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 is to be called Württemberg-Hohenzollern and they use 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.

Ferry with Porsche's US-importer Max Hoffman© Porsche AG

After Ferry returns to Europe, Franz Xaver Reimspress skeches the Porsche crest that is accepted by Ferry.

The origin of the Porsche crest © James Herne

The Porsche crest first appeared in late 1952 in the centre of the 356 Pre-A's steering wheel.

Steering wheel of a 1955 356 pre-A shown here© Marco Marinello / Elevenparts.com

If you have seen the 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.

Bonnet logo as introduced on late 356 Pre-A cars. This photo is of a 1957 356 A.© Porsche AG

From 1958 the wheel hub caps with Porsche badge were optionally available for 356 A.

Available for the late 356 A, the Porsche-badged wheel hub cap is here shown on a 356 B© Porsche AG
New larger bonnet logo as of the 901/911 prototype introduced in 1963© Porsche AG
Hand-made production of the Porsche badge© Porsche AG
 © Porsche AG
 © Porsche AG
 © Porsche AG
Version of the bonnet crest introduced for the original 901/911 and used until nineties© Porsche AG
Manufacturing the Porsche Crest
Bonnet crest as of the nineties. Main difference is in how PORSCHE is written.© Kristjan Pappa
Evolution of the Porsche crest and the ordering codes© Porsche AG

© James Herne / Stuttcars.com

Anniversaries

May, 09 – 30th birthday of the 961 (1986)
May, 10 – 73rd birthday of Wolfgang Porsche (1943)
May, 15 – 34th birthday of the 956 (1982)
May, 20 – 54th birthday of the 804 (1962)
May, 26 – 59th birthday of the 718 (1957)