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Downtown Porsche Throwback Thursday: Porsche "Flatnose"

Porsche "Flatnose"

The iconic Porsche 911 has a distinctive body shape which has remained similar, with only slight alterations, since 1963. Specifically, each generation of 911 has had a unique headlight design and curvature which remained similar with some tweaks throughout history. One particular 911 generation however, came with a front-end completely unlike any other 911 model.

The era between 1975 and 1989 for Porsche 911s was something special. If you have ever driven a Porsche from this time period you know that there is nothing quite like it. Porsche had some of the fastest street-legal production cars at the time with the 911 Turbos, which were given the internal model designation of 930. For those who don’t know, each Porsche 911 model since their release has been given an internal model designation corresponding to their body shape and year of design; 911 (930 as the Turbo variant), 964, 993, 996, 997 and 991 - more on this in a future article. The 930 got a custom twist in a variant, which was built in the early 80s based off the 935 race car (late 70’s era). This happened due to the Porsche “Custom Preparation Department”, which allowed customers to modify their Porsche models working with both bodywork and mechanical internals. This initiative by Porsche gave customers more flexibility in their cars and allowed them to build their cars to their own specification at a price. The shape of the 935 race car front-end was unique and very different from the front-end of the previous 911 vehicle as the distinctive headlight curves had been replaced with pop-up lights and a slanted nose. Porsche customers saw this design and wanted the same application in a street-legal version. This became known as the “Flachbau” or “Flatnose” 911 in the 80s.

The Flatnose 911 was highly desirable for Porsche enthusiasts as it replicated the highly successful 935 race car that had won the 24hr Le Mans years earlier. To meet the high demands of custom-built vehicles with a flat nose, Porsche decided to release a factory-built version. The first factory version was released in 1986-1989 as the Porsche 930 Turbo SE Coupe. This was the first Flatnose Porsche to be released to the public fully built from the factory that was not a part of the Customer Preparation Department. In 1987, a cabriolet version was released along with a Targa variant. The Turbo SE was the fastest 911 of the era. Combining this with the unique flat nose motorsport design, the car was an instant hit. In 1989, Porsche discontinued production of the 930 Flatnose models and replaced it with the new 911 generation, the 964 (1989-1994). This makes the Flatnose variant a highly collectable item for Porsche enthusiasts.

Porsche continues this element of customer-based customization in their modern-era vehicles. It’s what makes the brand so special; a history of unique cars tailored to the customer. Very rarely do you see a production car that will give you such incredible levels of personalization. This has been the Porsche standard since day one. At Downtown Porsche, we are happy to help you with your personalization and make your very first Porsche truly yours.

- Nathan Kelly, Porsche Product Advisor

Date Posted: August 3, 2017