Porsche has a long history of making cool, fast and desirable cars. The downside is an equally long history of lawbreaking folks trying to steal them.
Today, the brand's modern machines are jammed full of whiz-bang gadgetry to ensure they stay with their rightful owners. Vintage models, however, are susceptible to sticky fingers -- a major concern given their rising collectability and value.
To help give owners peace of mind, Porsche is rolling out a new anti-theft protection program overseas that updates classic vehicles. It's called the Porsche Classic Vehicle Tracking System and its key feature is a concealed autonomous sensor package.
This device communicates with a security network that, as of now, covers the whole of Europe. Pricing for the service has not been announced and neither has news of whether the system will be rolled out in the United States.
The system is custom tailored to fit all classic Porsche models, from the 356 to the Carrera GT. Beginning in spring of 2018, owners can have it installed on their ride at Porsche Classic Partners and Porsche Centres across Europe.
If a vehicle is being monitored and a battery gets disconnected, or if the vehicle is stolen, the associated free app sends an alarm alert to the international security center, as well as the customer.
If the vehicle owner confirms it's an unauthorized access, authorities are notified and GPS coordinates or a driving route is sent to local responders. There is also the option to use a wireless command to prevent the engine from being restarted.
• Using an optional voltage converter, the tracking system can also be used in older Porsche 356 models that have a six-volt vehicle electrical system, rather than the modern 12-volt system.
• The app also features additional functions like accessing vehicle location (for nonemergencies) as well as past route information.
• Porsche owners can also set up "geofences" and if they decide to let a family member or friend borrow their ride, they'll be notified if the car crosses their preset boundaries. There's a similar function to control the speed of the vehicle.
Porsche, which maintains that 70 percent of the vehicles it has made are still on the road today, would like to eventually offer additional anti-theft functionality, including triggering the alarm while the theft is in progress, aiming to prevent the classics from ever falling into dubious hands.
• Share your car's story with Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.