The House of Porsche, A Pictorial History

Send This Page To A Friend
Fade To White
The House of Porsche, A Pictorial History
Porsche Family Home  
A Young Ferdinand Porsche  
Electricity In The Porsche House
The Porsche Family Home in Maffersdorf...   As a child Ferdinand Porsche demonstrated an uncanny ability to experiment...   At age 16 Ferdinand Porsche ran electric lights throughout the family home...
Fade To White
Jacob Lohner Cars   Ferdinand Porsche's First Design   Early Hub Engined Car
In 1897 Ferdinand Porsche joined the Jacob Lohner Imperial Royal Court Coach Factory in Vienna...
  Ferdinand Porsche's first design was displayed at the Paris Exhibition in 1900, and featured no transmission...   The hub engine which Porsche had designed for Lohner became a catchword at that time...
Fade To White
Jacob Lohner Car Production   Lohner System Porsche   Hub Engined Fire Engine
Demand for the electric hub-driven Lohner cars were unprecedented, given the noisy and unreliable nature of petrol engined versions...   So successful was the electric hub engine that the Porsche name became well known...   The hub engine was not restricted to use on cars, indeed it found its way onto fire engines...
Fade To White
Hub Engined Trolley Bus   World War 1 Mobile Generator Units   Ferdinand Porsche Aged 30
and trolley-buses...   and heavy mobile generator units for artillery in the first World War...   At the age of 30 Ferdinand Porsche went in 1906 as technical director to the Austrian Daimler Engine Company...
Fade To White
Hybrid Car Development    
At this company he further developed the new drive principle ...   These new petrol/electric hybrid cars used a dynamo to pass on current to the hub engines...   In September 1900 he drove an electric car along the simmering mountain course set and set up new record.
Fade To White
   
At the Axelborg races in 1901 he won the class for cars under 1000 kg...   At the imperial manouveres in 1902 he served in the reserve infantry of an elite regiment as driver the archduke Frans Ferdinand. He drive the archduke in a car of his own design...   One of his biggest successes for Austrian Daimler was in 1910 - at that time one of the best known endurance tests was the Prince Henry course ...
Fade To White
   
An Austro-Daimler team took part in this race in 1909, and the technical director Ferdinand Porsche sat at the wheel of one of these cars, going on to win the Silver Badge of Honour...   He then immediately designed the car for the Prince Henry course for the following year, and his wish came true. In 1910 his Daimler was placed first, second and third in this event with Ferdinand Porsche at the wheel of the victorious vehicle...   Ferdinand Porsche often took part in races and often tried and tested his new models at such events. Yet he remained the best and most severe critic of his own designs...
Fade To White
   
In 1903 Ferdinand Porsche married...   In 1904 his daughter Louise was born, and five years later in 1909 his wife gave birth to a son, Ferdinand Anton Ernst, called Ferry...   As early as 1912 Ferdinand Porsche designed an air-colled aircraft engine with 4 horizontally opposed cylinders and hanging valves - a design which basically corresponds to the later Volkswagen engine...
Fade To White
   
It was for Skoda that Ferdinand Porsche designed the transporter for large 30.5 cm mortars, the engine had 100 hp and was able to move 24 tons...   In the years 1915 to 1917 the so-called "C-Train" was developed under Porsche's technical direction, used for transporting 42cm howitzers. It had iron wheels for street and rail use, all wheels being driven...   . It had a generator unit with 150 horsepower and Porsche once again used the mixed system for transmitting the driving power produced by the petrol engine to the electric engines in all the wheel hubs of the whole train...
Fade To White
   
Emperor Franz Joseph awarded Ferdinand Porsche the Officers Cross of the Order of Franz Joseph "in most gracious acknowledgement of outstanding services to the armed forces"...   In 1921 Ferdinand Porsche developed a very small sportscar with 1100ci, and given the name "Sachsa"...   With this car Austro-Daimler came first and second in the special class at the Targa Florio. From this time on Ferdinand Porsche was always a pioneer of the small car...
Fade To White
   
In 1923 Porsche went as Technical Director and Member of the Board to the Daimler motor company in Stuttgart...   It was strangely enough through Sicily that Porsche found favour and recognition in Stuttgart...   Porsche improved a racing 2 litre car with compressor to such perfection that the Daimler Works driver Christian Werner won the 1924 Targa Florio...
Fade To White
   
It was during the Porsche era that Daimler developed several of their well known vehicles, such as the S and SSK sports cars with compressor...   After the merger with Benz things no-longer went so smoothly for Porsche at Daimler, and in 1928 he left to become head designer at Steyr...   In 1929 the house bank of the Steyr company collapsed...
Fade To White
   
