F. A. Porsche (1935-2012)

1935 December 11 Ferdinand Alexander Porsche is born in Stuttgart, first child of Dorothea and Ferdinand Anton Ernst "Ferry" Porsche and grandson of Ferdinand Porsche. Even as a small boy, "Butzi” – as he was fondly known to his family – accompanied his father and grandfather to the engineering design office in Zuffenhausen. He later admitted that these early experiences made a strong impression on him: “I was proud and happy to be a part of it all. I think the experiences of that time have remained part of my subconscious mind.”

1938 Brother Gerhard Anton “Gerd” Porsche is born.

1940 October 29 brother Hans-Peter Porsche is born.

1942 Butzi starts elementary school in Stuttgart.

1943 May 10 brother Wolfgang Porsche is born. Butzi moves to Zell am See, Austria, with her mother and brothers to avoid bombing. Father stays in Stuttgart. Butzi attends elementary and secondary school. He enjoyed designing and building his own toys.

1949. Ferdinand Alexander "Butzi" Porsche, his grandfather Ferdinand Porsche and young Ferdinand Karl Piëch (also grandson of Ferdinand Porsche). Both young boys were to become serious players in the future - F.A.Porsche as the designer of the 911 and 904 and Ferdinand Piëch as the creator of Porsche 917 and Bugatti Veyron. © Porsche

1950 Upon his return to Stuttgart, F.A. attended the Waldorf School.

1951 January 30, grandfather and engineering genius Ferdinand Porsche dies.

1953 Secondary school in Zuoz, Switzerland.

1954 Internship at Robert Bosch GmbH in Stuttgart for 2 years.

1956 Apprenticeship in the technical design office at Bosch for 1 year

1954. Ferry Porsche's sons: Hans-Peter (b.1940), Ferdinand Alexander (b.1935), Gerhard (b.1938) and Wolfgang (b.1943) in a Porsche 550 Spyder.© Porsche

1957 Studies at Ulm School of Design.

1958 Begins work at Porsche KG in technical design deparment, involved in bodywork and engine construction as well as in prototype construction.

1958 356A 1600 GS Carrera Hardtop, Ferry and F.A. © Porsche
1958 New York. 356A, Ferry Porsche and his son, F.A. Porsche.© Porsche

1959 The decision is taken to develop a new sports car, a successor to the 356. The prototype was called the "T7". Ferry Porsche had given the team a clear brief: “The same dimensions as the 356 plus at least 20 cm longer wheelbase for more legroom, and a long, flowing rear end".

ca1959. F.A. and Ferry at the Porsche design studio. The 356 model on the stand is not important. The full size model on the left is the quad-headlamp version of the 695. Type 695 was the code name for the first prototypes on the way of creating the future 911. © Porsche

1960 May 14, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche marries Brigitte Bube. F.A. begins collaboration with Porsche KG design studio.

F.A. Porsche ca 1960© Porsche
ca 1960. Ferry behind his office desk and son Ferdinand Alexander standing.© Porsche
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Type 754 "T7", the prototype of the successor to the type 356 "T6". Fortunately Ferry didn't like the full 4 seater design and it was converted to 2+2, giving it the shape that would become a huge success.© Porsche

1961 March 13, son Ferdinand Oliver Porsche is born.

1962 F.A. becomes the manager of the Porsche design studios. His first famous work to see the light is the Porsche 804 Formula 1 car.

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1962 June 8 French GP in Rouen. Dan Gurney won with Porsche 804, proving that Porsche was also capable of winning in F1. 804 specs: 1.5L flat-8 180 hp at 9.200rpm, 6-speed gearbox, disc brakes, 270 km/h / 168 mph, 455 kg / 1003 lbs© Porsche
Ferry and his son Ferdinand Alexander (the designer of 901/911) with the 901 prototype (note the twin exhaust pipes)© Porsche

1963 September 12, IAA Frankfurt. The Porsche 901 was shown to the public for the first time. It was the most famous sports car to become. In the end of the next year it was renamed to 911.

