There are perhaps few automakers in the world as relentlessly devoted to both pursuing pure driving pleasure, and to servicing historic models, as Porsche.
Case-in-point: the Porsche Classic tire catalog.
Throughout the year, Porsche Classic can be found at the test track, certifying a number of different summer and winter tires for every classic model from the iconic 356, to the prior-generation Boxster and Cayman. Drivers from Porsche Classic take a well-kept example or two of each old, discontinued car model, and put it through its paces with a plethora of different eligible tire models.
For example, an article from Porsche customer magazine Christophorus featured a visit to former rally driver Dieter Röscheisen out at the test track, as he explored the limits of adhesion in a 52 year-old Porsche 356 in the rain. In a test log, he writes: “The tire set on this vehicle is out of balance. A lot of steering corrections are necessary as the rear is much more agile. The loss of traction sometimes occurs much too abruptly. It does not conform to what we consider a well-functioning series production tire.”
And though the tires on the car performed plenty well enough in dry conditions, Mr. Röscheisen does not recommend them for the car, in light of their wet road performance. Every two or so years, the Porsche Classic tire catalog is updated, and Porsche-approved tires are even stamped on the sidewall with an “N#” designation, where “#” is the iteration of that particular tire.
For example: the Pirelli P Zero Direzionale is marked at the factory with an “N3,” denoting that it has passed Porsche Classic’s rigorous testing and been certified for use, and that it is the third iteration of this tire model to have done so.
Porsche Classic is tremendously proud of the fact that 70-some percent of the cars it has ever produced are still enjoyed on the road today, and like proud parents, the folks at Porsche do their homework in assuring they can provide what’s best for their children.