Porsche Four-Door Sedans of the Past or How to Make the Panamera Look Good

The famous automaker from Stuttgart is no stranger to controversy. And like the Cayenne SUV, Porsche's first ever production four door sedan, the all-new Panamera sports saloon received some decidedly mixed reviews in concern of its styling. But compared with some past attempts to create a four-door Porsche, the Panamera looks like a piece of art -okay, okay, maybe we're exaggerating a bit here just to make a point.

The first Porsche saloon you see pictured on your right hand was based on the late 1960's 911. It was a one-off custom creation built by California coach builder Troutman-Barnes with the blessings of Porsche.

It is claimed that the eerie-looking sports saloon with the rear suicide doors and the four-seat layout was crafted by conjoining two crashed 1967 911s.

In the mid-1980s, Porsche and AMG (then, an independent company) developed a fully working prototype of a four-door 928 S4 that could be viewed today as the Mazda RX-8's forefather. It featured an extended wheelbase, half-sized suicide rear doors and looks that kill - literally...

The bizarre-looking 1986 928 S4 saloon was delivered to the founder and CEO of American Sunroof Corporation (ASC), Heinz Prechter. In August 2002, the car was changed hands at the RM Monterey Auctions for $44,000, or $1,000 less than the low estimate.

And last but perhaps not least as there may be another custom built or concept Porsche sedan that we are not aware of, is the 989 prototype that was created under the watchful eye of Dr. Ulrich Bez, now in charge of Aston Martin.

Quite possibly the closest relative to the Panamera, the V8-powered 989 sedan project kicked off in the late 1980s but was terminated in the early 1990s as falling sales of the 928 made Porsche rethink the idea twice. Even though the Stuttgart-based automaker initially said that the concept model had been destroyed, later on, officials claimed that the 989 remains in storage hidden away from prying eyes.

Via: Insideline , Photo Sources: Tamerlane's Thoughts & Conceptcarz


Anonymous said... »June 25, 2009

Truly damn ugly automobiles—all of them!

Anonymous said... »June 25, 2009

Porsche's Design Flop.
Panamera's rear end is unfinished. Panamera isn't perfect like 911 always is. The car is built strong as a tank and shortening rear overhang helped to keep rigidity of the body. Consequently, oversized rear cluster lights are awful and show not finished idea. Someone else was in a hurry but design director either "fell asleep behind the wheel" or paid closer attention to his secretary than work... and didn't care to finish the project. Designers could surprise with an unusual narrow strip of LCD lights or offer small, more refined lights like Ferrari does. Nevertheless, new-money customers will only pay attention to presence of "Turbo-S" sticker on the hatch the same way many Cayenne have done. This could be the last car because Porsche AG will fall if Volkswagen AG goes bankrupt in this depression.

Halldór said... »June 26, 2009

I have to say that I find both the 911 and 989 4-door models way more aesthetically pleasing than the Panamera. I'd go as far as saying the 989 looks quite nice, would be interesting to see it side by side with a Panamera. That said, I also have to admit that slowly but surely I'm starting to understand the Panamera and I'm convinced Porsche will manage to take big bite of the luxury sedan segment when international sales start.

Andrew said... »June 26, 2009

That 1960s 911 is a gorgeous car, and it is an obvious predecessor of the Panamera.

Halldor, I agree wholeheartedly with you, the Panamera will take a huge bite out of the luxury 4 door market. Porsches are driver's cars, and so far, if you wanted Porsche level performance for 4 you would have to go to BMW or AUDI.

Can't wait to get my hands on one of these.

Anonymous said... »June 26, 2009

Stick to Sports cars with 2doors!

Anonymous said... »June 26, 2009

989 version looks very nice, but there is no way anybody with a head can fit in the back seat.

The 911 version looks quite spacious and decent looking though. Love the suicide doors

Anonymous said... »June 26, 2009

That Porsche 924/928 looks like an AMC Pacer from the rear. I don't mind the 911 looking 4-door, it sure looks better than the Panarama. But, definitely, the interior is much better in the current one than all the rest.

Anonymous said... »June 27, 2009

928 design followed AMC Pacer rear side door concept. A few years ago it was stated that a Porsche designer liked the design of those windows and included it in 928.
good observation.

Martin said... »November 19, 2009

Nice. Only one thing i thougt about the rebuilt 911 was built for the wife of William J. "Bill" Dick, a man with a great love for beer, the car was built from a brand new 911S from 1967, the car were given to his wife as a x-mas gift. THe work was caried out buy the "Troutman-Barnes" a two man company. The American motorpaper "Road and Track" folowed the project, and in the paper printed in March 1968 you can read about the building prosses and the result. The build has as far as I know nothing to do with the Porsche company, more than the fact that "Bill" sent his boots to Porsche Werk so that they could make 4 chairs in the same orange leather. As sales man how later bought the car tryed to convince Porsche that the 4-door 911S was a good idea, the board how-ever was not so mutch into the idea. The dealer name was "John von Neumann" a Porsche dealer based in Los Angeles.

Hope you have some use of this, sorry for my bad English

Kurt Mottweiler said... »July 22, 2010

I see the 911 4 door turn up from time to time. I rode in it with my father on its inaugural journey from California to San Antonio where my father worked for Porsche Cars Southwest and was involved with the production of the car. We drove out to California in a Rolls Royce belonging to Bill Dick's partner in the business. We then picked up the Porsche (in its original green color) and drove it back. Upon returning to San Antonio, my father (an avid amateur photographer) and I drove it out to several of the Spanish missions and took photographs. If memory serves me correctly, Road and Track or perhaps another car magazine was also there. I still have some of those pictures stored away.

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