Maintenance and gear

Tuned to perfection: Apple CarPlay now available for classic Porsches

by Eric Weiner
27 April 2020 2 min read
Tuned to perfection: Apple CarPlay now available for classic Porsches
All air-cooled Porsche 911s can be fitted with digital system that has an authentic design Porsche

Driving a classic car can be a welcome escape from the constant distractions of our modern, digital world. With all of the complex functionality in a new car, the analogue switchgear and basic radio of a vintage car is charming. For those who regularly drive an older vehicle, however, especially over long distances, the convenience of accessing navigation, streaming your favourite Bruce Springsteen driving tunes or even safely taking a phone call is important.

Porsche has long offered new-school audio and infotainment technology retrofitted for old-school models through its Classic catalogue, but the latest pair of Porsche Classic Communication Management (PCCM) systems come with fresh flair – Apple CarPlay.

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Designed to work with air-cooled 911s from the ’60s through the 993-generation cars of the mid-1990s, the PCCM system integrates neatly into the dashboard of any of the classic models. Fitting into the single-DIN slot, the PCCM has a combination of rotary knobs and button, along with a 3.5-inch touchscreen.

There’s no doubt that a big Waze icon smack in the middle of dashboard is somewhat of a jarring anachronism, and yes, compared to the slick, Westworld-like interface in the new Porsche Taycan, this looks like a Game Boy Colour. Still, a lot of people will probably appreciate its practicality. With an SD card you can play music or use navigation functions, or you can simply plug in your phone and manage apps via Apple CarPlay. Another boon for diehard radio listeners is that the unit also can receive DAB+ digital radio stations. Porsche says the PCCM system can also fit the 944, 924, and 968.

If you have a first-generation Boxster or a 996 era 911, you might be thinking about the archaic interface in your centre console. For such vehicles, the PCCM Plus system—which is set up for 2-DIN technology—offers similar functionality as the standard PCCM unit. The screen is bigger (7 inches) and the system can operate with existing hardware like the speakers, amp, or antenna. Android Auto is also available to use with the Plus system.

Integrating newer audio technology into old cars is nothing new, and there are plenty of companies that build units that convincingly blend into the car’s interior. Harder to do with a touchscreen. In the end, though, anything that facilitates spending more time driving and enjoying your classic car is worth celebrating. Listening to the sound of your engine chattering along, however, is the best soundtrack of all.

See the history of the original Porsche 911 and Hagerty Price Guide here

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