Ferdinand porsche came into the world in september 1875 in the village of Maffesdorf, a North Bohemian town at that time belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, that with the passing of history became Vratislavice, a neighborhood in the Czech city of Liberec. And to the astonishment of visitors, to this day the birthplace of the famous engineer remains in its original state and can be visited.
In 2012, the house was acquired and faithfully restored by the Czech manufacturer skoda, that has incorporated it into its own heritage historical.
Third of five children, Ferdinand was in contact with the mechanics since childhood, since his father Anton he was a master turner and had his workshop attached to the home. And as was logical, at the end of the school elementary school, he started working there as an apprentice to collaborate in the business family.
However, what fascinated young Ferdinand were the looms Ginzkey drive electric, who were close to his house. They were famous for weave rugs, For example, for the luxurious hotel Waldorf-Astoria from New York. His interest in electricity was growing, so he decided to enter the college Reichenberg to train in this innovative field by attending evening classes.
Porsche’s contact with the automobile
The knowledge and talent It didn’t take long for them to bear fruit. After installing a electrical network in the family home, something unusual at that time, he moved to Vienna to complete your training. In the Austrian capital he then came into contact with the car, another invention that captivated him and that would mark forever the rest of your life.
The first 4×4 car
Since 1899, Ferdinand Porsche started working at the carriage factory Lohnerwerke and there he had a prophetic idea when he applied his knowledge of electrical engineering to automobile mechanics, which was then in full development.
The result would be Semper Vivus Lohner-Porsche, a revolutionary car presented in 1900 during the Paris Universal Exposition, and that still impresses with its progress. It combined the internal combustion engine with the electric ones, housed in the wheel hubs, thus being the first hybrid vehicle of history and also the one that premiered the 4×4 traction.
A technical advance that made him famous and that served him in 1906 to enter as chief engineer in the company Austro-Daimler, where he would become CEO. Since then, his developments began to stand out not only commercially, where the customers multiplied, but also in the world of competition registering great victories in races as reputable as the Targa Florio Italian.
Other bright stage of his career was opened by being hired as technical director in 1923 by Mercedes, and its passage through the star brand was signed with a golden age that left for history the first models of the Lessons (S, SS, SSK), also winners in numerous competitions and since then also represented the maximum luxury in the car.
Adolf Hitler’s commission
But the genius of Porsche went beyond working for prestigious brands, and to unleash his tireless inventiveness he founded in 1931 your own brand. It was initially intended to develop engines for racing cars, as well as parts specials of his own invention. For example, the torsion bar of suspensions still used today. Fruit of that time is the spectacular Auto-Union P-Wagen, forerunner of the modern single-seaters of F1.
Meanwhile, Ferdinand knew how to instill in his son Ferry the passion he felt for automotive technology and very soon appointed him brand manager. Although the arrival of Nazism to Germany forced the newly created company to work under the orders of the new regime, even in those turbulent circumstances they knew shine with an amazing result.
Hitler in person he ordered a car from Porsche affordable and popular, reliable, able to reach the 100km/h And it works in any weather. To carry out the unavoidable assignment, the engineer took up an incipient project that he already had in his portfolio and that would finally culminate in the volkswagen beetleone of the most sold of history
The arrival of the World War II then paralyzed Porsche’s business plans. The brand was forced to design war material diverse, from battle tanks to light off-road vehicles such as the Kubelwagen, which was the military version of the Beetle.
The 356, origin of the legend
After the war, a general trial against the Nazi labor abuses sentenced Ferdinand Porsche to a two-year confinement in France. Meanwhile, his son Ferry kept the company running and also a prestige that had already been built in the sector and in the world of competition.
Later and two years before Ferdinand’s death, it would see the light in 1948 first own model of the brand, the iconic sports car Porsche 356. It was also based on the Volkswagen prototype Type1, from which the Beetle had been developed.
The 356 it would be quite a success for the future of the brand. Above all, because years later it would evolve into a more habitable and comfortable successor called 911which was presented in 1963 and that since then has been considered the main reference among sports cars.
Over several decades, eight generations of this unmistakable model have consolidated the glorious history of Porsche, both on the street and on the racetrack. In many different specialties (including F1) has achieved a unique record by dominating, with Teutonic regularity, mythical careers like the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
A logo designed on a napkin
Although the Logo of Porsche bears a curious resemblance to that of Ferrari, by exhibiting both a horse rearing up, it does not stop being a chance. In the case of the German brand, the symbol comes from the coat of arms that distinguished the forgotten independent state of Württemberg, that disappeared after the war when unified with other regions of the West Germany.
And it was Ferry Porsche himself who drew on a napkin in 1952 this logo, during a meal in New York with an American importer. In the well known emblem that decorates the hood of the Porsche, merged the medieval coat of arms with the coat of arms of the city of stuttgart, in the vicinity of which are the installations of Zuffenhausenheadquarters and factory of the brand.
Throughout its history, other models have been reinforcing the coveted offer of the German firm, such as the most recent Boxster, cayman either Panamera. Not forgetting the Cayenne and Macan, that have extended the success of sports coupe format to the category of SUV, where the brand has conquered a predominant place for its exclusiveness and benefits.
Immersed in the process of electrification, Porsche also offers in its current range a wide variety of hybrid mechanics. And in 2019 threw the Taycan, a sports saloon with up to 761 hp and that it has an autonomy of 450 kilometers.
a successful one model supply what has made Porsche the most profitable brand of the Volkswagen Group, to which he belongs from 2012, and that this very week has encouraged the powerful German group to authorize its quotation in a bag.