Porsche 968 ART: Celebrating an automotive icon couldn’t be more in fashion than this
The latter have played an important role in the two-seater sports car segment, particularly popular for their brilliant four and six-cylinder engines. Like Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Porsche once said: “I couldn’t find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself” which means that finding the right inspiration can plant the seeds in one’s mind to embark on world-changing endeavors. The Porsche 968 – the last coupe with a front engine
Indeed, Porsche mainly gained such a reputation thanks to its rear-engined sports coupes, like the 911. But, let’s not forget that alongside these models there were many other rear-wheel-drive performance machines. two-seater with a front panel. -motor.
Regardless of what some enthusiasts say, Porsche has not forgotten them. Earlier in September, they proudly showcased a collaboration between them and a Parisian fashion brand that commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Porsche 968 Coupé. It was the last new two-seater engine-driven vehicle ever produced before and the last to feature a four-cylinder powertrain until recently. It had production that ran from 1991 to 1995, offered in coupe or convertible body styles.
Who are L’Art De L’Automobile and Arthur Kar?
L’Art De L’Automobile is a French label founded by Arthur Kar, a design visionary who has always been passionate about Porsche. Arthur’s journey began in Lebanon when he started working as a mechanic in a garage run by his father. Later, at age 16, he and his family moved to Paris. There, Arthur was lucky enough to find a job in a workshop at the Porsche Center. He happily remembers how impressed he was with the engineering of Porsche vehicles, in the sense that everything was well thought out, in stark contrast to the Italian performance cars that frequented his father’s garage.
He worked hard and always dreamed of the day he would drive a real Porsche. While working as a mechanic, he began doing jobs for car dealerships and began to practice the art of selling vehicles which, at the time, felt like he was getting closer to his goals. Putting aside the extra money from car sales, Arthur finally got the chance to buy a used Porsche 996 Turbo, and later even a Carrera GT.
In 2011, he launched his brand, L’Art De L’Automobile, an exquisite car dealership and vehicle-related service center. After being in the industry for many years and interacting with many passionate clients, Arthur had an eye opener. He realized that although the automotive industry is such a vast field, for an enthusiast like him and his customers there are very few options when it comes to automotive related clothing. As a result, in 2017 he designed the “Kar” logo and started printing it on T-shirts for company staff. Customers also seemed very interested and started selling clothes on the dealer’s website.
Reinvent the retro era with a modern twist
Fast forward to today, L’Art De L’Automobile has had the opportunity to work alongside Porsche for the 968’s 30th anniversary, with the aim of embodying the link between vehicles and fashion. The exceptional result of an 18-month joint venture, this unique project was presented to the public during Paris Fashion Week 2021. Their collaboration resulted in the unique Porsche L’ART 968, a machine that reinvents the retro era inspired by modern times.
The roof of the Porsche 968 ART has been removed and now features a speedster silhouette, finished in a unique shade of green, specially created for this project. The overall design is very contemporary, as if it had been imagined for the first time today. It has a low and wide stance and integrates modern Porsche design elements beautifully, taking advantage of clean lines and modern lighting technologies.
The front of the vehicle has been completely reworked. The design of the headlights is what strikes the eye first. Surprisingly, they are now horizontal and feature LED technology, being moved lower towards the front bumper. There are now two round, smooth indents in place of the pop-up mechanism hinting at their original location. The L’Art De L’Automobile and Porsche brands beautifully finish the clean but powerful front fascia, to be further complemented by the aggressively sloping windshield and vintage black Porsche wheels. Additionally, these can be fitted with a pair of covers featuring a smooth-surfaced main line, as seen on other areas of the vehicle.
From the side one has a charming view of the masterfully executed fender flares and blade-shaped mirrors. The rear of the vehicle follows the same smooth outlook, with the emphasis on the taillights. By incorporating red lighting and the lettering “Kar” into the tail light design, they recreated the fashion brand’s logo which is imprinted on their sunglasses and other selected garments.
The interior appearance goes with the flow and continues the modern take on the retro-themed vehicle, emphasizing a minimalist layout and exquisite craftsmanship. Porsche has teamed up with Recaro for the bespoke bucket seats wrapped in fine EL3 leather supplied by ECCO, with Bose for a bespoke audio system that integrates seamlessly with the interior of the vehicle and, most importantly, with the main watchmaker. Tag Heuer who supplied the instrument panel – clock climbs. A story deeper than fashion and cars
At the Paris Fashion Week event, alongside the unveiling of this unique Porsche 968, L’Art De L’Automobile and Kar presented their collaboration with the German manufacturer presenting their clothing collection, launching two capsule fashion collections different. Highlights include long and short sleeve shirts, T-shirts, caps incorporating design elements from both brands, the jewel of the collection being the green jacket inspired by the Formula 1 uniform of the 1990s.
This collaboration took place in a beautiful story that goes even further than a simple concept car or a collection of exclusive clothing. The L’Art De L’Automobile X Porsche project brings out what their brands cherish most: a greedy passion that never dies and allows budding minds to start from nothing, focus on their future and achieve unimaginable peaks.