Is a Porsche a "Girly" Car? (Open "Two and a Half Men" Spoilers)

Perhaps this is another aspect of the culture war? Big American pickup truck (or SUV) = macho, European sports car = intellectual snob = girly men.

Oh, I can’t afford one! (Unemployed, doncha know.) But when you look at car prices, Boxters realy aren’t that bad. Of course, I’d hold out for a 911/997. Or maybe even a Turbo.

If money were no object, I’d rather have a Boxster S than a 911. Even the Cabrio Carrera 4. I haven’t really cared for the 911’s since they started looking like they’d been carved out of leftover soap bars. To me, the Boxster feels like a car to drive, while the 911 feels like a car to show off at the valet stand.

I felt the same way about the 911/997. I loved the voluptuous fenders on the 911/996, and the more-like-the-original 911 Carreras and SCs. Of course, the original 911T/E/S shape holds up well. When the 911/997 came out, I wondered what the hell Porsche were thinking. No flares? What’s up with that? And the Boxster-looking nose treatment? Puh-leez!

But mechanically, the 911/997 is the best one so far. And as I’ve seen more of them on the roads, the shape has started to grow on me. My 911SC was the most fun car I’ve driven. If the 911/997 improves on that, then it’s okay in my book.

Porsche’s reputation in America really suffered unnecessarily at the hand of the yuppie backlash. Porsches were always great driving cars. Once they had the galvanized bodies and hydraulic clutches, they were fairly solid structurally and mechanically, too. But people focus more on the demographics of the owners rather than the cars themselves.

Compare them to another “yuppie” car. Nowadays, whereas a mid-late 1980s Bimmer is selling for 2-3 grand, a Porsche of similar vintage in good shape goes for 15-20K. I doubt they would command these prices if they were generally regarded as “girlie cars” (at least among folks with the financial resources to own them).

What’s really a crime is how many of those beautiful cars were ruined by the foolish owner adding ridiculous flares and whale tails.

In Germany the 924 was nicknamed the “Sekretärinnenporsche” (it had a VW/Audi engine for Pete’s sake!) so it was definitely considered a girly car, but the 911SC makes up for it. I guess you were only a girly man some of the time (the time you owned the 924 obviously). :smiley:

The best line was, “It looks like my car’s hot girlfriend.”

I assume that because it doesn’t have as large an engine or as scary a layout as the 911, a Boxster is seen as a “girly” car.

And in general, few soft top cars seem to go without a comment about being “girly” in performance car magazines.

May I change that to…

SUV = Macho = Hairy chest & Medallions

European sports car = intellectual snob = girly men = ability to corner at speed


I never really cared much for Boxters, but the 911s still look good. I used to like the 944s also. The more expensive Porsches? I like what I see in pictures, but haven’t seen them enough to really have an opinion.

I’m not 100% certain which car you are referring to but I assume the 924. The 914 is very similar in that many considered it a VW with a mid mounted engine, the engine being virtually identical to the VW Type IV motor used in later busses and the short lived 411/412.

I was referring to the 924. (Aside to Mycroft Holmes: It wasn’t girly at the time.)

As for the 914, I think it got a bum rap. Yes, it had a VW engine; and yes, it was sold as a VW in Europe. But the first Porsches were built nearly entirely of VW parts (engines, suspensions, etc.) and nobody considers them not-real-Porsches! The 914 was simply the Entry-level car of the marque. It was not intended to be an all-out sports car like the 911, but was more in-line with the MGs and other small, low-power sports cars and roadsters. (Incidentally, the Lotus Elan was not very fast – but man could it go in the twisties!) And the 912 used the 356 engine, which was developed from a VW engine. (I’m not as current on my Porsche history as I used to be, so I’m going from memory.)

