My friend Guy Allen has released a new Porsche print. An atmospheric rendition of the SWB car in flight, it’s another great example of why Guy is one of the UK’s busiest illustrators.
Guy’s previous Porsche work is all over Ferdinand. I’ve commissioned him a few times for impactbumpers t-shirt artwork and we’ve also released prints of this work together. Those prints all sold out long ago, and I would not be surprised to see this one sell out just as quickly.
The SWB 911 has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years. Once ignored as the runt of the litter due to the twitchy handling and smaller engines, contemporary Porsche fans now rightly regard its Germanic purity and unique driving experience as a pivotal step in Porsche history. The SWB cars were the original lightweights and the thread of their lineage must be carefully picked through the model lines – some 911s follow the founding philosophy much closer than others.
My first proper experience of a SWB car came while I still lived in Ireland. A friend’s dad was a keen rally driver and also owned a garage. He had a SWB car in for some work and I would see that driving around quite a bit. It was LHD and may even have been something famous once upon a time, but I never got close enough for a proper look. Years later, when Jamie and I shot a well-known piece featuring two SWB 911s on our first trip to California (Short but Sweet: read it here), I remembered that early rally car and thought how well it would have slotted in with Bob Tilton and Chris Nielsen’s rally inspired R Gruppe machines. I should have bought a SWB project car then, but I missed that particular boat – they are now well out of my reach.
Experience the SWB cars in depth and you gain a unique understanding of the original 911 ethos, but race a SWB car hard and win with it, and you enter another dimension of 911 folklore. The UK saw a huge jump in SWB enthusiasm when the 73rd Goodwood Members’ Meeting featured the Aldington Trophy: a race for pre-’66 SWB 911s only. Mark Bates raced the EB Motorsport SWB 911 at Goodwood among a select group of its peers and spent most of the lap going sideways in some very close battles. Mark finished on the podium after a great hour of racing and people still talk to me about that mental race – a fine day in the SWB story.
Away from the circuits, SWB 911s make highly prized road cars, but finding original interior parts and trim is now perhaps the hardest part of a SWB restoration. There is plenty of choice as to who restores your SWB car but, with waiting lists as long as they are at the very best workshops, it might be quicker to learn the skills to restore it yourself! Plenty of Porsche fans are doing just that and, as a DIY diehard, I think that is brilliant.
Guy’s SWB Porsche print is produced on archive quality heavyweight paper. It is a limited edition of 200 large-format A2-sized prints (A2 is 420 x 594 mm). The prints are signed and numbered and you can take a closer look at them here.