Dallas – Having attended and reported the introduction of Rolls-Royce’s new Dawn convertible to the Dallas area (followed by two weeks of detox), it was with more than a little trepidation that I directed Buick’s Cascada press car to Park Place Porsche in Dallas. And no, I didn’t think the Cascada would be swarmed by Porsche enthusiasts looking for a gateway into top-down motoring for under $40K. But in what had been billed on the invite as a ‘Progressive Party’, I was afraid the debut of the new-for-’17 911 would be picketed by Bernie Sanders/Larry David lookalikes protesting income inequality. It didn’t happen, as the only one apparently suffering from income inequality was your txGarage reporter…
In the 50+ years since the 911 was introduced to a global audience at the 1963 Frankfurt Auto Show the world is a significantly different place. As those present will remember, Kennedy’s motorcade had not yet turned onto Elm, the Beatles were known – at that point – only in Britain and Germany, and – again, referencing popular culture – the Beach Boys’ Mike Love still had a crewcut. At that time Porsches were known for little more than their ‘volume’ production car, the 356…and James Dean’s demise at the wheel of his 550 Spyder.
It didn’t all change with Porsche’s introduction of the new 911, which would go into production alongside the 356C some 18 months later, but quite a bit had changed. At that point Johnson was in the White House (having been elected to his own term in November ’64), the Beatles were fixtures on both the charts and in pop culture, and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson (if fading memory serves) had stopped touring. And with the about-to-be-escalated Vietnam conflict, the age of innocence – both here and abroad – had effectively ended.
An early, air-cooled 911 was more appealing in the Northeast and West than it was in Texas, where pavement temperatures often exceeded 130 in the middle of a Texas summer. Combine the shortcomings of air cooling with the inconsequential effort put forth by German-supplied a/c (well into the mid-‘80s) and you could understand why the 911 received a relatively cool reception ‘in these parts’ for some 30 years after its stateside launch. Even now, the 911 is a relatively small player in area sales, easily eclipsed by Porsche’s Cayenne, entry-level Boxster/Cayman and – more recently – the compact Macan. Its relative scarcity, however, doesn’t diminish (and may actually enhance) the 911’s ongoing appeal.
In what Porsche describes as ‘the sports car legend enhanced’, the new-for-2017 Porsche 911 evolves once again with the addition of turbocharged powerplants in all Carrera models, including ‘base’ Carrera, the ‘S’ and their cabriolet derivatives. If you’re a Porsche traditionalist – and there were more than a few at the party appearing to be traditionalists, with sport coats that in no way went with whatever else they were wearing – the addition of turbocharging across the lineup is absolute heresy; only Porsche Turbos, they would argue, should have turbos. If, however, you’re into explosive performance with enhanced efficiency (and have accepted the deaths of both Jack Kennedy and John Lennon) this newest 911 should be on your shortlist.
With the unveiling of both Coupe and Cabriolet in the suddenly crowded confines of Park Place Porsche, the addition of turbocharging really didn’t come up. But then, in the age of the selfie what’s there to discuss? Simply get behind the wheel, take the pic and move on. We didn’t get behind the wheel, but if the opp were to be offered we wouldn’t hesitate for a minute. Even when outside temps on the street hover around 130…
For more info visit www.parkplace.com/porsche.