Tech

The 10 greatest Porsches ever made

The 959?

What about the 911 2.0 Coupé?

Or the 356 B 1600 GS Carrera GTL Abarth, right?

To the uninitiated, one Porsche model looks a lot like another - a curved descendent of the VW Beetle with little variation in bumps. But to the obsessive, the German car manufacturer has created some of the greatest works of engineering ever to grace the road.

But how to rank them? How to pick out the classics amongst it's legendary line up? It's the tall order we asked of Dieter Landenberger, Director of the Historical Archives of Porsche AG, author of the superb new Porsche Sounds photography book.

From classic racers to one-off specials, these are the greatest Porsches ever made.

  • The 10 greatest Porsches ever made

    Porsche 356 No.1 Roadster (1948)

    The very first car with the Porsche name. The unique prototype was leading the way for all later Porsche sports cars.

    (Image: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Historical Archive)

  • The 10 greatest Porsches ever made 1

    Porsche 356 SL (1951)

    This aerodynamic and lightweight version of the Porsche 356 achieved the very first Le Mans class victory in 1951.

  • The 10 greatest Porsches ever made 2

    Porsche 550 Spyder (1954)

    This mid-engined race car set the stage for a long series of Porsche success in racing as this "giant killer" achieved many wins.

    (Image: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Historical Archive)

  • The 10 greatest Porsches ever made 3

    Porsche 356 B 1600 GS Carrera GTL Abarth (1960)

    A small production series of  lightweight and aerodynamically optimized 356. The aluminium bodies were made by Carlo Abarth in Turin.

  • The 10 greatest Porsches ever made 4

    Porsche 911 2.0 Coupé (1964)

    The birth of the original 911: As successor to the 356 Porsche introduced the 901 in 1963. However Porsche had to retract the 901 designation and chooses the magical number 911.

    (Image: Porsche.com)

  • The 10 greatest Porsches ever made 5

    Porsche 917 LH Coupé (1971)

    The long-tail version of the legendary Porsche 917 is one of the fastest racing cars ever seen at Le Mans. In 1971 it hit 387 km/h on the six-kilometer Mulsanne Straight.

    (Image: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Historical Archive)

  • The 10 greatest Porsches ever made 6

    Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 Coupé (1974)

    Porsche's first production car to boost power output by using a turbocharger delivered a then almost incredible 260 hp. Racing technology for the street.

    (Image: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Historical Archive)

  • The 10 greatest Porsches ever made 7

    Porsche 959 (1985)

    In no other Porsche are the pasions for competition and hightech so perfectly blended as in the 959. A technological showpiece from the 1980s which is still adorable.

    (Image: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Historical Archive - Dakar Rally version shown)

  • The 10 greatest Porsches ever made 8

    Porsche Carrera GT (2003)

    Even the styling of the Carrera GT reflects the uncompromising character of this model as a top athlete. The mid-engine vehicle with carbon-fiber body is produced in a series of 1,270 units.

    (Image: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Historical Archive)

  • The 10 greatest Porsches ever made 9

    918 Spyder (2013)

    The 918 Spyder is the new technology showpiece for the further development of hybrid technology. Built in only 918 units, it is already a classic.

    (Image: Porsche.com)