All Photos Credit: Raphael Orlove

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a string of new vintage cars built from unused old stock. There was a bunch of Jaguars, some Aston Martins, and now this quite gold Porsche 993 Turbo “Classic Series,” which Porsche is keen to point out is unregisterable for use on the street. I asked the company why, exactly.

Philipp Salm, who heads up sales and marketing at Porsche Classic, explained that it’s a two pronged-problem.

This is not a 1990s car, as the 993 Turbo was when it originally came out. This is a 2018 model year vehicle. It was built by Porsche out of an old, never-used body-in-white. That is, the body shell, the frame, was hanging out somewhere and a couple years ago Porsche hauled it out and built a new 993 out of it.

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As a 2018, it would have to follow 2018 regulations, Salm pointed out, for both emissions and noise. The noise regs, new in Europe, particularly would catch up this car, and you’d never be able to pass them with “an air-cooled engine with specs from the 1990s,” as Salm told me.

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So that’s why these new old cars can’t be driven on the street. They’re technically new cars and would never pass new car rules. As such, you can keep them in your garage, you can drive them on a track, but driving them on the street anywhere with emissions and noise regulations for sale would be illegal.

But he did point out that there are “certain countries” where a car like this might be able to be registered for road use, a country that is not as strictly regulated as Europe or the United States. I was at the unveiling of this car and watched as a Saudi businessman poked and prodded another Porsche representative, wondering if he really would be able to drive it, or if it would be something that would have to sit forever in his collection. “Well....” the Porsche rep replied, before carefully picking his words to say that yes, you know, not here, but, in other places, you could get this done.