‘Driven by dreams’: Last weekend, May 20 and 21, was all about car culture on Lake Como, where Porsche Heritage and Museum staged its biggest ever open-air exhibition. Forty of the most successful and iconic Porsche brand models were presented in the expansive garden of the Villa Olmo, which was opened to visitors as part of the ‘FuoriConcorso’, just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Como.
The fourth edition of the series of events started by Guglielmo Miani was celebrating the most beautiful aspects of motorcar culture. The main event is held in May every year, at the same time as the renowned ‘Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este’ in the gardens of the Grumello and Sucota villas, and since 2022 additionally on the premises of the glamorous Villa Olmo that overlooks Lake Como. This year, the space was dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the brand of the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer. “The incredible atmosphere offers the ideal setting in which to present exceptional cars from the past 75 years to fans, but also to those people who, with their dreams and courage, played their part in writing the success story of our brand,” said Achim Stejskal, Head of Porsche Heritage and Museum at Porsche AG. Miani, who not only has petrol running through his veins, but is also President of Milanese luxury brand Larusmiani, responded: “I have a very special place in my heart for Porsche sports cars, so I am delighted that Porsche is celebrating its 75th anniversary at this year’s ‘FuoriConcorso Open Museum’. After last year’s ‘FuoriConcorso Sonderwunsch’, where we succeeded in bringing together some of the rarest hand-built and customised Porsche sports cars, this exhibition at the ‘FuoriConcorso Open Museum’ is a dream come true.”
Dream cars for racetrack and road
The often high humidity did not deter international visitors from enjoying the exhibits on display on the crunchy gravel before the imposing Villa Olmo as they told the story of past, present and future dreams – starting with a Porsche 550 Spyder, two models of which were victorious in their respective class at the fifth and final Carrera Panamericana in 1954. Another dream car to travel from Stuttgart to the ‘FuoriConcorso’ in Italy was the Porsche 356 B 2000 GS Carrera GT from 1963. The ‘Scraper’, which was designed by F.A. Porsche, weighs 195 kilograms less than its road-approved equivalent. Nearby, Porsche had parked the 804 Formula 1, a lightweight car weighing 481 kilograms with which Dan Gurney won the French Grand Prix on 8 July 1962 – the first and sole World Championship triumph to date by a Formula 1 car built by Porsche. Also on the list of extraordinary winners is the Porsche 908/02 Spyder, with which Porsche won the Brand World Championship for the first time in 1969. Over 50 significant victories and more than 100 podium places between 1969 and 1972 have made the 908/02 Spyder one of the most successful Porsche racing cars of all time. From the current era, a Formula E of the second generation was on display.
Technology carriers and super sports cars
Another special guest at Lake Como was the Porsche 917/30 Spyder. The sports car from 1972 was built as a test vehicle for the CanAm series in such a way that its wheelbase could be adjusted. Eleven years later, Porsche unveiled to the public the ‘Group B’ concept car as a homologation model for the racing class of the same name. This pre-production high-performance sports car also attracted a lot of attention in Northern Italy. In 1985, it was launched as the Porsche 959. With this model, the sports car manufacturer showed the world what the automotive industry was capable of at that time. Another technology carrier from Weissach very popular with visitors was the Porsche 911 GT1 from 1998. The 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine with two turbochargers delivers 550 PS (404 kW) and brought home a one-two finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A 918 Spyder, a 718 GT4 RS and a rare 935 model from 2018 were among the other cars that warmed the hearts of the fans over these two fresh, almost summery days.
356 and 911 model lines
For a mental journey into the future while looking back, the company put its Porsche Vision 357 on display. The homage to Ferry Porsche’s dream sports car, the 356, stands for the potential outcomes of a future design philosophy. The one millionth 911 was also on display, along with an ancestral portrait gallery of four different Speedsters, beginning with the 356 A 1600 Speedster, at the exhibition under an open sky. The 911 2.2 S Targa and the 911 (964) Carrera RS were joined by the youngest member of the 911 family: the 911 Dakar. This sports car with significantly increased ground clearance demonstrates that the concept of the Porsche 911 is virtually limitless.
Private cars and GT icons
To further enrich the exhibition with more extraordinary sports cars from every decade, a number of enthusiasts also put their own Porsche cars on display at Lake Como, among them a 911 R of the 991 generation and a 911 GT2 RS Clubsport of the 991 generation from Manthey-Racing. Paolo Barilla presented visitors with his 911 GT3 of the 992 generation. In 1985, he took overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with his Porsche 956. Porsche Italy provided further models for the ‘FuoriConcorso’, such as a 911 GT3 and a 911 GT3 RS of the 992 generation from 2022. They also brought the 50-year-old 911 Carrera RS 2.7 and a 356 Speedster from 1956 to the lakeside event.
Emotions and memories
Without people, no cars – this was the message from Porsche representatives and enthusiasts as they told the stories of how and when their love for the Stuttgart brand began, during the ‘Dreamers Talk’ in the 100-square-metre Heritage Truck that will be bringing the story of Porsche to fans in their home countries during the anniversary year. For example, Stephane Ortelli, a Porsche works driver for ten years and winner at Le Mans in 1998 with the Porsche 911 GT1: “Even as a small boy I dreamed of just getting the chance to drive a Porsche some day. Then I wanted to race in a Porsche, and after that win Le Mans in a Porsche. It all came true.” Ralf Haessler, Head of Aerodynamics at Porsche, was given an electric racetrack when he was six years old. One of the slotcars was a 911, and he was immediately fascinated by it: “My knowledge of aerodynamics and fluid mechanics later led me to Porsche. Picking up my first 911, which I got to drive for one year, was a very emotional moment.” Emiel Burki, exterior designer for models such as the Taycan electric sports car and the Porsche Vision 357, was blown away by super sports cars in Group B when he was ten years old: “I never would have imagined that one day I would get the opportunity to work in the motorcar industry,” he recalls. “But I never stopped drawing cars. And finally I made it to Porsche.” And FuoriConcorso founder Guglielmo Miani, who brought his 930 Turbo Flatnose to the Villa Olmo along with other models? “My grandfather was a real car fanatic – I got my passion from him. My dream is to meet people in Como from leading brands such as Porsche who are shaping the future of the car – who demonstrate and stand for what was here yesterday, what is here today, and what will be here tomorrow.”