Driving a classic is often a welcome escape from the constant distractions of our modern, digital world. With all of the complex functionality in a new car, the analog switchgear and basic radio of a vintage car is refreshing. For those who regularly drive an older vehicle, however, especially over long distances, the convenience of taking phone calls and accessing navigation with a touch 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.
Designed to work with 911s from the ’60s through the 993-generation cars of the mid-1990s, the PCCM system integrates neatly into the dashboard of a classic Porsche. 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 Color. 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 work with earlier- and mid-engine cars like the 944, 924, or 968.
If you have a first-generation Boxster or a 996-gen 911, you might be thinking about the archaic interface in your center 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 in your classic is worth celebrating. Listening to the sound of your engine chattering along, however, is the best soundtrack of all.