Tag: Porsche

A collection amassed over time

The Porsche Archive is based in Zuffenhausen – but that’s not the whole story. There are also thousands of design drawings housed in a basement room in the Weissach Development Center. All in all, this 70-year collection contains over 100,000 sheets.

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Uwe Geisel’s movements are almost reverential as he unrolls a construction drawing with the utmost care and caution on the table top in front of him. He caresses the sheet of parchment with his hand and pauses briefly before commenting with the air of a true expert; “This technical drawing shows an early Carrera logo dating back to 1952”. The process is repeated with another sheet of parchment: “There’s a lot of interesting details on this one, which was produced in 1948 for the Cisitalia. See the steering wheel? It makes another appearance in the Porsche 356-001”. Geisel allows the tension to build as he unrolls the next sheet; “This drawing shows the delicate bodywork of the 356. It was sketched out on a drawing board in 1950”. All of these drawings are originals that have survived the decades intact.

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In the Still of the Night

London’s status as a modern fashion metropolis is of relatively recent vintage. In contrast to New York, which was already setting trends in 1943, it would be another thirty-two years before models graced the runway at fashion shows in the British capital. Today, London is one of the “Big Four” fashion capitals of the world, together with New York, Paris, and Milan. British cool in competition with French haute couture and Italian grandezza. Thousands of buyers from all over the world descend on the Thames to attend London Fashion Week every February and September. And it’s an industry that keeps on growing, according to the British Fashion Council, host of London Fashion Week. In the slipstream of the established labels, there’s a thriving young start-up scene enriching the market with bold, progressive, and avant-garde fashion. One of these aspiring young designers is Maritta Nemsadze, who sits at a knitting machine in a coworking space sectioned off by drywall. A clothes rack holds her latest designs: the dresses are simply tailored, almost delicate, with interwoven copper and aluminum threads. “It’s probably my great-grandmother’s fault that I specialize in knitwear techniques,” says the thirty-year-old Georgian. “She started teaching me how to knit when I was three. And she was masterful at it—that’s what got her family through the Second World War.”

Nemsadze’s milieu is the melting pot of East London. Artists and creatives have poured into the borough of Hackney, which was once populated by laborers and immigrants. A fascinating mix of different cultures has emerged that exerts a magnetic effect on young fashionistas, and the city seeks to encourage them. Young designers experiment with unconventional ideas, throwing unbridled energy into new forms of expression, as more and more fashion start-ups constantly appear. The spring shows in Berlin, Milan, and Paris have already taken place, as has London Fashion Week, but just because the circus of star designers has left the city doesn’t mean that individuals like Nemsadze will let up. On the contrary, they’re working feverishly on their collections for 2018. Fashion never stops to catch its breath, and beauty is not bound to any style.

Nemsadze made her first clothes at the age of ten. It was a natural progression for her to attend London’s Central Saint Martins, whose outstanding reputation attracts talent from around the world. Even today knitting reminds her of her homeland, the Caucasus, where the inhabitants of its remote mountain regions make weather-resistant winter clothing out of sheep’s wool. The idea of sustainable and long-lasting attire continues to influence her approach to fashion. “We buy too many clothes that we don’t even need—just because we can afford to,” she says. “But no one would discard a handmade dress of copper thread after just a few weeks. I make clothing that is both luxurious and sustainable.” And that may be less of a contradiction than it seems.

Fantastical headpieces

The unassuming street where twenty-two-year-old Le Roni has rented space is far removed from the glamourous world of high fashion. Yet when he presents his work on a simple table, you immediately sense that he—like so many ambitious designers in London—wants his fashion to tell stories. Le Roni originally came from Paraguay to London to learn English. Two years ago, he happened to accompany a friend to a party during London Fashion Week wearing a headpiece he had made out of plastic bags. People’s reactions were so encouraging that he began to make more headpieces out of unusual materials. His initial designs won him a development grant. Stylists at a major fashion magazine noticed his work, which was soon covered by a number of leading publications. And now his first clients—from eccentrics to self-assured businesswomen—are wearing his creations.

Le Roni still pays his rent by working at a supermarket. But when he creates his fantastical headwear from feathers and homemade lace using a centuries-old weaving technique from the indigenous people of his homeland, he’s very close to the star designers he admires, such as the late Alexander McQueen. Le Roni’s most recent series of headpieces evokes the unending cycle of nature—from birth and the full blossom of youth through the ups and downs of aging until death, after which a new cycle emerges. And it brings him one step closer to the dream he shares with many young fashion pioneers. “I want to build my own company. And I’ll succeed in doing that, even if it takes a few years.”

