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This topic contains 9 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Martin 1 week, 5 days ago.

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  • #3823

    Martin
    Keymaster

    Here are two shots of Porsches being made, taken during the 1980’s. By the time of the first shot (December 1982) the works was beginning to look more like any other car assembly line, although note that the cars were still being moved through the build process on those little dolly devices rather than a conveyor. This was the way in which the 356 had been made and so was still rather ‘cottage industry’, although things were soon going to have to change in the cause of improving efficiency, profits and quality.

    Hand assembly was still the norm in the case of the 959 though, seen below extensively bubble-wrapped in 1987. In an example of the factory-supervised sub-contracting that the company has used whenever capacity precluded production in-house, these cars were made by Karosserie Baur. This Stuttgart concern was established pre-WW1 and is best known for its long association with BMW convertible manufacture, although they also did a lot of specialised interior work for Porsche

    Photos: Ted Walker Archive

  • #4569

    Martin
    Keymaster

    924 production, seen here in 1980, was highly mechanised and quite a contrast to the handmade and semi-handmade methods that had been used previously. It was certainly a far cry from the way that the 356 had been made…

    …as can be seen with these very early models undergoing body assembly.

    Photos: Ted Walker Archive

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by  Martin.
  • #4575

    Martin
    Keymaster

    Further developed since this view was taken, the Weissach proving ground has been a huge asset to Porsche in testing their road and racing cars and for their consultancy work. These days this facility has been supplemented by their Nardo proving ground in southern Italy but Weissach, in a rural area but only 25km from the main Porsche factory and adjacent to their Flacht Motorsport Centre, is still the hub of Porsche design and development work, even having its own wind tunnel.

    Photo: Ted Walker Archive

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by  Martin.
  • #4989

    Martin
    Keymaster

    Another view of the 924 production line in 1980 and even given the more lax standards of those days the visitors appear to be all too close to the process in this rather casual scene.

    Photo: Ted Walker Archive

  • #4997

    Martin
    Keymaster

    In 1988 Porsche released a commemorative edition of the Carrera 3.2 in coupe, targa and cabriolet form to celebrate the production of 250,000 911s. Its main differences were to be found in the interior, which had special blue carpets and blue leather seats with an embossed ‘F Porsche’ signature on their headrests to match its blue (variously called Diamond or Marine Blue) paintwork. Given all that, what do we have here? It is a 911 of the correct period with the ‘signed’ seats but everything is in white rather than blue…

    …but perhaps the next picture gives us a clue as it appears to show the same car at the works and outside the design department. Intriguingly there is another half-completed 911 behind it which is finished in something more akin to the blue used on the production cars, although it is on ‘cookie cutter’ rather than Fuchs wheels. Is the white car some sort of prototype for the forthcoming model? There certainly seems to be a discussion about it taking place and in the preceding picture it is mounted on a turntable, presumably to allow it to be seen from all angles under the same light conditions.

    That office behind the glass looks intriguing too. Note the futuristic scale model on the left and further back what may be a 924. Perhaps someone can throw some more light on these two pictures?

    Photos: Ted Walker Archive

  • #5063

    Martin
    Keymaster

    A few shots from the 356 production line at the end of the 1950’s, although ‘production line’ is almost an inappropriate description. There was no mechanised line, the cars being manhandled through the various stages of assembly, each mounted on a three-wheeled trolley. The components were brought to the cars from the adjacent racking, boxes on the floor or groups of larger units and assembly was a very physical ‘hand made’ process, as can be seen from the man inside the front compartment! Even the 911 began by being made in this way, but the company eventually realised that a true production line and a more carefully regulated parts supply was the key to increased profitability, so long as it went hand in hand with good quality control.
    On the left-hand side of the previous picture can be seen the wheel and tyre area and below is a closer look at it. Tyres, rims and tubes abound in what appears to be a slightly chaotic manner and the Hofmann (still leaders in the field after 80+ years) balancing machine must have been in constant use. A row of differently-coloured seats can be seen on the top shelf at the rear.

    On the other side of the factory we can see various mechanical sub-assemblies taking shape.

    Photos: Ted Walker Archive

  • #5064

    Martin
    Keymaster

    An interesting illustration showing how a details are added to full-size 944 realisation in the styling studio.

    Photo: Ted Walker Archive

  • #5185

    Martin
    Keymaster

    Bearing a Carrera rather than a Speedster badge, this is the prototype 911 Speedster as was displayed at the 1987 Frankfurt Show. The positive reaction there helped to make the car a reality.

    Photo: Ted Walker Archive

  • #5851

    Martin
    Keymaster

    With the 356 moving through the production process on three-wheeled trolleys, these had to mount the car high enough off the ground to allow various underside components to be fitted from below by workers using crawlers. Seen here on what must presumably be a hot day given the employee’s lack of a shirt, a 356C nears the end of assembly and shows off the disc brakes that were introduced with the model in 1963.

    Photo: Porsche AG

  • #5853

    Martin
    Keymaster

    A very interesting shot of three 959’s together at Weissach (Werk VIII) in September 1986. Aside from these and other Porsche types there are two non-Porsches -one sheeted over- in the background. Could these be development ‘mules’, where the mechanical parts of models under development are disguised within an ordinary exterior?

    Photo: Ted Walker Archive

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