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Five of the most interesting things at the Hershey Porsche-Only Swap Meet

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Article and photos by Damon Lowney

Every year PCA’s Central Pennsylvania Region holds the Porsche-Only Swap Meet, which takes place at the Giant Center at Hershey Park. Thousands of members and Porsche enthusiasts attend to score deals on just about anything related to Porsche. Cars, parts, drivetrains, owners manuals, toys, toolkits, car care products — anything. As such, the event is one of those places where one can find quite odd, rare, and outrageous things, including, but not limited to, the five we describe below.

Boxster S with Karmann Ghia body

Volkswagen and Porsche are inextricably linked due to Dr. Ferdinand Porsche’s work for VW well before Porsche had produced its first sports car, the 356. Yet by the time the VW Karmann Ghia was put on sale, the two automakers were pursuing distinct paths. So why might we highlight this old Ghia? If you take more than a cursory glance at this particular example, you’ll notice the proportions are off — quite a bit, actually. That’s because this Ghia is, for all intents and purposes, a 986-generation Porsche Boxster S with a customized Karmann Ghia body grafted onto it. Two Karmann Ghias were used to produce the bodywork, which is about six inches wider due to the width of the 986. The car retains the Boxster’s windshield and powered convertible top. The interior has custom instrumentation and Audi A6 seats in place of the standard Boxster units. For the full story on this car, read the Porsche Panorama feature article from October 2013.

964 Cabriolet Barbie toy

As I was perusing Porsche treasure early in the morning, I stumbled across something I’d never seen before: A Barbie Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet (with working headlights!!). I’m familiar with Porsche Hot Wheels, Legos, model cars, and other toys, but it was jarring to see, amongst all the serious Porsche stuff, a bright pink Barbie Porsche. A quick skim of the Internet revealed that Barbie and Porsche had also collaborated on a 986 Boxster toy and that the 964 Cabrio was available in more colors than just pink. Still, an interesting contrast — and potential gift for a lucky youngster — at the Hershey swap meet.

1968 911L

The early days of the Porsche 911 were a time of much change. From the 911 sprung the high-performance 911S in 1967. The 911T and 911E joined the S in 1969, which was the same year the rear-engined sports car’s wheelbase was lengthened by more than two inches. 1968 can be viewed as a sort of limbo year, and there’s a reason why. Porsche pulled the 911S from the North American market that year, thinking it would not meet forthcoming emissions regulations, leaving two models: the base 911 and the 911L, like the one seen here at the Hershey swap meet. The US-spec 911L was offered for one year only and had the base 911’s 130-horsepower flat six, but was otherwise equipped like a European 911S. This example is still owned by the original buyer, who purchased it in Europe. Aside from a respray in the original Sand Beige color, the car has been preserved and the owner still drives it regularly.

1993 Boxster concept tribute

You’d be forgiven if you thought Porsche’s 1993 Boxster concept had made an appearance at the Hershey swap meet, but the silver Porsche with its bright red interior is actually a 2001 Boxster S with custom bodywork to mimic the concept. The owner bought the car for $6,000 in distressed cosmetic condition, and then proceeded to create his ideal mid-engined Porsche. The interior was dyed a Ferrari red, while the exterior paint, which is a similar shade of silver as the Boxster concept, is actually a color by Lexus, Atomic Silver. The scoops in the front air intake? Exhaust tips from a Cayenne. If you want to read more about this unique Porsche, check out the October 2016 Panorama.

Mint Green 968 Cabriolet

Porsches have long been offered in odd, bright colors, purchased by discerning enthusiasts who like to go against the grain. The problem is, those colors are often seen as undesirable when new, only to become more desirable later on. Here we have one such car, a 968 Cabriolet in a rare and distinct color: Mint Green. It is the ninth 968 Cabriolet produced, and the only one for the North American market in that color, according to the owner. It was purportedly used for promotional purposes by PCNA and had 1,200 miles on it when it was sold to the first private owner. The reason there aren’t more of them: Mint Green simply was not popular in the early 1990s.

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