Porsche 911: a symbol of German Modernism

Ulf Poschardt, full-time Deputy Editor of Die Welt and Welt am Sonntag and long-time 911 driver has written a new book on the Porsche 911. Titled simply ‘911’, it sounds rather fascinating. I swapped some Facebook messages on the Ferdinand page with Ulf yesterday, and he shared the purpose of this work.

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“It’s a cultural & social history of the Porsche 911,” says Ulf. “I have driven a 911 every day since the age of 23 – now more than 23 years. That time has allowed me to reflect on how and why this sports car became a symbol of German modernism after World War II, as well as a manifesto for individualism and a masterpiece in engineering culture.

“I talked to a variety of owners and drivers of Porsche 911 and tried to squeeze out their personal philosophy on the car. Everyone from artists and architects to engineers and politicans – and to Jerry Seinfeld, of course. The Ferdinand blog has many friends in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and they can find 911 in bookshops from July 24.”

Renowned Stuttgart publishing house, Klett-Cotta, is initially publishing the book in German only. Ulf hopes that an English version will follow, and I would certainly be interested in reading it. Of all the 911 books released to coincide with the car’s 50th anniversary, this one piques most interest.

John glynn porsche 911 coventry

I once took the EB Motorsport Porsche 911 ST built by Tuthills to the ruins of Coventry Cathedral, to consider the question “was the 911 part of Germany’s peace offering after the war?” It led to great discussion with citizens who endured concentrated bombing through the Coventry Blitz, which wiped out the ancient cathedral.

We left with an exceptional view of the people of Coventry: it was an incredible day. When I later mused upon Britain’s equivalent cultural offering, I struggled a bit. It’s something I still wonder about – my current favourite answer is ‘The Beatles’.

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