The history of Porsche convertible tops
Ferdinand Porsche made automotive history even before he founded Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH in 1930. The automotive designer with Austrian, Czechoslovakian and German roots developed the world's first automobile with 4-wheel drive as well as the first hybrid vehicle when he was just in his mid-twenties.
These vehicles were developed during his time at Lohner-Werke. Shortly thereafter, he went to work for Austro-Daimler. After the budget was cut there a few years later, Porsche joined the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG). There he made a name for himself as head of the production office and member of the board of management.
In the first few years after leaving Daimler to set up his own business, he took on various projects, but these initially proved to be less lucrative. The financial situation improved when the Reich Association of the Automobile Industry commissioned Porsche to develop the German Volkswagen, known today as the VW Beetle. Thus it was Ferdinand Porsche who laid the foundation for the VW Beetle, which is certainly one of the most important vehicles in automotive history.
Ferdinand's son, Ferry Porsche, was appointed managing director of the company in 1944, and it wasn't long before Ferry put his pet project into action: developing a sports car.
1948 is the year the Porsche 356 was born
This model was built from Beetle parts and manufactured a total of 46 times up to 1951 - 23 convertibles and 23 coupes, each with aluminum bodywork.
The vehicle was produced from 1958-1965 and was constantly further developed during this period. The two-piece windshield of the original model was one of the features that had to give way to new ideas during development.
Unlike the predecessor model, the 356 A had a one-piece windshield and a padded dashboard. The 356 B introduced more extensive modifications, which also influenced its overall design. For example, the position of the headlights and the bumper were raised. Furthermore, a heating nozzle was implemented on the rear windshield. In terms of design, the 356 C was very similar to the 356 B model. However, it came with disc brakes on all four wheels as standard.
The 356 soft top, which can be ordered at EUROTOP, fits all versions of the 1958-1965 model years, with the exception of the pre-A vehicles. Likewise, the headliner, padding mat and hood cover are all available in our portfolio.
The popular successor model: Porsche 911
By the end of the 1950s, it was clear that a successor model to the 356 had to be developed. The 911, pronounced nine eleven, was presented at the IAA in 1963. Even though the new model was not that different from its predecessor in terms of design so as to retain the familiar look, the 911 introduced a number of new features.
The most prominent external modifications were the increased windshield and the overall longer but narrower design of the bodywork. The trunk was also enlarged and could now meet the requirement of accommodating at least one set of golf clubs. Instead of a four-cylinder engine, it had a 2-liter, six-cylinder boxer engine with overhead camshafts, producing an impressive 130 horsepower, compared to the maximum 90 horsepower of the 356 C.
The original model introduced in 1963 was originally only available as a coupe, then from 1967 it was also available as a convertible, albeit in the Targa version (with roll bar). However, the additional safety provided by the Targa version was not enough to satisfy many convertible fans' need for fresh air, which is why a full convertible was finally added to the vehicle lineup in mid-1982 in the form of the G-model cabriolet. With this convertible, a new generation of the German fastbacks joined an exclusive club that is still considered one of the most prestigious dynasties in automotive history.
1986: Porsche 911/964 with a wide range of technical innovations
Among other things, the 964 was the first model in large-scale production to be available with 4-wheel drive. In addition, power steering and an anti-lock braking system were also included as standard.
Since the frame of the G-model and the 964 are identical, both versions feature the same soft top front section. The only difference is the rear windshield, as the original windshield of the G-model is larger than that of the 964. Ultimately, however, it is up to the owner of the car which soft top they want to install, as both soft tops will fit, allowing them to choose the preferred rear windshield.
The 911/993 cabriolet was introduced to the market in 1994
The convertible is still considered a true highlight to this day. Some even refer to the 993 as the last "true" 911, as it is the last of its kind with an air-cooled engine - the successor models all feature a water-cooled engine.
The striking and at times even controversial bumper of the predecessor model was given a more subtle design and further rounded off the shape of the new convertible.
Porsche 911/996 & 911/997 with design changes
The popular 993 model was followed in 1997 by the 911/996, which not only implemented new features, but also made some significant changes - the new water-cooled engine for one, as well as abandoning the proven bodywork design of the 911 by making it longer and wider.
Despite all these changes, the 996 became one of the most successful series of the 911. The Porsche 996 convertible top had a PVC windshield in the early years of production, which was replaced by a glass windshield from 2002 onwards.
In terms of design, the 911/997, which was introduced in 2004, was a throwback to the original 911, as the "fried egg" headlights of the 996 were once again replaced by round headlights. This change was well received by purists, however, there were no major technical innovations compared to the predecessor model.
With the 997 convertible top, it should be noted that there are two different series. The convertible tops are almost identical in terms of appearance, but they differ slightly in terms of the pull strips and fastening points.
The series of your convertible can be determined by the year of manufacture. Convertibles manufactured between 2002-2008 are series 1 and those manufactured between 2009-2012 are series 2.
The Porsche 944 with its distinctive design
The 944 model number stands for a car that is a bit out of the ordinary. Compared to the 911 and Boxster series, the 944 comes in a slightly different design. This is not surprising, however, since it was created in cooperation with Volkswagen.
The origins of the 944 can be traced back to the Porsche 924 or the VW Porsche 914 and give the 944 its unique design.
At EUROTOP you can get the 944/968 soft top either as a complete unit or the front or rear section separately.
The first Porsche Boxster was presented in 1996
Due to the company's enormous success, it is hard to imagine that there was a period in the early 1990s when the car manufacturer was struggling and it wasn't clear which direction it was going to take. This all changed when the first Boxster was launched in 1996.
The two-seated roadster with a water-cooled 2.5-liter, 204-horsepower six-cylinder engine, known as the Boxster 986, appealed to new customer groups and ensured the survival of the faltering car manufacturer.
The roadster was modeled on the 550 Spyder racing car, which in turn was based on the 356. The new vehicle type combined old and new concepts in a unique way and satisfied the newly awakened need in society for sporty two-seaters with a convertible top.
Following the enormous success of the 986, the Boxster 987 was introduced in 2004. In terms of design, the new version mirrored its predecessor. However, the "fried egg headlights" were replaced, as had been the case with the transition from the 911/996 to the 911/997.
The new generation also had a more powerful engine, producing at least 240 horsepower. The Boxster 981 has been on the streets since 2012, outperforming even the 986 and 987. The new generation offers more space and as usual: more power.
The 981 soft top is available in black, blue, brown and red.
Material & accessories of our soft tops
The soft tops produced by EUROTOP are made exclusively from the high-quality fabric Sonnenland and are available not only in classic colors such as black, blue and brown, but also in various special colors.
In addition to soft tops, you can also order headliners, wind deflectors, hood covers, tension cables and more for a variety of models to ensure that your new roof is fully equipped with everything you need.