It’s time to admit something else. I really dislike the old, air-cooled Porsche designs. Whilst the back ends are sublime, those little froggy-eyed headlamps are just so objectionable. They detract from the cars’ appearance to a huge extent. A jutting front bumper, that looks more like the bill of a crestfallen platypus, completes the inept ‘design-is-for-girls’ look.
I’m convinced that people like these vehicles for three main reasons:
- The performance used to be legendary.
- Driving a small, high speed car that straps on tightly is just a great experience, especially when it demands your attention to move quickly down the road. Looks are, however, secondary to anyone who considers himself a true, old-school purist.
- Many others like them, which is reflected in the price. Lots of people do whatever they are told, of course. When advertisers say, “buy this to complete your life” -off they go.
I’m always trying to think for myself. Sure, I buy what is well advertised, but I also demand to apply some aesthetic and technical judgement. Anyone who knows a damn thing about aerodynamics understands that those flat fronted lamps are a source of significant drag. They also look just like a startled frog; a victory of expediency over beauty.
Porsche clearly recognised the problem -with various flat-nose designs and then the 993 came along. Take a look at the headlamps on this aerodynamically optimised prototype whose Cd was 0.27, as compared to the contemporary value for a frog-eye of 0.40. Here, ignoring the rest of the car, is what the old 911’s nose should have looked like.
Eventually, the 996’s fried eggs achieved near perfection with Cd=0.30 (before being replaced by the ‘facelift’ version -sorry, but the later 996s have a slightly-melted, droopy-eyed look. Stallone before the cuts man stepped into the ring.