August 21, 2022

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Sally Carrera of ‘Cars’ goes from reel to real

WE’VE OFTEN heard of iconic cars being made into toys and diecast scale copies — or even Legos. But how often have we seen cartoon and fictional automobiles crossing into real life?

That’s exactly the case with Sally Carrera, the enchanting “lady” car in the Disney and Pixar animation flick Cars. The quirky cartoon character based on a Porsche 911 has now been rendered in real life. The one-off — painstakingly created and worked on to be faithful to the on-screen character, while paying tribute to the Cars franchise — is meant for a noble plan as well.

As “Velocity” goes to press, the aptly called “Sally Special” is to go under the hammer through RM Sotheby’s during the Monterey Car Week in California. Proceeds will be donated to two charities: Girls, Inc. and USA for UNHCR, an organization supporting refugees from Ukraine.

Said Porsche AG Vice-President for Communications, Sustainability, and Politics Sebastian Rudolph, “Vehicles need a face and a story, and the animated Pixar’s film Cars has impressively done just that: brought cars to life on the big screen.” The street-legal 911 will definitely be much coveted, and the winning bidder will get to have something no one else has. “The story conveys values such as friendship, love and mutual support — and in the middle of it all is a Porsche. Together with Pixar, we have brought the spirit of Sally to life in a new way, not on the screen, but off the screen,” he continued.

The project to turn Sally from reel to real began in November last year, uniting the members of the original Cars team who first came together more than two decades ago. Pixar Animation Studios Franchise Creative Director of Franchise Jay Ward and Production Designer Bob Pauley (who first drew Sally Carrera) were assisted by members of the Sonderwunsch team at Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur in Stuttgart and designers from Style Porsche in Weissach. The team worked together for 10 months to create Sally Special.

Aside from being a fun project, the 911 Sally Special was a challenging one. “We decided early on that we wanted to create a completely drivable 911 — inspired by Sally Carrera, but just not an exact copy. Sally Carrera loves to drive — that was our inspiration. We asked ourselves: if Sally were built today as a road-approved model, what would she look like?”

But of course, the 911 Sally Special is a, well, special car on its own — predicated on the “fastest and most variant of the 911 Carrera model line, the 480ps 911 Carrera GTS… The car is equipped with a manual gearbox, tapping into Sally Carrera’s passion for driving,” said Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur Director Boris Apenbrink, adding, “The customization elements are detailed and extensive. 911 Sally Special was one of the most intense, emotional and detailed Sonderwunsch projects our team has worked on. One example is that the car is painted in ‘Sallybluemetallic,’ a custom paint that was hand-applied specifically for this project. We also thought of Sally’s tattoo, of course. Implementing that was a very special challenge.” Sally Carrera’s Turbo-look rims were reinterpreted by Style Porsche designers in Weissach and manufactured especially for the 911 Sally Special. Meanwhile, a “five-arm design” rim made it to the real-life 20-/21-inch wheel dimensions of the current 911 generation and establishes a visual link to the 911 Type 996 on which Sally Carrera is based.

During an online press conference, “Velocity” asked if the Sallybluemetallic hue would ever make it to the 911 palate of colors which customers could choose. The answer is no — further making the Sally Special even more special, indeed.

Porsche interior designer Daniela Milošević led the team that worked with Pixar to design the new blue color as well as the vehicle’s interior. Sallybluemetallic made it into the cabin of the one-off as well. “It creates both obvious highlights and subtle details that will hopefully bring a smile to the future owner’s face. At the same time, it was important to us not to forget everyday usability and practicality. (The) 911 Sally Special is meant to be driven often and gladly. We developed a special Pepita houndstooth fabric upholstery in three colors, combined with chalk-colored leather and stitching in Speed Blue. Working out these details makes the project special and brings back a lot of memories of the movie and Sally Carrera,” she said.

Aside from the car itself, the auction also includes other highlights — such as a unique chronograph by Porsche Design, also created in collaboration with Pixar. The watch’s colored ring is, of course, painted in Sallybluemetallic as well, with a chalk-colored leather strap with Speed Blue stitching underscoring the sporty design of the watch. The strap can be quickly and easily swapped out for a second strap in Speed Blue with chalk-colored stitching (without the need for tools). A limited-edition marking is on the case back. Powering the one-of-a-kind piece is a COSC-certified Porsche Design Werk 01.100 movement. The 911 Sally Special Chronograph was precision-engineered and manufactured at Porsche’s own watchmaking facility in Solothurn, Switzerland.

The auction will also feature a special indoor car cover from Porsche Tequipment, a wheel rack with an additional wheel set consisting of Carrera Exclusive Design wheels, a book on the development and production of the one-off model and original drawings by designers Shuichi Yamashita and Bob Pauley. — Kap Maceda Aguila