1963 Porsche design studio. Heinrich Klie, Hans Ploch, Hans Springmann, Ernst Bolt and F.A. Porsche.© Porsche
1963. F.A in his design office with 904 on drawing board.© Porsche
1963. Porsche 901 and its designer F.A. Porsche. The 901/911 sprinted from 0-100 km/h / 62 mph in 9.1 seconds and to the top speed of 210 km/h / 131 mph.© Porsche
Porsche 901/911 development team: Karl Ruoff, Richard Hetmann, Leopold Jäntschke, Erich Stotz, Robert Binder, Rudolf Hofmann, Hans Herzog, Hans Hönick, Xaver Reimspieß, Alfred Kühn, Theo Bauer, Heinrich Klie, Edgar Tengler, Walter Payerbach, Erwin Komenda, Wilhelm Albrecht, Gottlob Sturm, Gerhard Schröder, Karl Mozelt, Hans Mezger, Ernst Weyersberg, Kurt Knörzer, Karl Metzger, Hans Martens, Helmuth Bott, Adolf Schneider, Herbert Linge, Schilling, Eberhard Stortz, Helmut Rombold, Hans Tomala, Ferdinand Piëch, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, Ferry Porsche.© Porsche

In November 1963 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS is introduced, designed by F.A. Porsche.
Son Kai Alexander is born.

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904/8-cylinder© Porsche
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1964 Targa Florio. #86 904 Pucci/Davis (winner), #84 904 Linge/Balzarini (2nd), #186 904/8 Maglioli/Barth (6th) © Porsche
1965© Porsche

1965 912, a 911 with 356 engine, was introduced as the entry level model after the discontinuation of the 356. 912 costed 25% less than 911 (16.250 DEM vs. 21.900 DEM). In September the Targa body variant is introduced - basically a cabriolet with rollover safety bar.

1966 Porsche 906 and 910 racing cars are introduced with their body design overseen by F.A.

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1966 May 8 Targa Florio. Herbert Müller and Willy Mairesse won 50th Targa Florio race with 906 (2.0L flat-8 210 hp, 675 kg / 1488 lbs). © Porsche
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1967 May 28, Nürburgring 1000 km. The first overall victory for Porsche in the Nürburgring 1000km was won by Udo Schütz and Joe Buzzetta in a Porsche 910 (2.0L flat-8 220 hp, 600 kg / 1322 lbs).© Porsche

1967 907 is the last Porsche car which's design is overseen by F.A.Porsche. The following racing models 908, 909 and 917 are the brainchilds of F.A.'s cousin Ferdinand Karl Piëch.

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1968 February 4, Daytona 24h: triple victory to Porsche 907 LH© Porsche

1968 Appointed Deputy Managing Director, Porsche KG. Wins "Automobile Industry International Trophy" at the Paris Motor Show for the "overall aesthetic concept in the creation of the Porsche bodywork."

ca 1969© Porsche
ca 1969-1972. Ferdinand Piëch, F.A. Porsche, Hans-Michel Piëch
ca 1969-1972. Ferdinand Piëch, Hans-Michel Piëch, F.A. Porsche © Porsche

1972 F.A. establishes his own design studio under the name of "Porsche Design GmbH" in Stuttgart.

Photo made in seventies (year not known)© Porsche

1975 Porsche Design Studio moves to Zell am See in Austria, where Butzi lived many years during his childhood.
During the decades that follow, he designes men’s accessories such as watches, spectacles and writing instruments, which were marketed under the “Porsche Design” brand. Working with a team of designers, he also styled a host of industrial products, household appliances and consumer products for well-known international companies (many of these products bore "Design by F.A. Porsche" label).

1977 September 17, son Mark Philipp is born.

1979 September 19. Ferry Porsche with his wife Dorothea and their sons Gerhard, Hans-Peter, Ferdinand Alexander and Wolfgang on Ferry's 70th birthday in the garden of the Porsche family villa at Feuerbacher Weg 48, Stuttgart.© Porsche
1985: 1:10 scale model of Kineo 46 speed boat in front of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche (owner and managing director of Porsche Design), Dirk Schmauser (deputy managing director of Porsche Design), Horst Stross (owner of the Kineo speed boat project), Wilfried Weiland (owner of Weiland Boats), Jörg Tragatschnig (responsible designer of the boat, Porsche Design) © Kineo

1985 mother Dorothea Porsche dies (born 1911).

