The Porsche 911 in Pop Culture

The Porsche icon has deep roots in pop culture. Here are some of its best appearances in music, film and television.

When the words “sports car” are uttered, the very first vehicle that pops into your mind is probably the Porsche 911. And if it isn't, it should be.

This German icon is one of the most well-known vehicles on the planet, and for good reason: it has been produced for decades, was fast throughout is career and never actually had a bad iteration. Furthermore, it never strayed far from its original recipe, unlike much of the competition.

Back in the sixties, Porsche wanted to expand on the success of its 356. This meant that they had to ditch the association to the plebeian VW Beetle; from here on out, every part had to be designed by Porsche.

However, the architecture remained similar: the then-new 911 (which, fun fact, was supposed to be named 901, but at the time, Peugeot owned the rights to car names composed of three numbers with a zero in the middle) was powered by a brand-new flat-six engine, but it was still rear-engined. In theory, this should be detrimental to a car's balance; however, Porsche proved over the years that they were able to take a less-than-ideal concept and make it amazing.

The 911 also became something of a pop icon over the years. From movies to music videos, posters and marketing stunts, Porsche's masterpiece is synonymous with wealth and performance.

A quick check on IMCDB (the database for vehicles in popular culture) shows no fewer than 111 pages of films, songs and videos featuring the Porsche 911! Let's sift through some of the best.

Janis Joplin had a famously rockin’ 911.

In the sixties, the 911 became the vehicle of choice for many of the actors and musicians in the City of Angels. Janis Joplin may have asked the lord for a Benz in her 1971 song Mercedes-Benz, but she actually drove a psychedelic Porsche 356, which sold for $1.76M USD at auction in 2015.  

 

#janisjoplin #janisjoplinsporsche

A post shared by Kayleigh (@kay.le.igh) on Apr 15, 2017 at 7:12pm PDT

 

Tons of shows included it, sometimes up front and other times in the background.

The 911 was a staple in American series from the Rockford Files, to Hawaii Five-O, MacGyver and Knight Rider.

 

And there was the film 1976 film Gumball Rally featuring a 1969 E Targa in a cross-country illegal race against Gary Busey et al.

 

Or another fun oldie, No Man's Land, starring Charlie Sheen.

It’s about a young cop asked to infiltrate a gang of Porsche-stealing thief, but ends up liking their lifestyle too much... Who can blame him?

 

Remember the 911 Turbo from the first Bad Boys movie?

 

Or the one from Gone in 60 Seconds with Nicolas Cage?

In the opening shots, the first car the gang tries to steal is a 911 convertible.

 

Videogames have also gotten in on it, like the vintage Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed.

This game featured a complete list of German sports coupe and placed players in the shoes of a Porsche test driver, going through the brand's history.

 

Or more recently, Forza Horizon 2

Which offers players the option to pay a little extra to drive various 911s (as well as some of Porsche's other icons, like the 918 Spyder) through Australia's landscapes.

 

Cover photo: © Jim Marshall Photography, LLC.

Date Posted: June 29, 2017