Porsche Parts Supplier Explains Entertainment Upgrades for Vintage Vehicles

Classic car owners are increasingly interested in ways to make vintage Porsches more fun to drive without detracting from the appearance or unique bodywork of an older vehicle that showcases the style, shape and aesthetic of cars from decades past.

A potential solution is to install an entertainment or informational dashboard-based system, often with built-in GPS signalling and interface screens that connect with smartphones, apps and other devices.

Design911, a specialist in Porsche OEM parts, components and upgrades, has shared some advice for any restorers or enthusiasts considering an entertainment system for a vintage Porsche, including retrofitted Porsche-branded entertainment kits.

Benefits of Updating Entertainment and Navigation Systems in Older Cars

The appeal of an ‘infotainment’ system is that drivers are accustomed to having information or music, podcasts and audio files on demand, particularly during longer drives. For example, a driver might want to be able to make wireless, hands-free phone calls, use a touchscreen to pick and choose their entertainment or receive audio messages when travelling.

Vintage Porsches, of course, have no such feature, making an upgrade a viable option. One of the many tips shared by the Design911 team is to consider the impact on the overall appearance of the vehicle rather than assuming that an entertainment system will comprise only a screen fitted into the dashboard.

Karl Chopra, MD of Design911, says, ‘Entertainment upgrades can enrich and augment the driving experience of a classic car, but it is essential owners recognise how these may impact a restored or vintage vehicle. For example, a classic Porsche will require fairly extensive retrofitting, depending on the functionality required, including:

  •   Amplifiers and speakers
  •   Antenna or radio signalling features
  •   Navigation displays and screens
  •   Telephony connection features

There are also myriad options, with many opting for the Porsche Classic Communication Management (PCCM) kit or the PCCM Plus kit, both of which use the devices or infrastructure that may already be incorporated into the design of the vehicle to support a new entertainment system.’

Advanced Safety and Driver Controls Through Hands-Free Entertainment Systems

Although entertainment retrofits are largely seen as a project for the enjoyment of the driver and passengers, a professional Porsche engineer or mechanic may also be able to suggest a PCCM device or an alternative brand that offers enhanced controls.

Some systems can, for instance, be fitted with a phone-mirroring app which mimics the functionality modern entertainment consoles offer, yet without requiring extensive wiring or cabling. These apps can also leverage satellite signalling, such as DAB+, used throughout Europe, which means a driver can tap into digital radio stations on demand.

Additional features include entertainment screens that allow drivers to modify their seat preferences or add parameters to memory functions, where lighting, climate control settings, door locks and windscreen wipers can be automatically activated, turned off, or adjusted according to the driving conditions, environment and weather.

Retrofitting Entertainment Devices to Classic and Vintage Porsches

Karl goes on to advise that owners of particularly valuable, rare or unique Porsches should proceed with caution before commencing any retrofitting project or making any modifications that could potentially impact the resale value of their cars.

Audio, entertainment and navigation systems are available in a huge array of designs, styles and casings, and although upgraded audio devices are widely seen as a positive upgrade, there is a potential that any aftermarket console or device that isn’t 100% compatible with the car could have the opposite effect.

We’d also strongly suggest purchasing a console, unit or system that is intended for retrofitting or designed as a modification kit for older vehicles, acknowledging that the internal panelling and sizing of a classic Porsche are likely to be considerably different from a contemporary model.

Any modifications that are considered a deviation from the condition or appearance of a vintage Porsche as-is can be detrimental. For very rare Porsches, it may be worth the expense of commissioning an upgraded system that replicates the same style and aesthetic of the interior, representative of the appropriate period or year in which the car was originally manufactured.

Alternatively, classic Porsche drivers can opt for entertainment systems that feature speakers, consoles or screens that are not integrated into the body of the car or that can be fitted into the existing mount points without impacting the integrity of the vehicle – these devices can be removed should you wish to sell in the future, or when having a vintage Porsche appraised or valued.

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