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Porsche History

We take a look at the important Porsche figures, historical moments and epic road automobiles and racecars.

Porsche History - The Key People

The people who shaped Porsche

F. Porsche, taken in 1935
Ferdinand Porsche (1875 – 1951) Ferdinand Porsche was an Austrian-German automotive engineer and founder of the Porsche car company. He is best known for creating the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, the Volkswagen Beetle, the Auto Union racing car, the Mercedes-Benz SS/SSK and several other important automobiles and technologies. Most importantly though, for fans of the best sports cars in the world, Ferdinand Porsche is the...
Ferry Porsche in 1954
Ferry Porsche 1909 – 1998 Born on September 19, 1909, of Austrian descent, Ferry Porsche kept the Porsche flame alive when his father was imprisoned in France. Ferry Porsche was one of the first employees to work in his father’s design engineering office, but it is his mark on the company while his father was away that made a huge difference. His realization of a...
Ferdinand Piëch (1937 – 2019) Named car executive of the century in 1999, Ferdinand Piëch transformed Volkswagen into the world’s largest carmaker by revenue. Piëch was the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche. Piëch did everything from leading motor racing operations at Porsche during the 1960s, to turning Audi into a true luxury automotive leader, and then reviving VW in the 1990s and 2000s, turning it into...
F.A. Porsche with his iconic design work
F.A. “Butzi” Porsche (1935 – 2012) Better known to Porsche enthusiasts as F.A. “Butzi” Porsche, he was the son of Dr.-Ing. Ferdinand “Ferry” and Dorothea Porsche, and grandson of Professor Ferdinand and Aloisia Porsche. While heading up the styling department at Porsche, he played a pivotal role in the design of the 904, the iconic 911, and the 914. He went on to establish Porsche...

Yesteryear & Historical Porsche Moments

The mythology of Porsche goes beyond just the people. Conversations, profiles, the cars and moments.

