When Ferdinand Porsche founded an auto manufacturing company in 1931, the result would eventually become one of the world’s most renowned car brands. Porsche vehicles are known for being high performance machines that are impeccably stylish and beautifully engineered. The company has been producing iconic models since its earliest days, starting with the Volkswagen Beetle. Then-leader Hitler tapped Ferdinand Porsche to design the model in 1934 so the German people would have affordable cars to drive on the country’s new road system.
It was followed by the Porsche 64, which most consider to be the company’s first car since the VW Beetle was commissioned by the German government. Not long after came a number of vehicles that made Porsche the most successful brand in the world of motorsport. Porsche has changed hands during its history, but it has always retained the upscale styling and quality that made the auto company famous.
Here are our picks for ten of the top Porsche models of all time.
1. 1952 Porsche 550 Spyder
The 550 Spyder developed when Porsche engineers were looking for a way to get rid of the inefficiencies of the Volkswagen Beetle’s design, which did little in the way of maintaining balance. After placing the engine in front of the car’s transmission and turning over the drivetrain, the result was the two seater 550 Spyder. The model is still held in high esteem for its incredible balance, and today it’s an iconic car.
2. 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster
The Porsche 356 Speedster was developed specifically for customers in the US and was essentially a stripped down version of the 356 with no side windows and a lower price tag. This car’s looks and smooth performance made it popular and more commonplace to drive just for the sake of enjoying the ride, which helped Porsche carve out a piece of the auto segment that was dominated by British brands at the time. Not only is the 356 Speedster legendary, it’s highly collectible today.
3. 1967 Porsche 911 Targa
In 1967 Porsche introduced the 911 Targa, which featured a removable roof just like the early 911. In addition, it was equipped with a stainless steel anti-roll bar. The name for the model came from Sicily’s Targa Florio road race where Porsche had earned numerous victories. It was produced for several decades and then put on hiatus until 2014, which is when it returned with a 400 hp 3.8 liter six cylinder engine. Of course, 911 Targa fans were thrilled to see it make a comeback.
4. 1970 Porsche 917
Whether you know it from Steve McQueen’s Le Mans film or from its unstoppable racing spree, one thing is certain: the Porsche 917 is unforgettable. The 917 is what made Porsche a force to be reckoned with on the race track, and other car brands didn’t stand a chance when this 1,100 hp beast was in the game. The 1970 Porsche 917 was beyond powerful and flaunted a 12 cylinder engine and went in excess of 200 miles per hour.
5. 1975 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 Coupe
Once the 911 came out and the public reacted, Porsche knew it was an icon in the making and well worth keeping around in some shape or form. To keep the 911’s popularity high, Porsche decided to turbocharge it and create the 911 Turbo 3.0 Coupe. This model was the fastest car produced in Germany at the time and was beautifully styled. In true Porsche fashion, its speed and performance were both top notch.
6. 1987 Porsche 959
The Porsche 959 is another car that evolved from the 911, but this time the brand wanted to create an off road racer to end all off road racers. It ended up becoming a winner at the Paris-Dakar Rally, and it looked good while doing so. The street variant released in 1987 had a rear engine four-wheel drive, twin turbocharged flat six engine, and produced 444 hp.
7. 2002 Porsche Boxster 986
The 2002 Boxster 986 was part of the first generation of the model, which had a design inspired by the Porsche 550 Spyder, Speedster, and 356 Cabriolet. Its flat six engine and transmission could take the car from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds, plus the 2002 model featured a few design changes. Instead of a plastic window in the rear, the Boxster 976 gained a smaller glass window, new trunk release and hood design, revamped steering wheel, and a glove compartment.
8. 2005 Porsche Carrera GT
The aim of introducing the Carrera GT in 2005 was to remind the world of Porsche’s dominance in the racing world, while still producing a driver’s car. It debuted with a mid-engine layout, 605 hp V10 engine, six speed transmission, and a top speed of 205 mph. The sports car’s interior features soft leather and has a look of total luxury. This model performs flawlessly in the hands of those who knew how to handle it, even at high speeds.
9. 2010 Porsche Boxster Spyder
The 2010 Boxster Spyder is pure Porsche at every angle, was the lightest Porsche on the market when it first came out, and still stands as one of the most uncomplicated models unveiled by the brand in recent years. It has a classic profile, sleek lines, and you can’t beat its weight distribution and balance on the road. Qualities like this have made the Boxster Spyder a top choice for car and driving aficionados.
10. 2014 Porsche Cayman GTS
The Cayman GTS debuted in 2014 with some changes that distinguished it from the 981 platform on which it was based. It’s just a bit longer than other models in the Cayman line, has a more powerful engine, Bi-Xenon headlights, Sports Chrono Package, sports exhaust system, and the option to be equipped with passive sport suspension. The model can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds and has a 340 hp engine. That aside, it’s a gorgeous head turner and one of the best models in the third generation of the line.