The appeal of a classic car draws the interest of many. Rick Fox of Apex can remember the first time he saw a Porsche: a friend’s 1970 911 Targa. It was the instrument panel that made the greatest impact as he immediately realized that the apparatus was not designed to simply look pretty in the way other cars did. “These dials, with the tachometer in the center and larger than the speedometer, were specifically designed to convey the most important information to the driver in the most efficient manner,” said Rick. “I felt as if I were sitting in the work environment of a serious driver instead of the comfortable chair of a relaxed rider.”

North Carolina Museum of Art’s exhibit Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed gives visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with 22 such fascinating cars on display.

550 Prototype (above)
Porsche’s success as a sports and racing car manufacturer began with this vehicle, a low-drag racing coupe and the first of two 550 prototypes.

It’s the history of Porsche’s research and development plus displays of the sometimes strange looking results that were Rick’s favorite part. “I enjoy seeing the pinnacle of design for any manufacturer, and especially for Porsche with its history of dominating many racing events through the years.”

356 Gmünd Coupe (above)

1600 Carrera GTL Abarth Coupe (above)
Porsche contracted with designer Carlo Abarth to build a small, high-performance, über-lightweight racing series. These cars are among the most valuable 356s today.

Son Jared Fox of Raleigh has been a Porsche fan since before he could drive. “I loved the older Porsche racing cars; I had never seen them in person before,” he said.

356 Speedster 1600 Super (above)
Actor James Dean briefly raced a 356 Speedster before buying his ill-fated 550 Spyder. Actor Steve McQueen owned this beauty.

904/6 Prototype (above)

718 RS60 (above)

“I love seeing the automotive technology as it has advanced over the years,” said Jared. “In many ways the technology is developed and tested by racing teams before it trickles down into regular production cars. Porsche is known for being a pioneer in the advancement of auto technology.”

911 GT3 R Hybrid Race Car Prototype (above)
This experimental Porsche is said to anticipate the future of high-performance sports cars. Exactly 110 years after Dr. Ferdinand Porsche built his first hybrid-drive automobile, Porsche AG introduced a modern variation on this concept– combining a flat-six Porsche conventional gas engine with a pair of electric motors.

Learn more about this ongoing event.