Factory recommissions the famous Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar The recommissioning has been carried out over the past few months by the Porsche Heritage and Museum team together with their colleagues from Porsche Classic. A car that can survive 8,700 miles in the deserts and savannahs of Africa can go anywhere in the world. The Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar mastered the gruelling rally from France to West Africa...
Daytona 24 Hours, 31 January/1 February 1981: Bob Garretson, Bobby Rahal and Brian Redman driving the #9 Porsche 935 (chassis #009 00030) would go on to win the race by 13 laps, having started from 16th on the grid The Flying Tigers strike again! Being the best on the planet in something, even for just a short while, has got to be a great feeling. The...
Le Mans 24 Hours, 14-15 June 1975: Porsche 9083 in the paddock ahead of the race (copyright Yves Ronga) When I’m not helping to sell the occasional old race car, or visiting old race car meetings, I’ve usually got my head down, researching various projects for clients, usually to do with Porsches, although Lola T70s and such like often pass my way too. Probably the...
Proven through competition Engineering, design, innovation; while the list is long for what describes the Porsche name, it can be distilled into one word; racing. Even before the days of cars that would bare his name, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche believed competition was the ultimate test for proving excellence in design and functionality. This belief was passed down to his son Ferry who would oversee the...
#5 Porsche 908/3 – Juan Fernandez/Francesco Torredemer/Eugenio Baturone – NRF The 1972 season broke, ushering in with it a new era of racing. The Porsche 917 had reigned supreme for two years, but the race authorities (read FIA) had had their fill of Porsche interpreting the rules their way, and for 1972 a 3-litre engine limit had been applied. This capacity limitation was also introduced...
By Miles Collier The Mighty Porsche Carrera 6 I’ve had my 1966 Porsche Carrera 6 (906-125) in restoration for the last four or five years. It’s hard to remember such things across a gulf of time so fantastic. But, as inevitably as the Himalayas will finally erode into foothills, restoration projects ultimately come to completion. And so it is with 906-125. The car is a...
Herbert Linge on ONS duty again with a 911 at Hockenheim in 1973.
Porsche’s Forrest Gump—the irrepressible Herbert Linge—pops up everywhere in Porsche history even after his retirement almost thirty years ago. The amazingly varied Porsche career of Herbert Linge would be unimaginable today—from wartime apprentice to manager of Weissach via workshop, development testing, race track, Porsche in the US, and Formula 1. Already a Member? Sign in to your account here....
Imagine, if you will, that you are in Paris, France, in October 1972. There is an automobile show, a fairly large one, currently happening at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles convention center, and all the big names you know of are there. Renault, Peugeot, Ferrari, Aston Martin, the whole lot, including Porsche. Of course, they had the iconic Porsche 911 on display, celebrating 10...
What makes the Porsche brand so legendary? What inspires people to keep it young and full of life 75 years later? And how does this emotional, often lifelong bond with the Zuffenhausen sports cars come about? A very personal declaration of love to Porsche and its global community. Introducing Pete Stout The cofounder and editor-in-chief of the magazine 000 has been a part of the...
We never forget where we come from. Our tradition and our history are part of our DNA. And we are aware that our heritage is both – an honor and an obligation. This is why we have built the new Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen – a place designed to inspire visitors from all over the world and to display the diversity of the Porsche brand....
2022 Porsche Type 992 911 Targa 4 50th Anniversary Edition outside of Porsche Design in Zell am See, Austria.
If there is one thing the Germans do better than almost anyone else in the world, it’s having a knack for perfection in design. This is readily apparent down to the smallest and most easily overlooked details. For example, if you visit Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, or any of the major cities, look at the crosswalk signals, which bear the famous Ampelmännchen (literally, “little traffic light...
Sir Stirling sits back and relaxes at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed after being interviewed by the author It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Stirling Moss over the Easter weekend. He died on 12 April 2020 in Mayfair, London, England at the age of 90 following a long illness, with his wife, Lady Susie Moss by his side....
In the vast design world, few names resonate with as much acclaim and distinction as Porsche. While many associate this name primarily with high-performance cars, there’s another realm where the Porsche legacy thrives: product design. This evolution commenced with Porsche Design, founded by Prof. Alexander ‘Butzi’ Porsche in 1972. Early influences The eldest child of Dorothea and Ferry Porsche, Butzi grew up around the design...
Ferry Porsche in 1954
Ferry Porsche 1909 – 1998 Born on September 19, 1909, of Austrian descent, Ferry Porsche kept the Porsche flame alive when his father was imprisoned in France. Ferry Porsche was one of the first employees to work in his father’s design engineering office, but it is his mark on the company while his father was away that made a huge difference. His realization of a...
1993 Porsche 968 Turbo RS The story of the fabulous 968 Turbo RS, one of Porsche’s sweetest front-engined racers, might be full of ‘what ifs’ and ‘if only’ but it is also certainly a story of lost opportunities. The end of the 1992 motor sport season saw the curtain fall on Group C racing, which was quite possibly one of the most lively, innovative and...
The cars come around for the start – Fitzpatrick (left) and Moretti (right) lead the pack By the time the Dick Barbour Racing team arrived in Portland for the Rose Cup IMSA race in August of 1980, we were in good spirits. The week before at the Sears Point IMSA event, the team had finished 1-2 with two 935s driven by John Fitzpatrick and Bobby...
All four of the Dick Barbour Racing Porsche 935s line up in the pits ahead of the 1979 Le Mans race, each with the Stars and Stripes draped over the rear wing. From left to right: #73 935/77 (934½) – John Hotchkiss, Bob Kirby and Bob Harmon; #72 935/77 – Bob Garretson, Skeeter McKitterick and Ed Abate; #71 935/78 – Bob Akin, Roy Woods, and...
2000MY Porsche 996 GT3 R (chassis #692090) © Coys This Porsche 996 GT3 R is being offered for sale by Coys of London. When it was launched in 1998, the Porsche Type 996 represented one of the most significant changes to the 911 model range in its (then) 35-year history. While all previous road-going 911 models had been powered by Porsche’s air-cooled six-cylinder engine, the...
Mont Ventoux, 18 June 1967 – Rolf Stommelen won this hillclimb driving a Porsche 910/8 Bergspyder Rolf Stommelen was one of Germany’s leading racing drivers for over a decade and if as the title (above) of his biography implies, he could drive anything anywhere, this was largely true. Although his Formula 1 career with mediocre teams was patchy, in production cars he was reliably top...
Background The Porsche 917, unveiled in 1969, stands as a testament to Porsche’s commitment to innovation and their quest to conquer the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Its debut at Le Mans in 1969 revealed its formidable speed and reliability, yet aerodynamic issues resulted in high-speed instability. After major changes, mostly in its tail design, the 917 would deliver Porsche their first overall victory in...
Porsche 935 chassis no. 009 00030, the Old Warhorse speeds up the hill at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed with Brian Redman at the helm This is a story of the incredible career of Porsche 935 009 00030, one of the most amazing race cars ever, or as someone once said, the car of a thousand faces. Also known as the ‘Old Warhorse’, Porsche...