Wearable works of art

A similarly strong will but very different philosophy guides the Chinese designer Rui Xu. Her creations are deeply anchored in the visual arts. Xu, a forty-year-old professor of fashion design from Beijing, who also draws and paints, views her work as wearable art. Her complex creations have appeared in art galleries, and a number of her collections have won awards. What fascinates her about London is how widely different styles converge organically. She herself draws on tailoring and wrapping techniques used in Chinese attire for centuries or even millennia. In 2015 she opened a studio in Kensington that produces her textile artwork under the label “Ruixu.” When tall blonde models from Eastern Europe pose in Xu’s creations in front of London’s red brick walls and urban backdrops, magical moments arise in which Far Eastern tradition meets Western style and the past melds with the future.

New take on suits

Surfing attire from China? “I grew up in Hainan, which is called the ‘Hawaii of the East’ because of its climate,” says twenty-seven-year-old Wan Hung Cheung. Like Maritta Nemsadze, he attended Central Saint Martins, but only after studying conventional tailoring techniques at the London College of Fashion. What happens when someone from a tropical Chinese island injects the flair of his homeland into Western fashion trends? The results can be seen in his colorful collection for this summer. Cheung’s more formal menswear is also deeply influenced by his own personal experience. “I love suits, but I look too young for them because I have the face of a teenager,” he remarks. “When I wear a suit from someone I admire, like Tom Ford, it looks strange—too classic, too grown-up.” Many of his friends have the same problem, he adds, but they are delighted with his attire for boyish adults, which combines Western and Eastern influences.

Spontaneous shots, coolly executed

What would fashion be without the right setting? The images on these pages are from Niklas Haze, a twenty-seven-year-old photographer from Germany. Also a relative newcomer to London, Haze is already connected with the city’s next generation of fashion designers. Before his formal education, he assisted leading photographers. During this on-the-job training, he developed a sense for lighting and learned how to work with models—skills that he later refined at school. He was actually looking for more work as an assistant when he arrived in the city on the Thames two years ago. But he quickly built up a network in the fashion scene, met young stylists and designers, and began casting models.

“Fashion photography lets me invent my own worlds,” he explains while describing what motivates his work. “I look for stark settings and visual disruptions that are intended to introduce an element of confusion.” The models in his shots suggest extraterrestrials who have materialized in urban environments of London. “That being said, you should also be able to tell that what I photograph is actually taking place in the real world.” So Haze often shoots his fashion series quickly and very spontaneously. He selects the locations in advance, of course. But the work itself has to take place at a fast pace. “After all, we’re in London,” he says with a smile. “And you can’t hold up the action in a world metropolis for as long as you like.”

 

Text first published in the Porsche customer magazine Christophorus, No. 381

Text by Jan Brülle // Photos by Niklas Haze

 

Porsche | Don 176

Digging. Panning. Washing. These steps do not apply to Matt Hummel’s rather unconventional search for treasure. The 39-year-old collector is not prospecting for nuggets, but rather for rust buckets. Like his latest find  – a Porsche 356 A 1600 from 1956. The patina on this coupe is so venerable, it has acquired a patina of its own. Coconut fibers stick every which way out of the seats, and bare sheet metal adorns its footwell.

The Porsche is parked on the outskirts of Auburn, a town not far from Sacramento. A classic sports car, it radiates an imperturbable peace with its age.It has traveled far and wide, and has nothing to hide. Hummel’s gaze traces its lines. “This 356 is in precisely the same condition that I found it in,” he says. “I love its authentic quality. The car has lived through so much, and it’s still here. I want to keep it like a time machine – not to restore it back to what we think was its original state.”

No facelift, no makeup

Hummel wants to drive the faded and weary-looking 356 exactly the way it is. No facelift, no makeup. His reasoning is simple. “The Porsche was built to drive, not to sit around in the garage.” In the past, people just put a few numbers on the doors and entered the next race. The cars crossed the finish line with all their scratches and dents, and the drivers had that special smile on their faces. Hummel likes to wax philosophical without taking himself too seriously. He grins and opens the door on the driver’s side, which creaks ominously. “Sounds good, doesn’t it?” Then he waves his hand and says, “Come on, I’ll show you my house and a few more Porsches.”

At the next intersection Hummel sticks his arm out the window to indicate that he wants to turn. After all, who needs turn signals? The 356 barrels down a dirt road. Despite its wild appearance, the car masters curve upon curve with ease, effortlessly climbing the crests of the hills. Hummel reaches his property in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and the drive comes to an end.

