Dangling over the harbor in mid-air, the seaweed-covered 911 fooled many onlookers.
Two Polish artists have turned one of the most iconic Porsche 911 models into an unusual piece of art that captures themes of the ocean and climate change.
This attention-grabbing art installation isn't the first unexpected Porsche art car we've seen this year. It was created for the Gdynia Design Days annual art festival and imagines what the classic air-cooled 911 would've looked like if abandoned to the Baltic for several generations.
With its bodywork almost entirely hidden beneath a tangle of coral and seaweed, at least this particular story of a Porsche being lost at sea was not an unintentional tragedy. Initially, onlookers were convinced they were looking at the late recovery of someone's long-lost Porsche from the ocean.
The two conceptual artists responsible for this project were Ada Zielinska and Rafal Dominik. "The story started when Porsche invited us to prepare an installation for Design Days," said Zielinska. "People are creating reefs with old cars and sunken ships today, and we thought it would be interesting to use a classic 911 in a similar way and to display it right by the sea itself."
But creating the art itself wasn't the biggest challenge. The artists first had to find a suitable car for the project, which is where Marek Sworowski, Marketing Director at Porsche Poland, came to the rescue.
Although the 911 required would not be destroyed, Sworowski still needed to find someone willing to have their pride and joy temporarily turned into an artificial reef.
"We narrowed the search down to contacts we had whose cars were just about to go in for restoration work, and when we found a 1973 911T, it seemed like the perfect choice," said Sworowski. "Whatever it was covered in, everyone would recognize that traditional 911 shape."
The 911T was initially launched in 1967, and for a period, it represented the base 911. This pure version of an early 911 is so revered that even Jay Leno added one to his collection. It's little wonder that Sworowski needed some time to find an owner willing to contribute their 911T to this art project.
Once they got hold of the red 911T F-Series Touring, the artists created the artificial coral structures with 3D printing and crushed seashells. It took two weeks to carefully bond the finished forms to the car's body before the piece - named Sunken Romance - was revealed at the festival. Adding to the drama was the fact that the Porsche was hoisted over the harbor by a crane. "A lot of people were quite shocked," said Zielinska, adding that many "really thought it had been taken out of the sea."
So successful was this 911T installation that Zielinska got in touch with Porsche about the possibility of creating a short film that set out to imagine the origins story of Sunken Romance. Porsche agreed, and you can watch the result above - featuring the electric Taycan - in an "exploration of forbidden love, between mermaids and mortals, between vintage cars and their devoted drivers."