Why Are Porsches So Popular?
The Friendly Doctor

Yes, why are Porsches so popular? I don’t have any sort of succinct answer to the question, but, as a bystander, I do have a number of vague observations and notions regarding the marque.

Bear with me, but I think the answer to this lies, in part, in some seemingly irrelevant statistics regarding malpractice lawsuits. The thing is, numbers show that it isn’t the doctors who make the most mistakes that get sued; the doctors who are most likely to get taken to court are the ones who are the least friendly. When coupled with a mistake it’s the doctors who made patients feel ignored or neglected that get hit with legal action.

My point is, besides the engine being in the wrong place, Porsches rattle and shake an awful lot for such expensive cars. The 964 leaked oil, the 993 is known for valve train issues, the 996 was afflicted with a problematic IMS bearing. And yet, despite any shortcomings that any Porsche had, has, or may someday have, everyone wants one.

This is because Porsche is the friendly doctor. Porsche is the old man who might make a mistake here and there, but they’re also the passionate and caring ones, and this is why the marque instead has a reputation for reliability. Porsche tries really, really hard to keep their cars on the road, and it shows at events like the Porsche Monterey Classic I attended on Monday night.


A figure that was touted all night long was ’70 percent’. This is the percentage of Porsches still on the road out of all Porsches ever built – an incredible number.


Porsche, it seems, is one of the rare brands that recognizes the value of their previous models. I know this because I went to their website on the internet, where Porsche says: “More than 70 percent of all Porsche vehicles ever built are still on the road and therefore play a defining role in shaping the fascination of the brand.”


See, there it is again, 70 percent. This is due in large part to the Porsche Classic program, an internal effort to maintain and revive old Porsches.


And that’s what this event was really about: a celebration of Porsche Monterey’s designation as a Porsche Classic Partner. So, kudos for that as there are only a small handful of these accredited facilities nationwide.


While I’d normally be more interested in the wine, whiskey, and hors d’oeuvres at an event like this, I was genuinely interested in the cars here. And that’s because this was a Porsche event.

While I feel other manufacturers will always push you to cast aside your tired daily driver for the next great thing, Porsche sees the value of their lineage. They’re a rare factory marque that is truly dedicated to their past as much as their future.


Talking to a number of people, many insisted they aren’t really into cars, and yet they love their Porsche, old or new. By helping keep their cars alive, Porsche has created a community of car enthusiasts that don’t even know they’re car enthusiasts.


Porsche is the friendly doctor, and that’s a cool thing.


Porsche is also a staple of performance. People have always wanted a Porsche; the name carries a certain weight, a certain status. The same is even more true of their rare-spec models.


The event held up to the expectations that come with a name like Porsche. I avoided the crowds as best I could in most of my photos, but don’t be fooled, the building was totally packed. To top it off, Alexander Fabig, the Director of Porsche Classic, visited from Stuttgart to explain the ethos of Porsche Classic.


Alexander also pointed out that this event marked the first time in Car Week history that every factory generation Speedster was formally featured in a singular location. And while I still can’t get a Mario Kart turtle shell out of my head, the more of these I see the more they’re growing on me. Not that it matters, as I don’t have the coin for one.


But with this high price tag comes so much more. First, there are the unmatched aesthetics. Then, there’s the Porsche community, a very mature one which includes an aftermarket rife with quality upgrades. Every day your drive to work is interesting, and if you make it to the track you’re guaranteed a good time.


But, most of all, you get a factory manufacturer with a prestigious history that’s genuinely interested in preserving your car. To me, this is what makes Porsche owners stay Porsche owners. They’re a loyal bunch.

There’s more to it, no doubt, but until I find myself behind the wheel of one for an extended period of time the rest will be a mystery. Which is to say, I may never fully understand.

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto

Porsche For Life


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Cool cars but a lot are owned by tossers who know nothing about them and just use them to show off wealth.

Barry Stuttgart

Perhaps. However, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bugatti, Maserati etc even top end Nissans have their share of tossers. Not necessarily wealthy either, just tossers.


as I am sure it's true, I live here in Monterey and I can tell you majority of Porsche owners drive the hell out them at our local laguna Seca track, laurels grade, 17 mile drive and the many back roads. also they are down to earth. more than any other brand fanatico I think.


Holler at your boy


Is that almost 400 miles in one day? Nice. Hope it was fun!