Porsche People Profiles

Porsche has a rich history of amazing personalities, whether it be designers, managers, engineers or race car drivers.

Roland Kussmaul
Except perhaps at one or two retirement parties or other formal occasions, no one ever saw Roland Kussmaul wearing a suit and tie. Racing or workshop overalls, Porsche’s pit lane...
Obviously these two attractive models from the lingerie manufacturer Triumph (München) like this Porsche 914/6 – Rutesheim Athletics Club, Baden-Württemberg, Germany (1969) Very different from previous production Porsches, the 914...
Arno Bohn at Weissach with the 968 Cabriolet (1991) Arno Bohn was managing director of Porsche from 1990-92. An outsider who came from the computer industry, he arrived at a...
Anatole Lapine, 1973 Anatole Lapine who was in charge of styling at Porsche under two disparate CEOs, Fuhrmann and Schutz, looks back on quite a CV: Chevrolet Corvette, Opel GT,...
Rallye Paris-Dakar 1984: Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 4×4 (Type 953) – driven by (from L-R) #175 Jacky Ickx, #176 René Metge, #177 Roland Kussmaul For many years, the éminence grise...
Tilman Brodbeck poses with a 1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Coupé (left) and a 911 Sport Classic (right) – 21 September 2009 To be able to write on your résumé...
Mark Webber being interviewed at the Geneva Motor Show 2014, on the occasion of the world debut of the Porsche 919 Hybrid Porsche’s return to the top category of the...
The formidable Carrera 6 outside the Porsche headquarters, Stuttgart Zuffenhausen, 1966 The Carrera Six, as Porsche officially called the 906, was a radically different car from its predecessor, the 904...
Porsche 911 991.1 GT3 RS
Jean Behra following his accident at Caracas 3 November 1957 Staring out of period black and white photographs, Jean Behra’s handsome, but battered face tells its own story: a combative...
Dr. Ulrich Bez (1988) Hailing from the Bad Cannstatt district of Stuttgart, Ulrich Bez, who as Porsche Technical supremo hatched the 993, had two significant stints at Porsche. During the...
Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood won the 24 Hours of Daytona on 3/4 February 1973 driving this 911 Carrera RSR 2.8 Peter Gregg was the IMSA driver every one strived...
Autograph card signed by Jürgen Barth (ca. 1980) More books have been written about Porsche than any other car company so the publication in English of another tome is hardly...
Valentin Schäffer (1978) Another keen young recruitee to Zuffenhausen in the early 1950s, Valentin Schäffer, would become Porsche’s racing turbo specialist and engineer the induction systems that endowed Porsche sports...

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