one of Porsche's best and brightest sports car hired-guns, and held at one of the coolest shops in town, the scene has to sit up and take notice.
Everyone from Jeff Zwart, Chad McQueen and Magnus Walker to Patrick Long and Patrick Dempsey showed up with their classic Porsche machines. It was a beautiful affair, and we hope that this show continues to grow, as it is such a cool experience to have all of these great personalities and cars in one place.
4. 1973 RSR Destroyed In Shop Fire
It is always a sad day when a significant historical car is lost. In this case, the car in question was the only remaining unraced 1973 911 RSR. It still had its original numbers-matching engine and transmission, and was considered the most original RSR anywhere in the world. This car was used as the standard against which all others were judged. When RSRs came up for restoration, this car was used as a template. This car was the picture on the puzzle box, the perfect example of what the puzzle should look like when finished.
The Sacramento, California shop that burned to the ground back in July was a big loss to the community, and the cars inside it were all lost to history forever. They say a car can only be original once, and this original RSR is no longer. Surely it will be restored in time, but it will never be the shining example it once was.
5. We Bought A Project Porsche
When the price of a good early Boxster dropped below the 4 figure threshold, we figured it was a good time to buy. We found a car for 7500 greenbacks, and pulled the trigger on the purchase. Since we bought the car last spring, we've just been driving it and steadily racking up miles and maintenance of a pretty much stock example. We'll begin our modifications in earnest in 2015, so stay on the lookout for more updates.
Project Clubsport, as we've dubbed the car, will be focused on losing weight, improving the exterior appearance of the car, gaining some lateral grip, and giving the exhaust a little more yawp. This project will be sticking around for a while, so you have something to look forward to in the New Year already!
6. Porsche Destroys Sales Records
Year to date sales are up almost 15% (November was a particularly strong sales month, 25% ahead of November 2013), the 918 Spyder allotment is completely sold out, and Porsche continues to have strong growth in the Chinese market. In North America, not only are new car sales up, but Certified Pre-Owned sales are up 11% on last year as well. All of these things mean that there are more great Porsche cars on the road now than there ever have been before. You'd better get your waving arm ready, because you'll need to use it a lot more often to salute your Porsche-driving brethren on the road next summer.
7. Very Rare 959 Sport Sells At Auction For 7 Figures
This was a significant sale for the Porsche market this year, as a very beautiful and very rare example of Porsche's 80s Hypercar sold for over one million dollars at public auction for the first time I've ever seen. Since that time, the market for 959s has opened up and people have been paying more than a million for them ever since, including the wild sale of a 959 Komfort at Monterey this summer for more than $1.5!
The sport versions are incredibly rare with only 29 series production cars built. This one was taken care of pre-sale by our friends over at Sloan Cars, and has been spotted a couple of times post-sale on Jeff Zwart's Instagram feed (that's where the picture above comes from). It was a very nice Porsche, and deserving of the money, for sure. Keep an eye on these, because they'll continue to escalate in the near future.
8. The 993 Turbo Market Is Going Crazy
Speaking of turbocharged monster Porsches that have been going crazy on the collector market lately, one has to look no farther than the 993 Turbo. Earlier this year, we discussed this phenomenon with Wilhoit Enterprises, who are 'in the trenches' so to speak, of the 993 collector market. They came to the same conclusion we did, that the age of this inexpensive 993 Turbo is well and truly gone, and won't be coming back around anytime soon. The Turbo S reached levels of insane value years ago, and have only continued to go up, but this year especially, the 'lesser' Turbo has followed in those same footsteps. With some cars, usually the most perfect examples, already offered for sale above the quarter million dollar mark, it won't be long before even some of the more pedestrian examples for sale hit that mark. As Porsche turbo models go, the 993 is a bit of a rarity, and as more and more people seek the thrill of the aircoolers, they will only continue to increase in value.
9. All Of The Awards
In 2014, Porsche won a bunch of awards for their products and for the company in general. The GT3 won Road & Track's Performance Car of the Year. The base Boxster and Cayman 2.7 liter flat-six was named one of Ward's Ten Best Engines for 2014. A trio of Golden Steering Wheel awards were added to the shelf for the Macan S Diesel, the Cayman GTS, and the 911 Targa. It was a good year for expanding the trophy case.
10. All Of The New Car Launches
Porsche has launched a number of new cars and new variants of cars this year, and have started delivering a bunch of models that were teased last year. The 918 Spyder is sold out. Demand for the Macan has outstripped supply, and Porsche can't keep their dealerships stocked with them. New engines and a mid-cycle facelift for the Cayenne offered a bit of a sales bump. Porsche also rolled out GTS variants of the Boxster, Cayman, and 911, as well as the new 911 Targa bodystyle. Just a few weeks ago, we saw the launch of the Panamera Turbo S Executive Exclusive Edition (what a mouthful). Also, we've seen some teasers as to what a 'Cayman GT4' and a 911 GT3 RS might look like.
11. Leonard Turner's New Series Featuring Photos From His Personal Archive
When it comes down to it, having Leonard on the Flatsixes team is truly an honor. He has been involved with the Porsche brand quite literally for decades, and has documented his journeys with outstanding, high-quality photography. We love his photos, and so far we've been quite happy with the response we've gotten from our readers, too. With archives as extensive as Mr. Turner's we know that he's a lot more good ones to show off, so stick around for more of his photo art!
12. Very First Porsche Designed Vehicle Found
Most know that the first Porsche branded vehicle was the Type 356 in 1948. However, Porsche was involved in the design of many other vehicles prior to this. In fact, the very first car ever built using Ferdinand Porsche's design was the 1898 Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model or P1 for short. Found in a warehouse, the P1 sat untouched since 1902. It is now on permanent display in the Porsche Museum.
13. Porsche's Embattled 911 GT3 Gets Recalled. Fix Is An Excellent Solution
Ever since its introduction, purist were up in arms that the new GT3 would only be available in PDK. However, once many got a shot to drive one and realized just how well the PDK did its job, the detractors mostly went quiet. However, with one battle behind them, Porsche soon found itself facing an even tougher challenge, this time in the form of fire. Reports started surfacing of GT3s catching fire, seemingly of their own volition. Soon there after, Porsche issued a voluntary recall of the GT3. Then, less than one month later, Porsche announced their solution to the problem and it showed just how seriously they take quality. Not long after, the 911 GT3 was named Road & Track's Performance car of the year.
14. We Drove Some Amazing Porsche LeMons Racers
This one is maybe a little self-serving in its nomination as a 'significant event', because it was definitely a more significant moment in my own life, rather than the Porsche culture at large. That said, this was probably one of the most fun things I've ever experienced behind the wheel. The 908/14 was an oversteer monster that oddly could handle more power. Ferkel was a downright weird experience, with a 4000rpm redline and a diesel clatter in a 911 package. Autocross is a ton of fun on its own, but sharing the day with these two cars elevated the experience to an extremely high level. I had a giant grin on my face the whole time, and I can still hardly believe it actually happened.
Other Porsche Blog Posts You Will Enjoy
13 Of Porsche’s Most Significant Moments of 2013
2014 Bonhams’ Bond Street London Auction Results
This Lowriding 356 Speedster Is The Coolest Thing You’ll See Today
Watch And Listen To Porsche Sound Nacht 2014
What do you think of our list? Did we forget anything? Is there a moment from 2014 that you feel should be on the list? Let us know. Looking forward, 2015 will need to be absolutely crazy to come anywhere near what 2014 has been, but I'm confident Porsche can do it. Happy New Year!