Other than the heritage and racing pedigree, I think the real appeal is it remained relatively small in foot print ( 911) compared to its super rivals. It only adds to the practicality and everyday usable factor . Just my thoughts :)


let's be clear - the reason Porsche gets to quote that 70 percent number is because they've sold a massive percentage of their cars in the last 10-15 years. in that time they've sold nearly as many Cayennes as they ever sold 911s of any model, and that's not including Macans. if you total up the Cayenne, Macan, and Panamera, I'd bet it's at least half the Porsches ever sold. and the 911 is a sports car, likely driven by rich people less frequently than most people drive their Toyotas and with better care provided, so it's not surprising they have a longer lifespan in years.

this is not to detract from the quality of the cars - I've had a couple of rides around tracks in 911s and they're fantastic - but the Porsche mythology bullshit has become too much for me. they're great cars, but the slobbering reverence shown for all things P-car is getting out of hand.

by the way, Trevor, that last comment isn't aimed at you. but I will add with regards to the article that if Porsche seems particularly dedicated to their history, it's because they realize how profitable it is for them to keep that reverent mythology going. the cost of retaining people to run things like their classics restoration program - people who are no doubt genuinely passionate about the cars - is only expended because the mother ship knows it helps them crank out all the base-model Cayennes they can make.

guess I had to inject a dose of healthy cynicism here. I'm hoping to someday be recognized as a pioneer of the Porsche bubble backlash.


"guess I had to inject a dose of healthy cynicism here. I'm hoping to someday be recognized as a pioneer of the Porsche bubble backlash."

Unfortunately to burst your bubble(pun intended), but the pioneer of the Porsche bubble backlash is and always be the Porsche tax. It is what keeps the bubble somewhat in check as people quickly learn that maintenance of one of these cars is quite expensive and for no reason other than it says Porsche on it. Even after-market parts show an increased price over parts for other car manufacturers. The first rule of Porsche ownership: learn the equivalent parts numbers because buying the part directly from Bosch (or any other manufacturer) will be much cheaper than buying it from Porsche.

Id like to venture a hypothesis as to why Porsche are so popular: Group think, and no other manufacturer has such a direct link to their owners as Porsche does. Through the Porsche Club they can not only nudge the group think in the direction they want but they also take feedback from their owners to help them set their future direction. No other manufacturer does then en-mass, sure they may have programs such as Mazda and their racing program (for promoting younger racers through the ranks) but there is no owners club quite like the Porsche club and Porsche has managed to get their car owners to run it so that Porsche doesn't need to hire anyone to keep it organized.


^ accurate ^

Especially teh part about Cayennes. Great cars though but at the end of the day just cars. No better than the best chevy, bmw or anything else for half the price tag. Majority of owners are middle aged guys who were dentists or lawyers that dont know any better. Cant blame em. In my life ive driven over 70 or 80 porsches. fun cars but not the holy grail people tote them as.


Trevor, that %70 figure "still running" is a storybook mathematical manipulation at it's most transparent. You know it, you are a numbers guy. That percentage figure is ONLY possible due to the incredible number of Porsche SUV's produced in RECENT years (in 2002 a piddly 54,234 Porsche's were produced, compared to a whopping 225,121 in 2015). To further rub salt in the wound, ALL of the 911 variations combined sales last year only accounted for just a tick over %15 of Porsche's overall sales! At this rate it will take just 2 year's worth of non-sportscar production to match THE ENTIRE 35-year run of the air-cooled 911. I can't wait to hear what bumbling baldashery find's it's way out of their mouth next.


I wouldn't call it mathematical manipulation. It was mentioned by Porsche that night and this is what they had to say about it: this figure doesn't include race cars and non-registered vehicles, so it's actually higher than 70 percent. Toyota has said 80% of their cars sold in the last twenty years are still driving. Higher, surely, if you include race cars (and drift cars).

It would be interesting to see a breakdown, though, that includes 50s and on by decade. But I suspect their older cars would fare better than most other brands, which is their whole point.


Hi Trevor,
Please tell me you will feature that gorgeous 67' VW...


