Blow The Lid Off Summer!

The Historics Display for 2021 is to enjoy the sunshine in a Porsche without a roof. Through the decades, Porsche has produced several ‘topless’ models with various names. You will see examples of all of them at the Porsche Parade Concours in the special display area known as the Historics Display.

The earliest ‘topless‘ Porsche was the 356 in 1948 – the 356 Roadster. A roadster is an open-top car with two passenger seats and an emphasis on sporting character or appearance. While a roadster is a convertible, a convertible is not necessarily a roadster which is where it gets a tad bit confusing. Through 1953, there were various 356 Cabriolet models. The term convertible is only used for automobiles, meaning convert. The cabriolet has a French origin, and it refers to a horse-drawn carriage with two wheels and a top that could be pulled over the two occupants of the carriage. 

In 1954, the term Speedster was introduced - when Porsche's American importer convinced the Germans there was a market for an open, stripped-out model costing less than $3,000. And so in 1954, the 356 Speedster was born with the same body as the Cabriolet model, but a more steeply raked windscreen and less equipment. 

In 1955, the 550 Spyder was introduced.  The Porsche 550 Spyder is about as classic and iconic as it gets, even for the storied Porsche brand. The lightweight roadster came from the inspiration of the Porsche 356, but minus the hard roof. Porsche needed a race car to compete in the roadster class, and that's just what the 550 Spyder did.

With the advent of the Porsche 911 in 1965, it didn’t take long for there to be an open-top version known as the Targa- a semi-convertible car body style with a removable roof section and a full-width roll bar behind the seats.

The term was first used on the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa and has gone through several iterations through the years.

One of the most adored and adorable open Porsches is the 914, starting in 1970.  Later came the 914-6 and a few special edition versions. 


In 1983, with Peter Schutz at the helm of Porsche, the 911 SC was offered as a Cabriolet model.  Soon, all models, including the Turbo and Carreras, were offered with a Cabrio option.  The 911 Speedster was introduced as a limited production model in the late 80’s.

Fast forward to 1997 when Porsche introduced the Boxster, designed to be a modern rendition of the legendary 550 Spyder.  A mid-engine two-seater roadster, the Boxster is available only as a soft-top convertible.  The Boxster has evolved to today’s 4th generation offering with different engine configurations.  The special edition Boxster Spyder was first introduced in 2009, and again on the 718 models.  The PCA Club Racing program has a SPEC Boxster class, based on the early 986 model which requires a hard-top addition.  However, the factory has kept the production Boxster ‘topless’, and in 2006 introduced the coupe version as the Cayman.

Plan to join us for this awesome display of PCA member open-top Porsches during the Concours d’Elegance, July 12, 2021. If you think yours should be in the show, contact Lori at the email below. 

Lori Schutz | Historics Display Coordinator