Posted in cars, sport

Dr Ing. Ferry Porsche

Porsche Cisitalia
Porsche Cisitalia

Austrian technical automobile designer and automaker-entrepreneur Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche was born 19 September 1909. Ferry Porsche attended school at Wiener Neustadt and Stuttgart, concentrating on mathematics. He had an older sister, Louise Piëch, who was five years his senior. Early in his childhood he picked up the nickname “Ferry” rather than the usual nickname “Ferdy”, as Ferdy reminded his parents too much of a typical coachman nickname. Ferry Porsche learned to drive when he was only 10 years old. At age 12 he drove a real race car, the Austro-Daimler Sascha, which had just won its class at Targa Florio, Sicily, in 1922.In 1923, the family moved to Stuttgart, due to senior Ferdinand Porsche’s unrest about the squandering financial destiny of Austro-Daimler. He joined the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft at Stuttgart-Untertürkheim where he achieved the position of technical director. Ferry Porsche stayed at the plant together with his father because of his increasing interest in design issues and The local town authorities allowed him to drive, at 16 years of age. After finishing school, Ferry Porsche lived in Stuttgart and began working for Bosch Company in 1928. In 1930, he was taking additional lessons in physics and engineering, however he never formally enrolled in any university.

Ferdinand Porsche senior enjoyed success particularly with his racing cars which excelled at the race tracks His personal preference for designing compact cars differed with the current policies of Daimler-Benz, who were in favor of more luxurious Mercedes-Benz models and he left in 1929. During the 1930s, Stuttgart had already established itself as a center for the automobile industry. Germany’s most important car companies had settled in the region by then. He worked temporarily as the technical director of Steyr AG in Austria and opened a consulting office of automobile design, in Stuttgart which was an ideal location for the new Porsche design company. When Porsche senior opened his offices in April 1931, his son Ferry (then age 21) was by his side. The firm was called “Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche GmbH Konstructionsbüro für Motoren, Fahrzeuge, Luftfahrzeuge und Wasserfahrzeugbau”, meaning that Ferdinand Porsche’s firm specialized in construction and consultation for engines, automobiles, airplanes, and motorboats. Porsche GmbH was founded in 1931 by Adolf Rosenberger, Ferdinand Porsche and Dr. Anton Piëch. Rosenberger was the financial backer, and also brought technical knowledge and racing skill to the equation. Father and son were accompanied by renowned engineers.

Auto Union Silver Arrow

During the early 1930s, Germany’s economic crisis was at its peak. The country was about to be politically dominated by the National Socialists, who were about to take the government belligerently. In addition to the financial and political crises, Porsche also faced a lack in personnel, altogether greatly limiting the company’s prospects initially. Porsche soon obtained contracts from important German automotive firms, such as Wanderer, Auto Union, Zwickau, Zündapp and, starting in 1933, the new German National Socialist regime. Some of these projects had historical impact, such as the mid-engine Auto Union Silver Arrow race cars, designed by Porsche. Porsche developed a relatively “amicable” relationship with Adolf Hitler, ever since the firm became involved in military projects. In fact, historical evidence points out that Porsche’s firm was probably Hitler’s favourite. Porsche readily and eagerly worked for the regime and designed the most effective tanks used in World War II. The Porsche family may or may not have had a pacifist outlook although Porsche assisted Porsche’s Jewish partner and financial backer, Adolf Rosenberger to escape Germany. As It’s quite likely that Porsche GmbH would not have existed were it not for Rosenberger, Despite Rosenberger’s contribution to the development of German automobiles and German auto racing when Hitler came to power in Germany, Rosenberger, a Jew, was arrested for “Rassenschande” racial crimes), and imprisoned at KZ Schloss Kislau near Karlsruhe. He was released, supposedly due to unconfirmed efforts on his behalf by Porsche, but he was forced to leave Germany immediately. While in France, Rosenberger represented Porsche GmbH’s business interests. Ferry Porsche managed a group of departments ranging from design to customer relationship management. They were: “controlling of testing”, “coordinating of the design engineers”, and “keeping good relations with clients”.

volkswagen-beetle3In 1935, Ferry married Dorothea Reitz, whom he met at Daimler-Benz. The couple had four children: Ferdinand Alexander, Gerhard, Hans-Peter and Wolfgang and remained married until her death. In 1938, when his father moved to the new Volkswagen plant at Wolfsburg, Ferry became deputy manager of the Stuttgart bureau and relocated the design departments to Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.Ferdinand Porsche’s old yearning had been to create a small compact car. The work had originally been supported by Zündapp, until backing away soon after due to commercial reasons. There was much interest in producing “an affordable car for the German family”. Originally, it was called Porsche (Model) 60 but it was soon officially renamed as the KdF-Wagen or Volkswagen (people’s car). In 1939, when the Volkswagen factory opened in Wolfsburg, Porsche senior became its general manager. Adolf Hitler had also decided to promote German race cars at the Grand Prix Motor Racing competitions. Therefore, the government had called for a concourse of the state-of-the-art racers of the time. Daimler-Benz easily won a bid. In 1932, Ferdinand Porsche met with Adolf Hitler personally and their bid was finally accepted. Ferry Porsche Was involved in the conception, testing and construction of those race cars, In 1933, their first race car was developed with a 4.5 litre V-16 engine and an aluminum framework. In 1934, Wanderer and others merged to form Auto Union, and the senior Porsche became the chief designer of their race cars. Both racing teams, Daimler-Benz and Auto Union, dominated all the competitions of the 1930s. In 1938, Ferdinand Porsche senior left the Auto Union racing team when his contract expired.

