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A history of the Porsche

Ferdinand Porsche’s name adorns some of the finest cars in automotive history, but his business was originally a development and consultation company, responsible for the design and development of the VW Beetle.

The first actual Porsche was the Type 64. A grand total of three were built in 1939, using some Beetle components. The real breakthrough for the Porsche name came in the post-war years when Ferdinand Porsche’s son, Ferry, resolved to make himself the sort of car that he was unable to buy.

It’s safe to say that he succeeded, as the result was the wonderful Porsche 356. Again, it initially used many Beetle components, but these were gradually replaced with Porsche designed parts.

In 1963, Porsche changed the motoring world forever with the introduction of the 911. This iconic vehicle continues in production to this day, albeit with little in common with the first model, save for a generous nod to the original styling.

Many models have come and gone since, including the 912, 924, 928 and 944, but none has endured like the 911.

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Many enthusiasts hold up the 356 and 911 series as the pinnacle of the company’s output, and these are undeniably fabulous and well-constructed cars. However, your budget could well rule out these models, and there are plenty of other great Porsches available.

If appearance is more important than performance, then the 912 looks very similar to an early 911. However, it hides a 356-derived four-cylinder engine in its tail and thus lacks the knockout punch of the six-cylinder car.

For a truly inexpensive route into ownership, the 924 is hard to beat. It even uses a stock of VW parts, just like its more exalted predecessors. The purists may have knocked the water-cooled front engine design when the car came out, but it outsold most other models by a huge margin and remains a long-lasting and practical proposition. Alternatively, the 944 is closely related to the 924 and provides yet more bargain choice.

The 911’s intended replacement was the 928, but their most iconic model simply refused to die, so the 928 became something of a dead-end model. It does, however, sport a fantastic V8 and makes for a great GT car.

If you’re not an expert mechanic, but intend to look after your own car, our advice has to be ‘keep it simple.’ Thus the 356, 912 and 924 step from the shadows of their more glamorous stable mates to fly the flag for the fix-it-yourself Porsches.

Beyond these models, expect to need at least some expert assistance with any car from the portfolio.

If you have your heart set on the 911, look out for poorly repaired, crashed examples, of which there are many. Again, taking the advice of an expert will be money well spent.

With so many variants to choose from and with a production run spanning from 1963 to the present day, it is the middle-aged 911 models that tend to be the least expensive.

Those designated internally as 993 and 996 by the company are popular choices among enthusiasts but bear in mind that most of these cars will have suffered some heavy-handed, and heavy-footed, treatment at some point.

Due to the high-performance nature of these iconic cars, insurance companies do like to see that you have some experience in handling these high powered, rear wheel drives. You could start out with a 2.5 litre 924 or a first-generation Boxster and build up to more powerful models.

Looking for another kind of Classic Car Insurance?

Looking to insure your Porsche? Insurance policies through Carole Nash may include:

  • Salvage retention rights
  • Club member discounts of up to 15%
  • Agreed value
  • Choose your own specialist repairer  

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