Porsche Panamericana (1989)
When Dr. Ferry Porsche turned 80 years old, he received a 1989 Porsche Panamericana concept car as a gift. Now, receiving a car as a birthday present isn’t too farfetched, especially for the owner of a car manufacturing company. Getting one specially built to mark the occasion — now that’s a tad more exciting.
Note that the 1989 Porsche Panamericana concept car was quite distinct from the Porsche Panamera. The latter is a four-door Porsche sedan — the automaker’s first-ever sedan — that’s do for production as a 2010 model.
The 1989 Porsche Panamericana concept car, by contrast, was a striking two-seater concept study, shown to the public for the first time at the 1989 International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany. Arriving without prior fanfare, the 1989 Porsche Panamericana concept car stole the show, drawing surprised and admiring sighs from ordinary motorists and industry observers alike.
Neither Ferry — son of company’s founder Ferdinand Porsche — nor anyone else might have had much of an opportunity to drive this wild, low-cut machine; there were no plans for production. Even so, it demonstrated once again the future-oriented thinking, creativity, and technical competence that had for the previous four decades identified the Porsche organization at Stuttgart.
This was a free-spirited, free-thinking Porsche, bursting loose from the final constraints of traditionalist thought. It was a Porsche to tempt the aficionado — the driver who’s seen them all, driven them all.
Even more than Porsches in general, the Porsche Panamericana concept car combined the best elements of high-tech while spurning faddish gadgetry.
More exciting yet, Porsche advised that the racy concept car just might “indicate the potential of future developments for the 911.” Perhaps, Porsche enthusiasts hoped, this prototype wouldn’t fade away like so many show cars, after the enthralled early observers had their fill, but could metamorphose into a 911 of the 1990s.
Considering that in some well-to-do neighborhoods of the late 1980s, Porsches had become a little too popular — indeed, almost common — a bold two-seater guaranteed to turn the heads of the most jaded onlookers would have been sure to be snapped up in a hurry.