The 924 not only suffered from going from a proposed VW sports car, to an Audi, to a Porsche; but also because it had a liquid-cooled, front-mounted engine. Real Porsches have an air-cooled engine behind the cockpit! But Porsche decided in the '70s that they would try something new. The 928 was supposed to replace the 911. Porschephiles spoiled those plans though, because they kept buying 911s – in spite of Porsche’s efforts to make the 928 their ‘flagship’. (Incidentally, I read a magazine back in the '80s or early-'90s that compared the Porsche 928S4, Ferrari Testarossa, Lotus Turbo Esprit, and Lamboughini Countach on the track. Though the Ferrari was a little faster, the magazine said that the 928 was the best over-all. The Ferrari came in second. The Lotus got good marks, but they complained that it was difficult to see its corners from the driver’s seat; and the Lambo was deemed ‘getting long in the tooth’.)

With a front engine and rear transaxle, the 924 had exceptional balance. It was reasonably fast (mine was a '77½ so it only had four speeds), and the cargo area was pretty darned big. After it was reintroduced with the 944 engine, it was actually faster than the normally-aspirated 944 because it didn’t have the draggy flairs.

So IMO, the 924 was a good car that had the misfortune of being marketed under the wrong marque.

My guy bought a Porshe Boxster convertible last year.

I dont think he is girly at all, but he has had midlife crisis jokes made about it quite often.

In Germany it was! All those real German men (with their 70’s porn moustaches) drove 911s. Their bleached blond hairdresser girlfriends drove Audi 924s.

No real german man would be caught dead in a front-engined liquid-cooled Porsche. What would Ferdinand say?

I don’t think it’s a bias against Porsche or against agile cars. I think they are considered girly to a degree simply because of their size.

Little-bitty rag-tops will always be seen by me as a little girly. The main reason being that I can’t fit in one. When I see a guy squeezed into one I chuckle at them since it seems so apparent that they bought an expensive car that is uncomfortable and a bit ostentatious. Reminds me of seeing a woman squeezed into a pair of strappy high heeled Manolo’s that are a size too small while she walks around the grocery store.

So yeah, kinda femine.

Things are worse for the Miata, and similar for the MGs, Z3s, TTs.

If I’m buying one a euro-car for myself to play with I’m going with the BMW M3 or the Aston Martin DB7. I like to feel like I’m inside a missle, not riding on top of one.

I’m a big guy, and 5’ 11". I can tell you from experience that MGBs have a lot of room for the driver and passenger. No problem stretching out the ol’ legs. Headroom was adequate. (Some people have very long torsos, so they may have had some difficulty.) The only problem was that the rear-view mirror was right at eye-level, and I had to duck at intersections to ensure there was not another car at 2 o’clock.

In Germany, the Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce (the real one, not the one with that silly black rubber thing on its rear end) was considered a manly car, while the Porsche 924 was a girly car. Don’t ask me why. I myself think they’re both nice cars and I don’t necessarily associate one with being more girly than the other.

I’m 6’ 3" and about 220 lbs. When I sit in a MGB or a Triumph I’ve got about 4 inches of forehead clearing the windshield and I can knuckle drag the asphalt. Leg room isn’t a big issue like you said, but when commenting on outside perception this isn’t really the point of the OP. We’re not talking practicality or functionality here. You’re asking why and if this perception is out there.

Newer cars like the SLK and the Carrera 4 seem to have taken the oppisite tactic and made legroom tighter and headroom more generous. But still, on first glance, a guy of even average American size (though I think maybe people are bigger in the Midwest on average) looks oversized in a little 2-door with a short wheelbase. That looks girly to me, no matter how wide the rubber is.

Could be, tough to say since I’m not really that familiar with either, and certainly not acquainted with German perceptions in the 80s. And I would certainly argue that all these older models have lost any gender bias due to their relative rarity on this side of the pond. However, when talking specifically about the OP, cars like Porsche, BMW roadsters, Miata’s and the like are in wide enough circulation that they can have a percieved demographic.

Perhaps in the example you cite, the Porsche had a subtle feminine twist to the ad campaign. Too many commercials and bilboards showing a busty blonde in the drivers seat. Maybe the AR Spider was seen in a few macho TV shows or movies. That would explain to me why the Porsche 924 got that rap.

If you transplanted these cars to the US today, the Spider would be the Chrystler LeBaron of the coupling.