English photographer John Rampton has set himself an immense challenge – to photograph every type of Porsche ever made, from the earliest 356 to today’s Panamera. And it really is a challenge because first he had to make a list of the various cars he needed to source and therein lay the first problem – what is a ‘model’? Does he include every variant of, say, the 964 – Carrera 2, Carrera 4, Cabriolet, Targa, RS, Turbo, Turbo 3.6, pre- and post-facelift and so on? The question arises with every type of Porsche and it’s just as complicated with new models as it is with the classics.
John’s next problem is to find examples of the cars and he’s been busy trawling the forums and travelling around the UK, including paying us a visit to photograph some cars we had in stock.
In his own words, John explains how he’s getting on:
“Early on in 2012, I decided that I would start a new project. I did a year-long photography project back in 2009 where I took a photo a day and my wife said that I was not to do another one again.
“With what my wife had said still ringing in my ears I decided that the telling off I would get was worth it for my latest project. I made the decision that I would photograph every Porsche car – and maybe a few of the tractors if I can find them – in their own environment, so no cheating and going to a car show.
“Now you don’t really realise how mental something like this is until you actually sit down and make a list of the cars that you want to photograph. I started by finding a list of all the Porsche model numbers via the web, many of these are model designations for tanks, tractors, engines for other applications, aircraft and a number of prototypes and race cars, but once weeded down to just road cars it’s not actually that frightening.
“Having produced a list of model numbers it was time to look at the variants of that model number and this is where the list began to get rather long. Once I got to grips with the number of variants in each model plus the special editions, someone would invariably come along and reminds me that there is also a facelift for almost every model, meaning that there is a first and second generation and, yes, they are visibly different.
“So now I had model numbers broken down into variants but then I had to consider Cabriolet, Coupe, Speedster, Targa, plus some of the earlier cars also had some other roof types hat I had never heard of!
“I had to draw the line somewhere so I have said that if I have two people contact me with similar cars that are first and second generation then I will photograph them. If not, then I won’t chase these down too hard.
“I am now 48 cars into the project with another 192 to go at my latest count; this seems to grow daily as more and more experts tell me that I have missed models.
“Most of the cars that I have shot so far have been privately owned. I thought it would be difficult finding the owners and then persuading them to let me photograph their cars, but in actual fact I have had a fantastic response from many of the Porsche forums, with people offering all sorts of gems from private collections.
“There are a few Porsches that I thought would be hard to find, including the 959, 911 2.7RS, GT1 and 993 GT2, but I had a call one evening from a nice chap offering me both a 959 and 2.7 RS to photograph which was a great result.
“I haven’t had such luck with the GT1 or the GT2 yet and I suspect that I may have to travel abroad to find them, but I hope to be able to shoot them at some point.
“Everyone that I have met so far has been really nice. I have been given a warm reception by which does make me wonder if all car marque owners are the same. I like to think that it’s due to owning a Porsche – that you either have to be nice to own one or that owning one brings out the best in you!”