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Matt Hummel with his Porsche

On grounds surrounded by trees and undergrowth, the 356 pulls to a stop next to the other members of Hummel’s automotive family: a Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 from 1986, flanked by a 912 from 1966, a 356 A Super from 1958, and two 356 Cabriolets from 1952. The open 356s are the most valuable of the group. “These two cars have consecutive chassis numbers,” he says. “They were produced one right after the other.” One number ends in 4, and the other in 5. Hummel beams. He doesn’t reveal where he found the two Porsches, but simply winks and says, “Sometimes it can happen that cars find me.”

Matt Hummel’s passion for older automobiles began very early. At the age of sixteen, during a semester break in his art studies, he started looking for rare car parts. His first objects of desire were Volkswagen components. He worked his way through half of California in search of them. Later he and some friends heard about a high density of Volkswagen parts in Burma and Thailand, which prompted them to set off on exciting expeditions. “At that time I wasn’t happy until I lay exhausted in my hotel room with a heap of something like safari-style hinged windows from VW Samba buses next to my bed.”

Collection of treasures

Back in the United States, he sold the rare components. “If you start dealing with historical VW parts,” he remarks, “at some point you’ll automatically end up with Porsche.” Hummel’s treasure chamber is the barn next to his home. It contains finds from the past ten years. Hummel opens a yellowed cardboard box, pulls out shiny green plastic parts, and cradles them in his hand like jewels. “The Holy Grail!” he exclaims. “My ex-girlfriend and I spent our last vacation in search of them.” With a smile he displays a complete set of knobs from an early Porsche instrument panel. “Or here …” He heads to another corner of the room and opens the back of a 356 Cabriolet.

“Its engine is in the living room.” The tour goes on. A jar full of Kamax screws. A drawer with 80-millimeter pistons from early Porsche pre-A production. “Pure gold!” Next to that, an entire shelf of side mirrors reflect sunlight onto a nearby engine. “Check this out! Porsche’s first racing engine. The 1500 Super from 1954, or the 502 for short. A real rarity! It’s a marvelous example of how closely related the first Porsches were to Volkswagens.” Hummel recently sold one of these to a buyer in Austria. “When someone with a rare Porsche calls me, I’m happy to go through my collection of treasures and find just the right part for it,” he says. Because he knows that some jewels simply have to be passed on.

 

Porsche hybrid race car is faster than Formula One

Porsche works driver Neel Jani lapped the 7.004 kilometre long Belgian Grand Prix Circuit in the Ardennes mountains in 1:41.770 minutes. The 34 year old Swiss has beaten the previous record by 0.783 seconds that was set by Lewis Hamilton (GB) at the wheel of a Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid. Hamilton’s lap of 1:42.553 minutes dates back to August 26 in 2017 and secured him pole position for last year’s F1 race. Jani achieved a top speed of 359 km/h and an average speed of 245.61 km/h on his record lap that he started at 10:23 hrs. Ambient temperature was 11° Celsius, track temperature was 13° Celsius.

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Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: “This was an absolute fantastic lap – an outstanding drivers’ performance from Neel and the result of great engineering. Today’s track record impressively proves the ultimate performance of the most innovative race car of its time. Our target was to show what the Porsche 919 Hybrid is able to do when we loosen the restrictions that normally come from the regulations.”

Team Principal Andreas Seidl: “This additional success is the result of the LMP team’s hard work and a proud day for the engineers. One can only congratulate Neel and the entire crew for achieving it. All six 2017 LMP1 drivers contributed to the project. It was our target to show the Porsche 919 Hybrid’s abilities when we ease the restrictions that came from the World Endurance Championship regulations.”

With the 919 Hybrid, Porsche has won the Le Mans 24-Hours from 2015 to 2017 three times in a row as well as the world champion titles for both, manufacturers and drivers, in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) during the same years.

Neel Jani: “The 919 Evo is brutally impressive. It is definitely the fastest car I ever drove. The grip level is at a fully new dimension for me, I couldn’t imagine this amount beforehand. The speed on which everything happens on a single lap with the 919 Evo is that fast that the demand on reaction speed is very different to what I was used to in the WEC. We are not only faster than the F1 pole from 2017. Today’s lap was twelve seconds faster compared to our WEC pole position from last year! We have had three very intense days at Spa. Today I knew on the very first lap in the morning that the car’s performance was super. The race engineers did a great job setting up the car and the Michelin tyres are sensational. A big thank you to Porsche for this experience.”

Unchained for the record

The technical regulations from the FIA for the WEC and Le Mans successfully delivered close competition between the conceptually very different class 1 Le Mans hybrid prototypes entered by Audi, Porsche and Toyota. As a consequence this never allowed the question – what would be the potential of the Porsche 919 Hybrid if it wasn’t chained by the limitations – to be answered; until now.