1989 September 19, Porsche Panamericana show car presented to father Ferry Porsche for his 80th birthday. Behind his father stand F.A.'s brothers, from left to right: Hans-Peter, Gerhard Anton, F.A. himself and Wolfgang.© Porsche
1989© Porsche
1989© Porsche
1990© Porsche

1990 Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG (until March 5, 1993).

1992 Prizewinner of the year of the Industrial Design Forum Hanover (iF).

1992© Porsche

1993 Member of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG.

1993 Ferry Porsche with his eldest son Ferdinand Alexander with 1964 & 1993 911's. F.A. Porsche had taken over the management of Porsche's design studio in the beginning of the 60's and played a fundamental role in designing the Porsche 911 - easily the best sports car of the 20th century.© Porsche

1995 December 11, for his 60th birthday F.A. receives a present from Porsche AG - a one-off 911 993 Speedster.

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1995 911 993 Speedster, dark green with special brown interior and Tiptronic gearbox. It was a one-off for a one-off man who designed the original 911. From F.A.'s head came a sports car design that has worked for half a century and there is no end to see. No other car has been in production since 1964 and still is. Of course it has had several generations meanwhile, but the design language is still the same. F.A.'s 993 Speedster is the only 993 Speedster in the world that has born as a 993 Speedster. There was one more 993 Speedster, but that was built by Porsche Exclusive for Jerry Seinfeldt from the 993 Cabriolet or Targa.© Porsche

1997 F.A. joins the Supervisory Board of Porsche Holding GmbH, Salzburg.

1998 March 27 father Ferry Porsche dies.

1999 Honorary title "Professor" awarded by the University of Vienna and handed over by the president of Austria, Thomas Klestil.

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2000. Porsche Design studio at Zell am See. © Porsche Design

2003 Founds Porsche Lizenz- und Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG in Bietigheim-Bissingen together with other “Porsche Design” shareholders and Porsche AG. The aim of the company is to exploit the potential of the Porsche name in business areas unrelated to the auto industry.

2004. F.A. with a 904 model in the design studio at Zell am See.© Porsche Design

2005 Ferdinand Alexander Porsche decided to resign from the supervisory board of Porsche AG and to withdraw from active professional life. His "chair" was passed on to his son Ferdinand Oliver Porsche. F.A. is appointed Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG and also as Honorary Chairman of the Advisory Council of Porsche Design Studio in Zell am See.

2005 December. Sadly the presenter behind the camera was not worth meeting this extraordinary man - she even didn't know his name and calls him "Ferry". Ferry was the nickname of F.A.'s father who had passed away in 1998.

2012 April 5, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche dies in Salzburg at the age of 76. On the very same day, the new model 911, the type 991, was voted as the "2012 World Performance Car" at the New York International Auto Show. Despite the 991 being the 7th generation 911, the original F.A. Porsche design can still be clearly seen in the car.

As a designer, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche enjoyed the reputation of a functionalist. A strict and clear line is discernible in all of the product designs that had emerged from his studio. “Design must be functional and functionality must be translated into visual esthetics, without any reliance on gimmicks that have to be explained,” was the credo for his design work. The purism of “Porsche Design” demands authenticity and discards anything that is unnecessary or superfluous.

F.A. Porsche: “A product that is coherent in form requires no embellishment. It is enhanced by the purity of its form.” Form should be presented in a way that is easily understood and that does not divert attention from the product and its functional purpose. He has always been convinced that “Good design must be honest”, “A good product must be discreetly good". Later, he made this statement even more concise and clearer, emphasizing that “Design is not fashion".

Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche applied four fundamental principles in his work: “Reduce everything to its primary function. Focus on the clear and timeless form created in this way. Use the most suitable and progressive materials for this purpose. Choose quality of finish combining tradition in craftsmanship with high technology".

Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com

Continue to Porsche 901 or Porsche 904
Oct, 29 – 80th birthday of Hans-Peter Porsche (1940)
Nov, 15 – 45th birthday of the 924 (1975)
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Nov, 26 – 57th birthday of the 904 (1963)