To the average person, a vast majority of the 100,000-plus sheets in storage at Porsche’s Weissach Development Center would be just a bunch of paper with no value whatsoever. As passionate purveyors of all things automotive, everyone reading this article knows very well that such documentation could well be made of solid gold, and even then it might not be as valuable because it’s hard to print original engineering schematics on gold. Actually, we haven’t tried, but that’s not the point.
The point is that – whether you’re into American muscle or British sports cars, Japanese turbos, or German sedans – every single car enthusiast in the world is united by a passion for documentation. Remember how you felt when you found the build sheet to your BMW M3 stuffed under the back seat? Or how about finding the original window sticker in the stack of repair receipts from the old Mustang you just bought? That’s why Porsche’s recent announcement of its vast design drawing archive – spanning the company's 70 years of history – has our mouths watering at the prospect of spending an afternoon buried in the basement collection.
"This drawing shows the delicate bodywork of the 356. It was sketched out on a drawing board in 1950," said Uwe Geisel, the man pictured at the top of the page who's tasked with overseeing the collection. Yes, we so want to see this place.
Of course, we haven’t been invited to peruse it all (at least not yet), but judging by a few of the photos released it would be an afternoon well spent. Never mind that we only sort-of understand in-depth engineering schematics – it’s the history that makes it so awesome. Holding original design sheets for a 356 would be like scoring an original cut of Star Wars, where Han Solo shoot first. Okay, we’re channeling our inner nerd right now, deal with it.
Other news from Porsche suggests the archive is in safe hands and could well be expanded. For the first time in the company’s history there are over 30,000 employees, thanks to a growth rate of 130 percent since 2010. Porsche says that figure will continue to climb as well, with plans to hire another 700 employees for production of its all-electric Taycan that should go on sale in 2019.