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Stephen Mitas, Chief Race Engineer LMP1, was heading the project: “It was kind of an engineer’s dream come true for us”, the Australian admits. “Having developed, improved and raced the car for four years, the guys had a very close relationship to it. We all knew, no matter how successful the 919 Hybrid was, it could never show its full abilities. Actually even the Evo version doesn’t fully exploit the technical potential. This time we were not limited by regulations but resources. It is a very satisfying feeling that what we’ve done to the car was enough to crack the Formula One record.”

To prepare the record car, the base was the 2017 world championship car. On top came developments that were prepared for the 2018 WEC but never raced after the end of 2017 withdrawal. Additionally, several aerodynamic modifications were made.

For the ‘Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo’ the entire hardware of the power train remained untouched. The 919 is powered by a compact two-litre turbo charged V4-cylinder engine and two different energy recovery systems – brake energy from the front axle combined with exhaust energy. The combustion engine drives the rear axle while the electro motor boosts the front axle to accelerate the car with four-wheel drive. At the same time it recuperates energy from the exhaust system that otherwise would pass unused in to the atmosphere. The electrical energy that comes from the front brakes and the exhaust system is temporarily stored in a liquid-cooled lithium ion battery.

To prepare the record car, the base was the 2017 919 Hybrid

The WEC efficiency regulations limited the energy from fuel per lap by using a fuel flow meter. At the 2017 championship round in Spa, in the Porsche 919 Hybrid’s final season, it could use 1.784 kilogram/2.464 litres of petrol per lap. The V4 combustion engine’s output back then was around 500 HP. Freed from these restrictions, equipped with an updated software but running the regular race fuel (E20, containing 20 per cent bio ethanol), the 919 Hybrid Evo delivers 720 HP.

The amount of energy from the two recovery systems that could be used in Spa 2017 was 6.37 megajoule. This was by far below the systems’ potential. On his record lap Neel Jani enjoyed a full boost of 8.49 megajoule – the e-machine’s output increased by ten per cent from 400 to 440 HP.

The engineers also unchained the aerodynamics of the 919 Evo from the regulations. The new larger front diffuser now balances the new and very large rear wing, both of which have actively controlled drag reduction systems. The hydraulically operated systems trim the trailing edge of the front diffuser and opens up the slot between the rear wing main plane and the flap respectively in order increase the aerodynamic efficiency of the Evo. Underneath the Evo the turning vanes and floor have been optimised with fixed height side skirts to increase the aerodynamic performance again as efficiently as possible. In total the aero modifications resulted in 53 per cent higher downforce and an increase in efficiency by 66 per cent (compared to the 2017 Spa WEC qualifying).

To help further expand the performance envelope, the super-fast Evo gained a four-wheel brake-by-wire system to provide additional yaw control. Furthermore, the power steering was adapted for the higher loads and stronger suspension wishbones (front and rear) were implemented.

Compared to the car in race trim, the dry weight was reduced by 39 kilograms to 849 kilograms. To achieve this, everything was removed what isn’t needed for a single fast lap: air-conditioning, windscreen wiper, several sensors, electronic devices from race control, lights systems and the pneumatic jack system.

Porsche’s multi-year tyre partner Michelin was immediately interested to work with a car that produces more downforce than a Formula One car. Keeping the tyre dimensions (31/71-18), the target was to increase the grip level significantly. Michelin developed new compounds to deliver the necessary grip with no compromise on safety.

Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo

This car has many talents and is aimed at people who like to spend their free time travelling, playing sport and pursuing other outdoor activities. Thanks to all-wheel drive, every ski slope is easy to reach, while the flexible interior creates space for all kinds of sports equipment and modern load-carrying systems facilitate the transport of surfboards or a Porsche e-bike.

The strengths of the four-door four-seater include an emotional design with striking off-road elements as well as an innovative display and operating concept with touchscreen and eye-tracking control. Measuring 4.95 metres in length, the concept vehicle has all-wheel drive and an 800-volt architecture, prepared for connection to the fast charging network. It can also be charged by induction, at a charging station or using the Porsche home energy storage system. The road-ready Mission E Cross Turismo builds on the Mission E study Porsche demonstrated at the 2015 International Motor Show (IAA) and uses elements that are close to series production.

The design: unmistakable Porsche DNA

A low-cut bonnet between heavily curved wings: the front of the Mission E Cross Turismo reveals its relationship to the sports car icon Porsche 911 at first glance. Vertical air inlets in the front, known as air curtains, are a distinctive design feature. Another stylistic highlight are the matrix LED headlights. The brand’s typical four-point daytime running lights have evolved into narrow, three-dimensional glass elements. Embedded in four sweeping wings, these also contain an innovative four-point indicator light. At the same time, the vehicle has high-performance full beams with Porsche X-Sight technology. The off-road design elements include robust wheel arch protection and door sills, a striking front spoiler and lower rear and increased ground clearance.