De 70% number haven't been fact-checked by anyone for over 20 till 30 years. But everybody is repeating this number for years now. Most of the 928's and 924's aren't with us anymore. Many 356's had no value at all to restore them properly, only the special ones. Many 911's have been rotting away. A lot of Porsches are not on the road, but have been transformed into racing cars. Not all of those have survived their second life. Even the first generation Cayennes are already trashed, because they are just plain old cars now. Only the nicest of them all survived. Boxsters were sold by the thousends in a small country like mine, but if you want a first gen Boxster now, only a couple are for sale in your area. Just a couple of people kept theirs for a very long time. But no one wants to be a 13th owner of a car that isn't that special with 300k on the odo. So the 70% is a lie, but it doesn't matter, because I guess Porsche has 70% more survivers than every other large (sports) car manufacturer. And that's a whole lot of cars that still exist compared to their rivals! And when there's a lot of them, many people will see and hear about those cars. This helps to create demand for over a very long period of time. And people who want to buy a classic or second hand Porsche have something to choose from. The favorite colour, the best engine, the wheels and wings you like so much. A Porsche for the street, a Porsche for the track. You still don't have to be rich to buy a second hand Porker. But when things break down, you do. And then most of the cars end up as a parts bin. But as long as value rises, it's worth to invest in any good Porsche. Not for profit, but for fun. Because a Porsche cannot be loved by everybody, but no one can call them dull either.


I wonder what the used boxter/cayman markets are lookin like these days...


Great! 987 Caymans can easily be had in the USD $20k's/low 30s, and it looks like the 981s are starting to get into the 30s. Just peek around your local Craigslist. NSX prices might have skyrocketed, but I'm thinking in a few years a 981 S will be cheap enough for me to afford and make for a very good stand-in for my dream car.


They're popular because they have great reliability and performance at a reasonable price compared to other real sports cars. Porsche factory and dealers have excellent customer service, regularly send random goodies to customers, and invite owners to events and activities not advertised elsewhere.

Aside from the GT or Turbo cars, most of the line-up is affordable for those of us that actually work a professional job and don't just lurk on the internet all day.


Kudos for featuring this gorgeous beetle as closing image!


porches are so popular, cause of speedhunters. for the last ten years you have taken the best pictures and written about the classic lines and community behind these sport cars. you cemented in our brains how great these cars are old or new.so every 80's kid with a little money now is trying to capture one. me included. we may have cut our knuckles learning to race civics but when a 911 ripped by it always broke necks.


"Pull your tongue out of my arsehole, Gary. Dogs do that. You're not a dog, are ya, Gary?"


Funny and has some truth to it! Some (now) adults are still stuck on their Honda's and Mitsubishi's as their "dream" cars.


so true, my gf dream car is a 2012-2017 Honda Accord sport lol


I got a Boxster S because I always wanted one. Then I was just so impressed with the driving characteristics and the overall quality of the thing that I bought a Macan Turbo. Which is superb. So now I'm switching the Boxster for a 911.

The thing with Porsche is that after living with them, everything else seems like a downgrade - and I include Bentley (old fashioned) and Ferrari (not usable as daily drivers) here. The quality of my local dealer helped too. I came from BMW which was terrible - as expensive but more greedy and incompetent to boot.


Porsche service is full of bullshit that’s not needed. Since they’re going to rip you off, they do it politely. But they only do the bare minimum, don’t call back when they mess up and try to cross-sell add-on crap all the time.
The cars are very good (IMO) but the service is not. They however know like few companies how to squeeze money out of owners.


Honestly, not my experience. So far it's been very good with my local dealer - the experience feels "premium" as it should - and it hasn't been more expensive than BMW, which I owned for many years before.

I live in Switzerland so your experience can be completely different but right now I'm sticking to Porsche and can't really imagine anything else to buy. Nothing gets the combination of driving excellence and practicality like them.


- missing harness, claim the car did not have them optioned in, then charging to install them...
- service not done on a recent 2nd hand car
- loose hatch and rattling steering rack on collection

But hey, they offer me coffee when I show up...

Barry Stuttgart

Not only a Porsche thing... Mercedes have the same classic old-timer appreciation program, BMW and VAG too. There's a Germanic pattern here...


Yep, for sure. Speaking of, BMW Classic was strong at Laguna Seca over the weekend.


IMO Porsches are popular for one simple reason - there just aren't any good alternatives any more. The vast majority of performance cars are far too big and heavy to be sports cars. The Elise and MX-5 aren't, but they are also (a) not that quick in a straight line and (b) not very refined or capacious for longer trips, making them more of a second car. The Lotus Evora is perhaps the closest, but it's quite expensive and lacks Porsche quality and polish.

