911 Porsche World
928 H50 STUDY
Porsches with four doors — let alone five — were almost unthinkable prior to the arrival of the Cayenne, but long before the superSUV, its Macan stablemate and the Panamera, the Stuttgart brand was working on various designs for cars with four “full-value” seats, rather than rear pews not really suitable or anyone above five years of age. The 356-based Type 530 was one of the first of these studies, prototyped in the early 1950s and boasting larger doors (still only two, mind), a long wheelbase and raised roof height, but the concept car failed to reach production.
After becoming a father at the age of twenty-six, Ferry Porsche himself had the desire for a Porsche sports car capable of offering space for families. Company funds, however, were limited — it would take until 1959 for the design of another family-friendly Porsche to be revealed.
The Type 754 T7 was developed under the direction of Ferry’s son, Ferdinand Alexander ‘Butzi’ Porsche. The T7’s characteristic front end (up to the A-pillar) and the fastback rear make it possible to recognise the T7 was already close to what would become Butzi’s most celebrated design: the 911. In order to create more space, however, further attempts were made to evolve the idea, with the Type T8 penned as a 2+2 and the Type T9 pitched as a full four-seater.
Ferry Porsche personally approved further development of the T8 in 1961. In effect, this represented the birth of the 911, but it wasn’t until presentation of the 928 (originally mooted as a potential replacement for the 911) that a new chapter started in the search for a fullvalue four-seater Porsche — in 1984, the company built a more accommodating variant of the V8-powered grand tourer.
The result was a two-door saloon based on the 928 S, but with a lengthened body and four full seats. A one-off prototype was completed in readiness for Ferry Porsche’s birthday celebrations in 1984, but this gift from employees to the company patriarch failed to make it into series production. In addition to its generous cabin space, this unique Porsche is noted for its projector headlights in place of the 928’s standard pop-up lamps.
Ferry’s desire to build a family oriented Porsche didn’t end there, though. In parallel with development of the 928 S4, yet another ‘land shark’ with four full seats and an estate-style rear end was on the drawing board in Zuffenhausen. This time, four doors (the rears ‘suicide’ style) were included. Given codename H50, the prototype was subjected to extensive development tests, but Porsche abandoned the project in 1989, citing rigidity of the long body less than convincing for a comfortable ride. Even so, two decades later, the launch of the Panamera showed the significance of the 1987 928 H50 in Porsche’s thinking. ●