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The silhouette is defined by a sporty roofline that slopes off to the rear, which Porsche designers refer to as a ‘flyline’. This is reminiscent of the rear of the Panamera Sport Turismo. Equally distinctive for the brand is the dynamic shape of the side windows. The broad wings and three-dimensional side panels with air outlets behind the front wheels reinforce the sporty crossover character of the concept car, which is 1.99 metres wide. Other distinctive features include the eye-catching side door sills with their off-road appearance and 20-inch wheels with 275/40 R 20 tyres.

Even from behind, the study can immediately be recognised as a Porsche with its exclusively light grey metallic paintwork. In addition to its sporty design and air-channelling roof spoiler, the continuous light strip is a typical feature. The luminescent white Porsche logo is composed of glass letters embedded in a three-dimensional cover with a circuit board design. During charging, the ‘E’ in the Porsche logo pulsates, and the circuit board is brought to life by pulses of light. This makes the flow of energy impressively visual for the customer. A large panoramic glass roof extending from the windscreen to the boot lid ensures a generous sense of space.

“Das Treffen” in Thailand

‘Das Treffen’. ‘The meeting’ in its native German. Today these words are on the tip of a thousand tongues across the vast urban sprawl of Bangkok.

Since the 1960s Porsche has exported vehicles to the Thai capital, creating a small but loyal fan base that now spans several generations. The recent resurgence in air-cooled culture has driven many Thai owners to bring mothballed cars out of storage and in the last five years Porsche fever has tangibly gripped Bangkok.

What was still missing, however, was a means to harness this burgeoning passion, a proper Porsche gathering to rival the established meets in the US, Europe and Australasia. There was nothing of the sort in Southeast Asia; not until a man called Sihabutr Xoomsai appeared.

Xoomsai was inspired by his own passion

Xoomsai, known as Tenn to his friends, was first inspired by his own passion for Porsche. “I always had a thing for Porsche since I was a kid. The first Porsche I drove belonged to my father’s friend. He came over to our house one day in a brand new 964, tossed me the keys and asked me to get them something to drink. I never forgot that day – the sound, the smell and the kick in the back.”

“The most important thing I learnt that day,” Tenn recalls, “is that the best way to enjoy Porsche is to share it. Since then that is what I tried to do – to share my passion with my friends and fellow enthusiasts.”

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Porsche has exported vehicles to Bangkok since the 1960s

In 2016, he decided to organise a casual get-together of Porsche cars and their owners. Was he inspired by the likes of Patrick Long’s Luftgekühlt’ in California? “Luftgekühlt”, he explains “is largely about the air-cooled cars. Even though we have a strong group of air-cooled lovers in Thailand, I wanted to make sure that every Porsche model is welcome. It’s really a get-together for the love and passion of Porsche for the Porsche family.”

Simple and memorable: ‘Das Treffen’

The first thing was to decide on a name. He wanted to keep it simple and memorable, and recalled a meet he attended a few years ago called “Rgruppe Treffen”. The even simpler ‘Das Treffen’ seemed to work perfectly.

As the Executive Editor of GT Porsche Thailand, coupled with the help of Porsche Thailand, Porsche Club of Thailand and Renndrive, Tenn had no difficulty spreading the message. And the response was simply overwhelming – nearly 1,000 enthusiasts registered for the first event and more showed up besides. There were over 300 cars on display in 2017 ­– only its second year – meaning Das Treffen had already grown into one the largest annual gatherings of Porsche enthusiasts in Southeast Asia.

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Nearly 1,000 Porsche enthusiasts registered for the first event

Highlights have included a Martini-liveried 918 Spyder, a freshly restored 1972 911T, a time-warp 944 convertible and a 1973 911 RSR clone finished in iconic Gulf Blue. The oldest car last year was a 1960 356 B T5, though even older examples are expected in the years to come.

Besides the attraction of the rare Porsche models, another highlight of “Das Treffen’’ was the camaraderie among old friends and new, who bonded over the experience as one Porsche family.

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A Martini-liveried 918 Spyder was among the highlights of „Das Treffen“

“I have made a lot of life-long friends from all over the world through the brand, and it’s amazing how people from different parts of the world can speak the Porsche language,” Tenn says. He has met enthusiasts from as far away as Malaysia, Singapore and even Dubai now, some driving their own Porsches all the way to Bangkok. And they all said the same thing – they will be back next year.