Midrand - Around 1500 Porsches and their owners descended on the Kyalami circuit on Saturday to celebrate the German sportscar marque's 70th birthday.
In what was likely the largest-ever single gathering of Porsches in South Africa, the Sportscar Together Day - which attracted nearly 4500 Porsche owners and their guests - was one of several similar get-togethers held around the globe to honour the septuagenarian milestone of the famous car brand.
June 8 marked 70 years since the first vehicle to bear the Porsche name, the 356 "No. 1" Roadster, received its street certification in 1948. Ferry Porsche, son of company founder Ferdinand Porsche, designed and built the original 356 in 1948 to create something new for the time: a sports car combining superb driving dynamics and performance with efficient everyday usability - a credo that the company has stuck to all these years.
A factory-built replica of the "No. 1" 356 roadster (the original is in the Porsche museum in Stuttgart, Germany) was specially brought in for the Kyalami event, and it shared the limelight with hundreds of other cars from Porsche's present and past.
On a mild and sunny winter day, guests browsed the precious metal that was on display. Lining the pits and parking areas of Kyalami (which is owned by Porsche SA CEO Toby Venter) were the earliest 356 models to the latest variants of the Porsche 911, 718, Panamera, Cayenne and Macan. One of the stars of the show was the new GT2 RS, at 515kW the most powerful 911 ever built and which has just gone on sale in South Africa at a price of R5.5-million.
The 911 was first launched in 1963 and became an unmistakable icon for the brand, and every Porsche carries its DNA. More than half of over 30 000 race wins in Porsche's rich motorsport history can be credited to 911 cars. Porsche is also the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hour race, with 19 wins.
Looking to the future, Porsche will next year launch its first purely electrically powered car, the Taycan sport sedan.