After various arguments with the new finance people in the company, and although times were anything but easy, Ferdinand Porsche set up his own business in 1930, and opened a design office in Stuttgart...   In January 1931, he launched his consulting firm, 'Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche GmbH Konstructionsburo Fur Motern, Fahrzeug, Luftfahrzeug, and Wasserfahrzeugbau' ('Motors, Vehicles, Airplanes, and Boats...')...   Porsche's new team of engineers developed some extremely famous designs. Already in 1931 the Sundark company assigned Porsche the task of constructing a small car...
Fade To White
   
Although only a few prototypes were developed the car had several things in common with the later Volkswagen Beetle...   The vehicle which Porsche designed for NSU in 1933 was almost identical in appearance to the Volkswagen Beetle, and was based on the same design principles...   In parallel with his activities for NSU and without any firm contract Ferdinand Porsche and his team developed a racing car engine which was later taken over by Auto Union...
Fade To White
   
It was the 16 cylinder racing car with V-engine in the rear and with torsion bar suspension which Hans Stuck and Bernd Rosemeyer drove on all racing circuits in Europe...   Between 1934 and 1937 the Auto Union V-16 set numerous world records...   It was in 1932 that Ferdinand Porsche was invited to Russia to visit various vehicle, aircraft and tractor factories, and it was during this visit that he was offered the position of Chief Designer for the Soviet Union. However Ferdinand Porsche turned the tempting offer down...
Fade To White
   
In 1934 Porsche received a contract to design the Volkswagen. There were only limited funds available for the project because understandably the German car industry was not exactly enthusiastic about the idea of a "People's Car" which would compete with their own small and medium class vehicles...   Porsche therefore had to design the car on a shoestring budget, and the first prototypes were built by hand in his private garage in Stuttgart...   These prototypes had undergone extensive tests for over a year under all types of weather conditions...
Fade To White
   
A further 30 vehicles were produced in a Daimler-Benz factory in 1937 ...   The Beetles were constructed under the supervision of members of the Porsche team...   These vehicles were driven millions of kilometres in the course of endurance tests conducted by the Porsche driving team...
Fade To White
   
The 4th series of vehicles culminated in the Volkswagen Beetle as we know it today. In 1936 the decision was taken to build a special factory and city for producing the Volkswagen, the so-called "People's Car"...   Porsche had never been interested in politics, his one real interest in life was solving technical problems...   The volume of design assignments increased to such an extent that Ferdinand Porsche was obliged to build a small factory in Stuttgart in which prototypes could be developed...
Fade To White
   
It was here that the designs for mini tractors with air-cooled diesel engines, aero engines...   and wind-driven electricity generators with self-adjusting vains were developed and tested..   Porsche also assisted in the design and construction of a series of tanks and military transport units...
Fade To White
   
Before the end of the war the offices and workshops of the Porsche company were transferred from Stuttgart to extremely primitive barracks...   In 1946 Ferry Porsche and a select group of former colleagues took up the threads of the old operation...   Ferdinand Porsche returned home from incaseration to find the completed blueprints for a sports car and the Cisitalia waiting for him ...
Fade To White
   
At the Geneva Motor Show for the first time in 1949 a car bearing the name Porsche was on display. The Porsche 356 was the first of many cars to make the name of its designers renowned throughout the world...   During his last years Ferdinand Porsche witnessed how his lifes work flourished and came to fruition. He was very moved the first time he saw thousands of Volkswagen Beetles on the streets...   Ferdinand Porsche lived to see the beginnings of the Porsche company as we know it today, before he died in 1951 in Stuttgart at the age of 75...
Fade To White
   
After Ferdinand Porsche's passing, Ferry Porsche, his only son, became head of the company. At that time the cars were still being produced in rented premises, but the resounding success of the 356 necessitated the construction of new factory buildings and a constant increase in the size of the working force...   The sports car which was originally designed to be produced in small numbers became extradinarily popular...   The original 1100ci engine was constantly further developed. The name Porsche was already firmly established in the world of car racing...
Fade To White
   
In 1953 the 1500 RS Spider appeared, then the 550, the 718 and the RS60...   This deep involvement in competition racing made a significant contribution in terms of ideas and improvements for production line models....   By 1954 5000 Porsche 356's had been manufactured. By 1956 no fewer than 10,000, and by 1959 32 vehicles a day were being produced...
Fade To White
   
By 1962 Porsche clocked up 50,000 vehicles...   During this period work was being carried out on a new model, the 911 that was designed to incorporate all the tried and tested features of the Porsche car...   The Porsche 911 with its 2.0 litre six cylinder engine developing 130 horsepower made it's debut in 1963 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It was just the reverse of a mass-produced product, a superb sports-car combining classic symetry with perfectionist attention to detail...
Fade To White
   
