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A History of Porsche

Having a Porsche is the lifelong dream of many young men. It is the symbol of virility and success that has found an audience all over the world. But the Porsche is not a trendy new brand destined for the scrap heap in a few years. Behind its young image is a long history of innovation and vision that is the proof of the quality of its manufacture. This paper will provide a brief history of the founder of Porsche and his legacy to illustrate this statement. The Founder of Porsche

The first Porsche wheeled its way out of the garage in 1948, built by hand and made of aluminum. This was the culmination of nearly 50 years of work by an innovative automobile designer. Ferdinand Porsche was born in 1875 in Mattersdorf in what is now Czechoslovakia. He began his mechanical design career in Vienna when he began work with Jacob Lohner to produce the ‘System Lohner-Porsche’ design which debuted at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris. It was an electric carriage that did more than 35 miles per hour, a record in Austria then.

(Kelly) In 1906, Porsche was recruited to Austro-Daimler as chief designer and developed the famous car AD Model 27/80 exhibited at the Prince Henry Trial in 1910, which would later be known as the “Prince Henry. ” In 1916, Porsche became the managing director and received an honorary degree from the Vienna Technical University the next year. He received the degree Dr. Ing. h. c. which has since became associated with Porsche and was actually the name of the consulting company he eventually established in 1931 in Stuttgart, Dr.

Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH, Konstruktionen und Beratungen fur Motoren und Fahrzeugbau. In the meantime, Austro-Daimler pursued the luxury car path while Porsche began to experiment with improving cars for racing and he was first successful with the Sascha in the European Cicuit. By 1923, Porsche and Austro-Daimler parted ways and Porsche returned to Stuutgart where he was awarded a second honorary degree from Stuttgart Technical University. In 1929, the Great Depression was on and Porsche became unemployed at age 55.

In 1931, with his company in place, he started working with former co-workers as well as his son-in-law Anton Piech and his second son, Ferdinand “Ferry” Anton Ernst Porsche, born in 1909 in Weiner Neustadt, Austria. The design projects began to pour in. The Porsche firm joined forces with Auto Union in the 1930s to compete for the Hitler prize of a $250,000 subsidy to design a car for the new Grand Prix formula, what has been referred to as the Grand Prix wars of the Silver Arrows. In a famous meeting between Hitler and Porsche, Porsche succeeded in convincing the Chancellor that his design was the best. It used a V-16 4.

5 liter engine placed in front to the rear transaxle. It was very light, made of a tube frame and aluminum skin, a gas tank midway between the cockpit and the engine for better impact handling. The Auto Union P-wagens weighed 750 kilos and could accelerate up to 100 mph. Porsche proceeded with his ambition to design a small car, under the eventual sponsorship of the Third Reich as part of Adolf Hitler’s plan to provide each family with a small car. By 1936, prototypes for the VW3 were built and the Volkswagen factory “Die Autostadt” under Daimler-Benza was built on the basis of the VW prototypes. It remains the Volkswagen factory today.

The 356 and 911 innovations It was Ferry who began in 1947 to design and build Porsche cars that were the prototypes of the Porsche sports cars of today. After the war, he moved the company from Stuttgart to Gmund in Karnten. The first Porsche 356 roadster was completed in 1948 and won the Insbruck City Race. More than 78,000 people bought the car until its discontinuation in 1965. It sparked the admiration of the world for the design and progressive technology of the 356. In 1963, the Porsche 911 was born which had a top speed of 130 mph and is acclaimed to have the longest life-cycle for sports cars in the world.

It enjoyed a production run of 35 years, the longest ever for any sports car, the last sold in 1998. A total of 32,335 units were sold. (From the 356 to the New 911) In the racing arena, the Porsche has won numerous times in races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In Formula 1, Porsche cars won at least thrice. In 1977, the 928 gran turismo was introduced and was the only sports car to win the title of “Car of the Year. ” It sold to 61,000 customers between 1977 and 1995. Its top speed was 171 mph and was noted for superb road handling thanks to its rear wheel suspension. This was the time before the “four wheel steering” was developed.

(From the 356 to the New 911) The mid-engine concept, in which sports cars could be produced at a lower price than the 911 saw fruit in 1969 when the 914 came out of production. It was a convertible. The Transaxle era, in which the transmission was on the rear axle, began with the 924, followed by the 944 and 968, and in total production came to 325,231 units. Porsche Today The Porsche models in current production include the Boxster 987 introduced into the market in 2005. It is a mid-engine model and similar in some aspects with the Carrera GT supercar, which was discontinued after 2006.

A coupe version of the Boxster is the Cayenne, introduced in 2006 and is comparable in performance with the 911 Carrera. The Cayenne is a mid-size luxury SUV introduced in 2002 and was the fist V8 engine to be built by Porsche since the 928 was discontinued in 1995. The Cayenne is the best-selling model in North America. No model was brought out in 2007 but a 2008 redesigned model is in the works. Another future design slated for 2009 is the Porsche Panamera, a four-door sedan designed by Porsche and long-time partner Volkswagen and is still in its concept stages. Conclusion

Porsche is not just a car. It is an innovation that has had its roots in the genius and dedication of an automobile designer who could visualize the look and quality of the ideal sports car, a vision he passed on to his son and his company. Dr. Porsche was unwilling to compromise this vision and his fierce independence was the foundation of Porsche even today. The death of Ferry Porsche in 1998 has not signaled the end of innovation for the automobile company. It seems a testament to Dr. Porsche that his company remains the only independent sports car manufacturer today.The legacy of the Porsche men lives on.

Works Cited

Kelly, Prescott. “Ferdinand Porsche. ” Auto History Online. 2007. SAH. 11 June 2007 <http://www. autohistory. org/feature_6. html> “Ferdinand Porsche. ” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 3 Jun 2007, 17:10 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 11 Jun 2007 <http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Ferdinand_Porsche&oldid=135584151>. “From the 356 to the New 911. ” UKCar. 2007. 11 June 2007 <http://www. ukcar. com/history/Porsche/> “Porsche history. ” Edmunds. com. (n. d. ) 11 June 2007 <http://www. edmunds. com/porsche/history. html>

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