Back in the nineties, the NSX, RX-7 and TVR Cerbera used to provide alternatives - light and balanced enough to be proper sports cars, quick in a straight line, and habitable for touring. But the NSX is now a tonne and three quarters of hybrid supercar akin to a mid-engined GTR, while the RX-7 and all TVRs are gone.


Uh, the vantage, the f type, m3, and even the amg gts are all very good alternatives


Let's see: Porsches are made in Germany. They look incredible! They perform like nobody's business! You can drive them every day and still smoke just about every car on the road! They're not finicky like Italian cars: It's too cold or it's too hot to go out. Like women! They have pedigree racing history. And did I mentioned that they're made in Germany?! Oh yeah. I did! Did I leave anything out? Nope.


I've got a lot of respect for Porsche, and that's only garnered recently. Reading into the 911R, I was quite surprised and interested, it prompted me to take a deep dive into what this company is really about.

Briefly put, there is just so much passion, loyalty. Their philosophy underlying all they do. It's an enthusiast company for sure, and holds strong onto what we value as car guys.

I agree with pretty much all that's said in this article.

I'd like to one day be a Porsche owner, but the price range is out of my reach! haha. They've definitely got their prestigious and elite image, which is fair enough. But dream would come true if they pulled out an 86 or MX-5 bracket model ;) Lol.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Man... what'd I give just to see an actual Carrera RS 2.7 in person...


I do love Porsches so much so iv sold up everything i own pretty much and iv been looking to buy one , went bed on friday night dead set on buying one , woke up the next morning and bought a Lancia .


My first ever drive in a competent Porsche was a 996 with the 3.6 motor. Before that i've had the chance to experience some other competent cars but i will never forget what i experienced the first 100 meter. The Porsche belongs to my dad so i left home with it, something which i've done about a million times before that with a large selection of cars. What i experienced in the first 100 meter was something which was a WHOLE other level from anything else. We are talking about 18 inch wheels with a tirewall of 35 and this thing handled 10 times better then anything else. That point i immediately understood that Porsche takes engineering VERY seriously. Put on top of that the performance it puts out when wringing it's neck and this car is something very special. This 996 remains in the family, it will never be sold. If something were to ever break you can bet it's going to get fixed, no matter the cost.
These are very special cars make no mistake about it - however one should forget the Cayenne's and Macans. Those are just cashcows and not built to the same quality as the other ones. Even car events specifically indicate that Cayenne's and Macans need not thing about using the VIP parking. The first time i saw that i was over the moon and laughed about that for the rest of the day. Porsche FOREVER.


Why they are so popular? Because many folks feel the need to show off duh! It's thanks to people like Nakai/ RWB or Magnus Walker, or Singer or you name it that everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and follow the trend.
Only a very few selected ones are the purist, the ones that started 10-20 years ago, and they're still doing them their own way, the rest? Just wannabe's.


That was very well said. Agree.


I starting liking Porsches starting with the 911. I mean I would like one as a weekend car especially the 991 R with the vintage livery.


I'd be willing to bet that 70 percent of every commenter here was biased before opening this read. I'd also be willing to bet that 70 percent of them was click baited into reading it, simply to further prove their hate for the brand to themselves. They've also never wanted to own one, EVER!... Why? Because they have never driven one, or "over 70 or 80" of them. Could also be because 70 percent of them do want one, do break their necks when the silhouette of a 911 goes by the opposite way....but can't have one..

I've wanted one since the first time I saw a 911 as a kid, who the heck didn't. When I learned more and more about the history and lineage as grew up, I wanted one even that much more. I worked my rump off and bought '79 SC 2 years ago now when I was 24, and I will tell you, that the only thing sweeter than wanting one your whole life, is being able to look out the window at it, and know it's yours.
Porsche is an unbelievable manufacturer, with a beautiful (post war) history that is RICH with motorsport, innovation, and leadership. Some will never understand, and some don't want to. But I bet you about 70 percent of the individuals commenting here are of the latter.



I was a Porsche mechanic for 10 years you dip shit. How is that so hard to believe? The thought process of the idiots in these comment sections is staggering sometimes lol.




If you are lucky enough to drive one, you will know why. (i exclude the suvs in this!!) From their entry level to the top tier machines they are driver focused, important things such as feel, feedback, precision, involvement, balance, and response that make you part of the car, part of the experience. They get it, most others dont.