Later various derivatives based on the 911 were introduced, the T, S and E models. However the most significant addition to the 911 range was the Targa launched in 1965...   This was followed in 1970 by a 2.2 litre engine with mechanical fuel injection. By this time the next generation of Porsche's was working for the company. The oldest son Ferdinand Porsche was in charge of the design department, Peter Porsche was production manager and Ferry Porsche's nephew Ferdinand Piëch was responsible for development...   In 1969 a mid-engined sports car, the Volkswagen-Porsche 914 was introduced and offered either a 2 litre six cylinder engine developing 110 bhp or an 80 bhp 4 cylinder unit...
Fade To White
   
Both this model and the Porsche 911 were marketed by the jointly owned Volkswagen-Porsche Sales and Distribution company. In 1975 Porsche acquired Volkswagen's 50% of the equity and thus assumed complete control over the sales and distribution operation...   People had repeatedly asked why Porsche was so active in the field of racing. When Ferry Porsche was asked this question he replied...   "... we don't take part in car races to gratify our own self esteem. On the contrary, we believe that car racing contributes and promotes the development of vehicle design.."
Fade To White
   
"...That's the reason why our prototypes and new designs are not just tested on our own proving grounds..."   "...They are also tested in terms of their performance in comparison with the standards and achievements of their competitors on the race track".   "...Every single one of the cars we produce benefits from the experience on the race track"...
Fade To White
   
It has long been one of Porsche's policies in connection with car racing to always enter the best cars...   Ever since 1951 Porsche cars have established a reputation on the world's most famous racing tracks...   Le Mans, Targa Florio, Daytona, Silverstone, Monza, Nurburgring...
Fade To White
   
The list of Porsche drivers reads like an extract from the racing drivers who's who...   Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Hans Herrmann, Richard Von Frankenberg, Jacky Iicks...   The list of Porsche racing cars is just as impressive...
Fade To White
   
904, 906, 910...   907, 908...   917 Carrera, Turbo 935...
Fade To White
   
and 936...   In 1969 Porsche won the manufacturers world championship for the first time...   In 1970 their record was 9 wins from 10 races, including the grueling 24 hour Le Mans...
Fade To White
   
In 1971 Porsche made a hat trick by winning the manufacturers world championship for the third time in succession...   In 1967 plans were drawn up for a development centre to cope with the numerous development contracts, an increasing amount of safety research projects and the heavy company involvement in racing events...   The development centre outside Stuttgart was innaugerated in 1972...
Fade To White
   
In 1973 almost 1000 people were employed in research and development...   1973 was also the year of the dream sports car - the Carrera with a 2.7 litre 210 horsepower engine, then Germany's fastest production sports car...   It was a car destined to win many international long distance racing events, however the new turbo was the model 935, winner of the worlds manufacturer championships in 1976 and 1977 was based...
Fade To White
   
In 1976 Porsche won the sports car world championships and Le Mans with the 936, a sports car designed and built in record time...   And then in 1977 as further proof of reliability Le Mans...   These victories and good positions in international rally's such as Monte Carlo, East African Safari...
Fade To White
   
...and the Acropolis were again only a small part of the countless successes...   ...notched up by many private Porsche teams throughout the world...   The idea of a "long-life" car was evolved in the Porsche development centre as a possible answer to the changing requirements in terms of longevity and construction materials for the next generation of cars...
Fade To White
   
The results of the intensive development activities during this period could clearly be seen on models such as the Carrera 3 Litre, the 911, the 1975 turbo and in features such as the zinc coated body pan and six year rust-free guarantee...   The fast 1975 6 cylinder turbo put the crowning touch to a highly successful product line - a quiet safe sports car with extrodinary acceleration developing 260 horsepower in its niormal version and nearly 500 horsepower as a racing vehicle...   It was a car which reflected the technological age better than any contemporary sports car...
Fade To White
   
In 1976 the 924, successor to the 914, went into production. The 924 offered amazing ride and road-holding making it one of the safest sports cars of its time...   The secret to the cars on-road stability was found in the trans-axle system with front engine/rear wheel drive layout to ensure equal weight distribution...   In the spring of 1977 the 928 was introduced and practically stole the show at the Geneva Motor Show. The 928 came with a 4.5 litre water-cooled V8 engine, trans-axle system and self-correcting axle. It represented yet another example of Porsche's ability to find new technical solutions to the delight of the motoring press and Porsche customers alike...
Latest Classic Car Classifieds

You may also like...