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Friday, January 23, 2009

Porsche Readies $130 Million Hovering Musuem

STUTTGART, Germany — Finally, four years after Porsche announced its decision to construct a new museum, the $130-million building is ready for its January 28 grand opening.

More than 80 vehicles are on display in the 60,250-square-foot exhibition area, including rare vehicles ranging from an original 1950 VW Beetle to a 1986 McLaren TAG MP 4/2 C Formula 1 car. Although the McLaren had a mere 1.5-liter V6 engine, it managed to produce 850 horsepower and helped Porsche win three world championships and 25 Grand Prix races from 1983-'87.

Viennese architect Delugan Meissl designed the futuristic-looking building, which rests on three concrete cores and appears to hover in space. The structure is located in the same place where the Porsche Design Office moved from downtown Stuttgart to Zuffenhausen in 1938.

On top of the vintage vehicles, the museum features 200 other exhibits, and expects more than 200,000 visitors each year. The Porsche Museum will have its grand opening January 28 and will open to the public just a few days later on January 31.

Inside Line says: Some of the vehicles featured in the exhibit are a must-see for hard-core Porsche enthusiasts. — Mike Lysaght, Correspondent