Australia has held a special place in Porsche’s history since Melbourne entrepreneur Norman Hamilton imported two early 356 models in 1951, making Australia Porsche’s very first right hand drive market and one of its first export territories.
Since those early days, when prevailing import quotas allowed fewer than two Porsches to be sold a year prior to 1954, Australia’s passion for Porsches has grown, with a record 2,813 delivered in 2014 and close to 4,000 expected in 2015.
Porsche in Australia offers the full range of Porsche models: the Boxster roadster, the mid-engined Cayman coupe, the iconic 911, the elegant four-seater / four-door Panamera as well as the sportiest SUVs in their respective segments - the Macan and Cayenne. Porsche is also a leader in plug-in Hybrid technology with the Cayenne and Panamera both sold with Hybrid powertrains.
Underscoring Australia’s respect and love of Porsches, the majority of the approximate 32,000 Porsches delivered from the factory to Australia over the past 65 years are still to be seen on Australian roads.
Porsche Cars Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Porsche AG and is represented by 14 Official Porsche Centres throughout Australia.
Motorsport has also been a strong focus for Porsche in Australia from the earliest days of the marquee ‘Down Under’.
Within months of its arrival, the first Porsche 356s were participating in hillclimb and speed events, while in 1953, the first Coupe was classified as a finisher in the historic first 10,600km REDeX Reliability Trial held in remote regions of Outback Australia.
Other 356 models took part in circuit racing and further ‘Around Australia’ Trials in the 1950s, but it was the arrival of the new Porsche 911 in Australia in 1965 that really accelerated the hearts of Porsche enthusiasts.
Alan Hamilton, the son of then Porsche importer Norman Hamilton, surprised everyone when he finished third in the 1968 Australian Touring Car Championship and then came within a point of winning the 1969 title in his 2.0-litre 911 S/T coupe. Porsches continued to challenge the traditional American V8s at the leading edge of Australian Touring Car racing until a change of regulations effectively outlawed them at the end of 1972.
Undeterred, Porsche enthusiasts then turned to Sports and GT Racing, with Porsche 911 coupes winning six successive Australian Sports Car Championships from 1976-1981 and seven Australian GT Championships from 1982 to 2013.
Porsche has also dominated Tarmac Rallying in Australia, with Jim Richards winning eight Targa Tasmania rallies in Porsches from 1996 to 2006 – a record unmatched by any other driver or vehicle make.
Porsche’s racing heritage continues today in the Carrera Cup Australia series. Inaugurated in 2003, the National series for identical factory-built GT3 Cup cars traditionally supports the V8 Supercar Championship and this is held over eight rounds, including marquee events such as the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix, Bathurst 1000 and at the popular street racing events in Adelaide, Townsville, the Gold Coast and Sydney.
Owner driver events are also a key part of Porsche's activities in Australia, with many customers choosing to participate in five-star tours such as the Porsche Targa Tasmania Tour which sees Porsche customers drive their own cars over the closed roads before the competition cars in Targa Tasmania, which in 2016 celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Porsche enthusiasts also enjoy iconic events such as Porsche Rennsport Australia which brings together over 400 Porsches in the largest celebration of Porsche road and race cars from modern to famous Le Mans winners of yesteryear.
The Porsche Sports Driving School conducted in Queensland also allows Porsche aficionados to drive the complete range even if they do not own a Porsche.