Interesting history and facts about Porsche and its founder, Ferdi Porsche
This list of notable Porsche facts was produced in honour of the company’s 70th anniversary. Take a look if you think you know everything there is to know about Porsche, and if you do, let us know if there are any interesting anecdotes we may have missed. Information on Ferdinand Porsche and the company’s early days is provided, as is a guide to the Porsche 356 as well as the whole origin story of the 911’s moniker.
Sir Ferdinand Porsche
As a child, Ferdi Porsche lived in what was then Austro-Hungarian territory in northern Bohemia. His parents were native Germans. The Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, had him enlisted as his personal chauffeur in 1902. By the time the Archduke’s murder triggered World War I, he had already left the armed forces.
THE WORLD’S FIRST HYBRID VEHICLE
In 1898, Ferdinand Porsche created the first hybrid vehicle, called the Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid. The electric motor in the adapted carriage was powered by a gasoline engine. Even though it was built for speed, the car’s performance was limited by the two tonnes of lead acid batteries it had to carry.
Volkswagen Beetle, “the people’s car”
Designer Ferdinand Porsche is widely known to have worked for Mr. Hitler in 1934 to produce the vehicle. Did you know, though, that Ferdi Porsche actually developed the first Beetle model in his own living room?
Ferdinand Porsche had a significant hand in creating the first Auto Union vehicles. Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer were all struggling automakers in 1932 when a guy named Klaus von rtsen brought them together to form Auto Union.
Then, in 1933, Herr Hitler announced a new racing project to boost the German automotive sector, including a 500,000 Reichsmark investment in Mercedes Benz. Although Ferdi Porsche had lousy taste in friends, he became close with Hitler, and the Chancellor agreed to split the funding in half between the newly formed Auto Union team and himself. This led to the production of the legendary Auto Union A-D series automobiles.
After seeing his father go to jail for war crimes because he was in the SS and worked on Nazi weapons of war, Ferry Porsche decided in 1948 that he would carry on the family tradition of making cars.
Ferry Porsche and the Origins of the Porsche Brand
Ferry Porsche and the Origins of the Porsche Brand
Porsche’s First Car In 1948, Porsche unveiled the 356—which shared the Beetle’s chassis and rear-mounted engine with every 911 thereafter. What is less generally known, however, is that the first car ever made was a prototype called the Porsche 64 (also known as the Type 64 or Type 60K10), which is widely regarded as the first car ever produced by the business that would later bear the Porsche name. The Type-64 “record car” was the main model for this car, which is why it has the same model number.
History of Porsche: The Original Porsche Car
After the Allied bombardment of Stuttgart, Germany, Feri Porsche relocated the company to Gmünd, Austria, where the first 50 automobiles were produced. The 356 was manufactured for over 20 years, from 1948 to 1965. During this time period, Porsche manufactured approximately 76,000 vehicles of varying models. The many 356 models are described in the table below. Since the Dutch police used the Porsche 356 a lot, the company kept making 10 more for the police force even though regular production had ended a year before.
The 356c is a milestone in Porsche’s history.
- “Pre-A” 356s are the original models of the 356 series. Windshields on the first vehicles were broken into two pieces, but by the end of 1952, they were all one continuous piece. When it was first released, the only option was a 1,100 cc engine that put out a whopping 30 hp. However, by 1951, 1,300- and 1,500-cc options had been added. In 1953, with the introduction of the 356 Super, the smaller capacity was discontinued.
- October 1955–September 1959: 356 “A” The legendary 100hp 1500cc four-cam Carrera motor was one of several new “A” series engines. The 1600cc pushrods were an alternative, and by 1959 all motors were 1600cc, delivering 115hp. To combat oversteer, the suspension was modified to induce understeer. The windscreen was no longer twisted but rather curved, and this was most noticeable from the outside. All the classics, like the Speedster and the Convertible D, were there, plus coupes and cabriolets.
- 356B The 356B was produced from September 1959 to July 1963, and it included a “facelift” to the A in addition to significant performance advancements, such as Porsche-designed annular disc brakes. Identify a “B” model by its squared-off hood, gasoline cap on the top of the right front wing, and twin grilles on the trunk lid. As usual, a plethora of power sources were offered.
- The 356C and SC models, which were released in July 1963 and July 1965, respectively, were the final iterations of the 356. It was the twin-throat Solex carburetors that gave the SC and Carrera 2 their 95 and 130 horsepower, respectively. Convertibles and hardtops were not available. Traditional disc brakes are now standard on all versions of the 356. This is by far the most important change.
INTRODUCING: THE PORSCHE TRACTOR
When Porsche was still just a manufacturer, they made tractors, too, like this gasoline-powered model tailored to the needs of coffee farmers so that their crops wouldn’t be tainted by diesel exhaust.
The Origin of the Name “Porsche 911“
The Porsche 911 was a new model that debuted in 1963. But then Peugeot wrote to Porsche in a cordial but clear fashion, asserting that they owned the trademark on any vehicle name containing three digits and a zero. Porsche wanted to place the name of the automobile in gold letters on the dashboard and on the back of the car, and since the “9” and the “1” already existed, they simply swapped the “0” for another “1,” and the name 911 was born.