Car Design History - Automobile manufacturer
The automobile engineer
Ferdinand Porsche, who had more than a thousand patents
to his name, played an important part in the development of airplane engines
and racing cars, and the construction of tanks for the Wehrmacht. In the
1920s he was appointed chief engineer at Mercedes-Benz
in Stuttgart, where he later set up his own engineering workshop which
among other things designed the Volkswagen. Porsche was
chief of operations at the Wolfsburg plant where Volkswagens were made,
and at the end of the war he was interned by the Allies.
his release he built the first car with his son Ferry Porsche. The Porsche
356 was a sports car that was reminiscent of the VW in that it had
the same four-cylinder boxer engine as the Volkswagen, and like it the
engine was rear-mounted. First produced as a convertible and later as
a hardtop, this model was far from being a powerful sports car, developing
forty bhp and with a maximum speed of eighty-seven mph (one hundred and
forty km/h), but the body was very elegant. It was developed in workshop
of Erwin Komenda, a master of restrained streamlining
who had been in charge of sheet metal and design techniques at Porsche
since the VW Beetle. Komenda designed this new style of closed coupe,
whose fastback became the embodiment of the sports car.
and Ferdinand "Butzi" Porsche, the founder's
grandson, continued this tradition with the next model, the 911.
Particularly attractive were the sloping bonnet with its characteristic
"frog eye" headlights, and the curve running from the top edge
of the windscreen to the rear bumper, combined with a straight waistline.
While it retained the stylistic features of the original Porsche model
from a functional and technical point of view it was more like the BMW
1500. The 911 became the foundation stone of a brand identity
created by design, an advantage that was not always appreciated. Porsche's
attempts to distance itself from its own legend during the 1970s and 1980s
brought the company to the edge of disaster. Neither the more modern 924
model, a "people's Porsche" developed with VW, nor the 928
for over twenty years was perceived by the company as a straitjacket is
now recognized as a decisive market advantage. The typical Porsche features
are apparently timeless. During the 1990s, the famous company became highly
profitable again with nearly forty people now working in the design department
on further developments of the long-running 911. These developments
included the 911 GTI, a powerful combination of sports and racing
car, put forward by the in-house designer Anthony R. Hatter. Chief designer
Harm M. Lagaay was equally proud to present the new Boxster
which enabled Porshe to establish a second independent range of models.
This model, based on the legendary 550 Spyder, has an excellent
engine and is also the fastest ragtop in the world.
Porsche establishes design office in Stuttgart
Komenda responsible for bodywork
356 built by Ferdinand Porsche and his son "Ferry"
begins; Ferdinand Porsche dies
Dean dies in accident in Porsche 550 Spyder
displayed at Good Form exhibition, London
center opens Weissach eroffnet
becomes Car of the Year
Laagay becomes head designer
water-cooler boxer engine developed
Car Models History
by "Butzi" Porsche and Ferry Porsche
by Porsche and VW )"People`s Porsche)
by Harm Laagay