That means it’s 40 years since the launch of the Porsche 924, the company’s first front-engined sports car which, for the purposes of handling balance, had its transmission packaged in with the diff in the rear axle – hence 'transaxle'. The layout might have been new to Porsche but even by 1976 it was old hat, with many Alfa Romeos, Ferraris and Lancias in particular proving its worth.
The first transaxle Porsche 924 went on to develop into the 944 and 968 and gave rise to the 928 – all great cars in their own way – but as we now know none could quite dislodge the fondness the world has for Porsches with their engines behind the driver.
Now just to remind us of the solid good sense of these cars – and show what we missed out on with a few previously unseen what-might-have-beens – the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart is putting on a special exhibition dedicated to 40 years of the transaxle models.
Despite the fact that 40 years of transaxle Porsches is stretching it a bit (the last 968 and 928 rolled out the doors in 1995, making it 19 years of transaxle Porsches by our reckoning…) the exhibition is not short of highlights. Porsche says more than half the cars are being exhibited for the first time.