During the war, Porsche designed motorized weaponry, like tanks, for Germany. To avoid the aerial bombings of Stuttgart, Ferry Porsche brought part of the design departments to Gmünd/Carinthia and Zell am See, in Austria. Meanwhile, Porsche senior stayed at Wolfsburg, working for the Germans until the end of the war. The production of compact civilian cars at that factory had been halted, to produce small military jeeps called Kübelwagen. After Hitler’s fall, the French government requested formally to Porsche family to build a French version of the compact Volkswagen, in November 1945, even by bringing the pieces of Wolfsburg’s facilities which had survived. However A group of French producers, led by Jean Pierre Peugeot, resisted this.

Later During an official appointment at Wolfsburg, both Porsche’s father and son as well as Anton Piëch, a Viennese attorney who was Louise Porsche’s husband, were arrested together as criminals of war, on December 15. Without any trial[citation needed], a bail of 500,000 francs was officially asked for each of the Porsche’s. It could be afforded only for Ferry Porsche who moved then to Austria, in July 1946. His father was taken instead to a prison at Dijon. After his release, Ferry Porsche attempted to return to Stuttgart but he was barred by the forces of occupation. In consequence, in July 1946, he brought all the structure of the company to Gmünd/Carinthia, Austria, Where, Together with his sister Louise, Ferry took on the management of the company.

Porsche 356 speedster
Porsche 356 Speedster

They obtained two contracts for automobile design. One was for the construction of racecars for the Cisitalia racing team. The other was for the design of their own car, which later became known as the Porsche 356. As a result of Carlo Abarth’s mediation, Ferry Porsche inked a contract with Piero Dusio to produce Grand Prix racing cars again. The new model was called the Porsche 360 Cisitalia, and it had a supercharged mid-mounted engine displacing 1.5 liters and four-wheel drive. Ferdinand Porsche also designed the Porsche 356, with a unique chassis and body while using Volkswagen components. The 356 had an air-cooled, rear-mounted, 4-cylinder engine producing 35 hp. Production of the 356 began in 1947. Despite its compact size, the car was popular with wealthy customers and remained in production for many years and by 1965 had sold nearly 78,000 units.

Unfortunately During his 20 months of captivity at the medieval jail of Dijon, Porsche (senior) was forced to collaborate on designs for Renault and their later popular 4CV. The precarious conditions of the location harmed his health seriously. In 1947, the junior Ferdinand Porsche gathered the amount of the stipulated bail, and his Father was liberated on 1 August 1947, together with Anton Piëch. Once in Austria, the senior F. Porsche reviewed the designs of the 360 Cisitalia and the 356. The senior Ferdinand Porsche was rather sick. Noting this, sentimentally, Ferry took him to revisit Wolfsburg’s plant which was flourishing with the massive production of the Volkswagen Beetle—which was carried out under supervision of the British occupation. On November 1950, senior Ferdinand Porsche suffered a stroke which disabled him until his death, on 30 January 1951, aged 75.

Porsche 911 Carrera

In 1949, the general manager of Volkswagen, Heinz Nordhoff, approached junior Ferdinand Porsche for information about to improve the Beetle, in return he agreed to provide a share of the profits from each Beetle sold, the raw materials for building the sport Porsche ‘s vehicles, access to Volkswagen ‘s retailers and technical service and Ferry Porsche would become the only dealer of Volkswagen for all Austria. Ferry Porsche decided to reestablish the headquarters of the Porsche at Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. He brought most of his employees and opened on September 1949. Their first work was the development of an engine which was called Carrera.In 1950, the production of the Porsche 356 resumed and by 1967 they had produced 78,000 units. In 1951 a race version of the 356 debuted at Le Mans, and won in its category. Then in 1959, Porsche won the World Sportscar Championship, at Targa Florio, and in 1970 a Porsche 917 won the 24 hour Le Mans. Next Porsche began planning a successor to the 356. The project was originally called Porsche 901. However, Peugeot, had already trademarked automobile names with a zero amid two numbers. So The model was renamed Porsche 911. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche (who was also nicknamed “Butzi”) and Ferdinand Porsche’s nephew took charge on designing the new model. The 911 debuted in 1962 and Over time, it has evolved, but still kept the general shape and architecture since the beginning with a rear mounted high performance engine and remains in production today

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