Porsche Cars Australia celebrates 70 Years

On 1 November 1951, Australian businessman Norman Hamilton introduced the first two Porsche 356 sportscars to arrive in Australia at a special event at the South Melbourne Town Hall. Seventy years later in nearby Port Melbourne, Porsche Cars Australia has held a gala event to mark 70 years for Porsche in Australia. A special highlight: the 911 GT3 70 Years Porsche Australia Edition.

Australia is one of the oldest Porsche markets in the world, and last night’s event was an inspiring nod to the origins of its journey in Australia. Joining the more-than 450 special guests was the new limited-edition 911 GT3 70 Years Porsche Australia Edition. This special commemorative model is based on the new 911 GT3 with Touring Package. It is the first time that Porsche has based a market-specific edition on a 911 GT product, and the first time a special edition has been created by Porsche for the Australian market.

911 GT3 70 Years Porsche Australia Edition

The 911 GT3 70 Years Porsche Australia Edition was designed in collaboration with experts from the Style Porsche design team, the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur customisation department and Porsche Cars Australia. The special edition boasts various unique exterior and interior design features to celebrate this year’s significant milestone.

911 GT3 70 Years Porsche Australia Edition – Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur

Limited number of the edition will be produced, each painted in a new customised colour developed by Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. The colour, Fish Silver Grey Metallic, is a modern interpretation of ‘Fish Silver Grey’, the colour of one of the first two Porsche 356 imported into Australia back in 1951. Also on display was the all-electric Taycan, joined by other notable Porsche models, including the new Macan, which is making its national introduction to the Australian media this week. Among the various classic Porsche cars on display were models that have had an impact in the Australian market in every decade since the 1950s, from the 356 to the 928 to the current-day 911.

The event’s Master of Ceremonies was popular Australian entertainment identity Tommy Little, who introduced video messages from two very special guests. Detlev von Platen, Member of the Porsche AG Executive Board responsible for Sales and Marketing, shared an inspiring message of thanks and celebration. Nine-time Formula One Grand Prix winner, World Endurance Champion and Porsche Brand Ambassador Mark Webber also shared his best wishes, reflecting on his relationship with Porsche and its place in the hearts of Australian enthusiasts.

Alongside Porsche Cars Australia’s Managing Director and CEO, Daniel Schmollinger, were former leaders of Porsche’s Australian operations, as well as many renowned figures in the local Porsche community. Other special guests included a variety of Australia’s current and former Porsche racing drivers, including champion Porsche racer Jim Richards. Joining the celebrations were Australian Porsche owners from all generations, including Kate Reid, co-founder of Melbourne’s famed Lune Croissanteries.

Daniel Schmollinger, new CEO Porsche Cars Australia, 2021, Porsche AG
Daniel Schmollinger, Porsche Cars Australia’s Managing Director and CEO

The event’s entertainment featured three major pieces, each celebrating three key eras from Porsche’s seven decades in Australia: The 1950s and 1960s, the 1970s to the 1990s, and the 21st century into the future. Porsche Cars Australia has also created a commemorative book to mark Porsche’s seven decades in Australia, charting the brand’s journey 'down under' since the 1950s with a special collection of images and stories.

911 Models, Gala event to mark 70 years for Porsche in Australia, 2021, Porsche AG

It’s a fascinating story about a chance meeting between Norman Hamilton and Ferry Porsche in 1951. It happened when Porsche’s then test driver Richard von Frankenberg introduced them after first encountering Hamilton on Austria’s famous Grossglockner Pass, having overtaken the Australian in his 356 during a test run earlier that day. History was made at that first meeting. Hamilton became only the second Porsche agent outside Europe, following Max Hoffman in the USA, making Australia one of Porsche’s earliest markets.