The story of the Porsche crest
As Germany underwent a revolution in 1918, a German state of Kingdom of Württemberg was transformed from a monarchy to a democratic republic and called Free People's State of Württemberg. It's capital was Stuttgart. In 1922 a new coat of arms was introduced that would later have its place in Porsche's history.
The word 'Stuttgart' is a development of the Old High German word 'Stuotengarten', where 'stuoten' means 'stud', referring to the breeding of horses. 'Garten' naturally translates as 'garden'. The coat of arms of Stuttgart has had horses on it since 1286, but the current format was taken into use in 1938.
After Germany's defeat in World War II in 1945, Soviet Union, USA, British Empire and France divided Germany into four administrative zones. One part of the new French-administered Germany was called Württemberg-Hohenzollern and they used a simplified version of the former coat of arms of Free People's State of Württemberg. Note that this crest is not anymore associated with the state where Stuttgart is the capital. The capital of the state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern is Tübingen. Stuttgart becomes the capital of the new state of Württemberg-Baden that belongs to the American-administered Germany.
In May 1949, the American, British and French-administered parts of Germany are formed into a new country called West Germany. After a referendum held in December 1951, states of Württemberg-Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Baden voted in favor of a merger and a new state of Baden-Württemberg was officially established on April 25, 1952. This meant the end of use of the coat of arms now so familiar to every Porsche driver.
Coincidentally, on the very same day of April 25, 1952 Ferry Porsche sketches the first draft of the possible Porsche crest. He skeches it on a serviette in a New York restaurant where he is with Max Hoffman, the Porsche importer for United States. It is said that Hoffman had his share in the establishment of a Porsche crest.
After Ferry returns to Europe, Franz Xaver Reimspress skeches the Porsche crest that is accepted by Ferry.
The Porsche crest first appeared in late 1952 in the centre of the 356 Pre-A's steering wheel.
If you have seen the 1948 356 no.1, then you know it also has the crest on the steering wheel, but this is a later addition as the car was made years before the Porsche crest was created.
In late 1954, the badge was integrated into the front bonnet handle of the 356 Pre-A.
From 1958 the wheel hub caps with Porsche badge were optionally available for 356 A.
Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com