Impress your car nerd friends.
The Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany is a lovely place to spend an afternoon, learning the ins and the outs of Ferdinand's performance car brand, founded in 1931. But not everyone can get to Europe to see the building in person, for many reasons, including Covid safety.
But during the pandemic we've also learned that taking a virtual tour of a museum can be a good stand in for when you can't make it in person. The Peterson Museum in Los Angeles did it, and now we can take a 12-minute, guided tour (either in German or English) of the new special exhibit: "50 Years of Porsche Development Weissach."
The walkthrough explains the origins of the Weissach Development Center with stories like "First Steps," which covers the building's groundbreaking ceremony in the 1961. There's also "Test Bench," which covers what engineers do at a test bench, "Design," "Porsche Engineering" and "Motorsport" chapters.
The video also covers a good portion of the test track, where all of your favorite Porsches, from the 911 GT3 to the Cayenne Turbo, were tested before they hit the streets. Cheerful host Samir Jakupovic, a current museum guide, leads the tour through the new exhibit. We're also treated to historical photos and videos, some of which you wouldn't even see if you were there in person.
We learn that as the design of the Development Center was taking place, Porsche decided it would need a bigger plot of land. It would need to hold the main test track and the few others, so it added 20 more acres to the 90-acre starting point. In the "Motorsport" section we get to see some of the company's most famous race cars from Le Mans and elsewhere, and more bonus footage from some of the most important events.
The virtual tour certainly won't satiate your whole Porsche Museum appetite, but it will hold you over for a little while longer, until you can see it for yourself. And if you're stuck here in the US, there are a ton of places to keep you going, from the Henry Ford in Michigan all the way to the Petersen in California, and a bunch of places in between.