These days a classic Porsche is more sought-after than ever. And not always in the way we’d like. For as the classic car market continues to grow, our air-cooled cars have become more and more desirable to specialist car thieves. Being the age they are, these increasingly valuable collector’s items are also far harder to protect from theft, making them even more attractive to the wrong sort of Porsche enthusiast.
So with all this in mind, Porsche Classic has now further developed a satellite monitoring system that has been offered for new vehicles for some time, enabling it to be used in modern and even vintage classics.
The key feature of the new “Porsche Classic Vehicle Tracking System” is an autonomous sensor package that can be concealed in unobtrusive places around your classic, from where it communicates with a Europe-wide security network. The tailored versions of the new system are suitable for all Porsche classic vehicles – from the 356 with its six-volt electrical system right up to the ‘Ring-storming V10 Carrera GT.
“In future, the new tracking system will allow us to offer our customers anti-theft functionality that will trigger an alarm for tracking the vehicle if someone tries to steal it,” explains Alexander Fabig, Head of Porsche Classic. “In an ideal scenario, this intervention will stop the vehicle from disappearing right from the outset.”
The hardware for this system has been tailored specifically to each classic Porsche and designed to be as inconspicuous as possible. Technical information is shared only with your chosen Porsche Centre, but even if such data was stolen, because there are so many different places to position the transmitter, it is extremely difficult and above all time-consuming to detect the device and try to disable it.
A popular trick with car thieves is to first disconnect the battery, so that alarm systems and similar protection devices are disabled. But Porsche has that covered too. “It’s true the hardware is connected to the electrical system. But if the circuit of a vehicle equipped with this is interrupted, an alarm is immediately triggered,’ says Linda Vetten, Product Manager in the Classic Customer Centre. Moreover, the system is equipped with its own battery and is therefore entirely autonomous.
As with the GPS monitoring of new vehicles, in the event of theft an alarm is sent both to the international security centre and the customer, who receives a notification through the corresponding app. If the owner confirms unauthorised access when prompted, the authorities are informed and the hunt for the thieves begins. The security centre uses the system to identify the location or driving route of your car and supports local responders in the search.
If the car has been switched off since being pinched, there is even the option to prevent the engine from being restarted via a wireless command. The vehicle can then only be accessed by employees of the security centre. Of course, the Porsche developers are aware that more expert car thieves have access to state-of-the-art technology, such as jammers that block GPS signals. But, as Linda Vetten explains: “If jammers are detected, once again an alarm notification is immediately sent out.”
As a more immediate and visible deterrent, plans are also afoot to offer a state-of-the-art physical gear lever lock to owners of classic Porsche cars. Berlin-based company Bear-Lock already offers such devices for more modern models like the 997 generation 911 and 986 and 987 Boxster and Cayman, but if there is enough interest from our classic clientele, development of model-specific locks for our older cars is a real possibility.
The components of the Bear-Lock which works by blocking the gear shift when reverse or auto are engaged.
The Bear-Lock works by simply blocking the gear shift – when reverse gear is engaged on manual cars and when ‘Park’ is engaged on autos. The locks are individually developed for each car type and are installed (with tear-off screws) behind or under the centre console at existing points on the body, so that no changes need to be made on the car.
These locks, which are almost invisible once installed, are only delivered to specialist workshops such as Porsche Centres and take about three hours to install. Around 50 to 100 pre-orders would be enough for a specific development – say, for the Porsche 911 G models or the 356 – to be investigated. It is possible to envisage this being centrally organised through the Porsche Clubs.