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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

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...
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...
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...
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...

Yesteryear & Historical Porsche Moments

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

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....
Porsche Glossary of Terms
Porsche Terms The world of Porsche is filled with all kinds of names, terms and abbreviations and it’s hard for even a passionate enthusiast to remember them all. That’s why we’ve put together the following. If you find anything amiss or have anything to add, don’t hesitate to give us a shout. B Boxster The name for the new open top model in the 1990’s...
Table full of Porsche manufacturers marks
Every year on a late winter weekend, the Porsche world turns its focus to Southern California. Crowds converge in Los Angeles for the LA Literature, Toy, and Memorabilia Show—and for the accompanying Porsche shop tours. Thankfully, the tradition resumed in 2022 after a 2021 hiatus. Staged in the ballrooms of the Los Angeles Airport Hilton, the “Lit Show” has been the place to find Porsche...
1973 Vasek Polak Porsche 917/10-018 Cam-Am Spyder driven by Jody Scheckter Jody Scheckter was born in East London on the east coast of South Africa, a sleepy seaside town that actually carried the honour of being the country’s motorsport centre up until the early 1960s. In 1973, Scheckter, by then a 23-year old fast-climbing motorsport star, had moved ‘overseas’ and had been criss-crossing the Atlantic...
Inspiration for this feature came from the post published by Porsche in December 2020. It covers the seven generations of the legendary 911 Turbo from inception in the mid-1970s right up to the current 992 model. No apology is made for using some of the text from the original feature, as this includes the unparalleled comments from rally legend, Walter Röhrl, who assisted with the...
Before we submerse ourselves in a new year of challenges and innovations, we take a look back on out top picks of what Porsche’s 75th year brought us. Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 Just like in 2022 the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team achieved a brilliant one-two result in Mexico City and made a strong start to the Formula E season. The Porsche customer squad...
A front three-quarter view of the No. 16 Porsche 917/10 chassis #005 taken in Porsche’s secret bunker in Stuttgart, May 2017. Virtual Motorpix/Glen Smale
Images by: Virtual Motorpix/Glen Smale and Corporate Archives Porsche AG  The Porsche 917 was the culmination of a line of race cars produced by the Stuttgart manufacturer during possibly the busiest decade, from 1964 to 1973, of its (by then) short existence. Just 21 short years after Porsche opened its doors, the mighty 917 hit the tracks in the Championship for Manufacturers. To say that...
ADAC 24 Hours of Nürburgring, 22-23 June 2019: The #12 Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (17) driven by Matteo Cairoli, Lars Kern, Otto Klohs and Dennis Olsen finished 4th overall This feature, the fourth in our mini-series, picks up where we left off last time (Part 3: 2013-2016) and highlights the continued growth and success of the evergreen Porsche 911 on the UK and...
Porsche, as we all know, is a name that is synonymous with clean, simple lines that highlight the peak of German engineering. Even from a mile away, you could pick out a 911 from a Cayman from a Taycan, each very similar in design language but completely different in shape and final product. However, if you look back to the 1970s through to the 1990s,...
Le Mans 24 Hours, 31 May-1 June 1986: Start of the race – Porsches dominate the lead group In Part 1, Stories from Le Mans – with a Porsche flavour, our intrepid scribbler who hails from that beautiful part of South Africa, the Western Cape, shares with us some hilarious and revealing stories from his many trips to Le Mans. Richard Wiley, a lifelong motoring...
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...
Simeone Foundation Museum – 1970 Porsche 917-043 While diplomats and cartographers may technically show the roads around Le Mans as French soil, Porsche has laid claim to the winding bit of pavement that comprises the race track and especially victory lane. Since 1951, when a silver Porsche 356 clocked up its very first class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the German manufacturer...
Porsche 906 (chassis #906/108) takes turn 1 on its way up the Hill at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed One of the motoring highlights of my 2016 season, if not of all time, has to be driving a fabulous Porsche 906 on the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb. The car had come from the Porsche Museum, where in recent years it had been restored...
Crowd of people bidding on Porsches at auction
While the cars with the record for most expensive auction values ever generally come from Italy, the little German company from Stuttgart also has enthusiastic and wealthy collectors who are willing to open the bank account to get a piece of history. While it is pretty rare for one of Porsche’s road cars to end up with an auction record, due mostly to production volume,...
This Porsche 908/02 Flunder Spyder is one of the most extensively raced examples of one of Porsche’s most successful sports racing cars ever. In its inaugural season, chassis 908/02-018 was victorious with works pairing Jo Siffert and Brian Redman at the 1969 Watkins Glen 6 Hours – competing prolifically in successive decades right into modern times. Air-cooled prototypes The 908 and the 917 alike were...
Porsche cars parked in lot
Editor’s note: Harvey Sherman recently covered several of the most iconic Porsche race cars in the Pacific Northwest. Below, he shares his thoughts and observations on the highlights. The BP Racing Garage Bob Rygg and Peter Juvet (who own two of the cars featured below) use this garage as their “headquarters” of sorts. We’ll cover it in more detail later. Already a Member? Sign in...
Porsche 935-78 Moby Dick (chassis 935/78.006 ), photographed at the Porsche Warehouse in May 2017 Group 5 rules offered manufacturers a great deal of freedom to modify their cars in the Silhouette class. At Porsche, Norbert Singer pushed the rules to the limit, and gave us the Porsche 935/78 Moby Dick, truly a legend in its own time. Introduction In the 1970s, Porsche had several...
Background The Porsche 908/02, an evolution of the initial 908 model, was introduced in 1969 as a response to the increasing competition in the FIA World Sportscar Championship. This variant optimized weight distribution and aerodynamics, yielding a lighter, open-cockpit configuration. The 908/02’s engineering was underscored by its advanced flat-8 engine, which balanced power with fuel efficiency—a critical factor in endurance racing. The chassis was constructed...
Fourteen years before the Cayenne was introduced, Ferry Porsche made a statement that seemed to have foretold of the Cayenne, saying, “If we build an off-road model according to our standards of quality, and it has a Porsche crest on the front, people will buy it.” The Cayenne, since its introduction in 2002, has been one of the major pulls to Porsche’s consistent global success....
The year 1974 will be remembered for many different reasons, depending on where you were living in the world at the time and what caught your eye. For instance, Richard Nixon became the first US president forced to resign, following the Watergate Scandal in August that year. George Foreman and Muhammad Ali faced each other for the highly anticipated ‘rumble in the jungle.’ Eric Clapton...
For almost 50 years, the Turbo models have enjoyed an exalted position at Porsche. They stand for a distinctively high performance and represent the epitome of every model series. To emphasize their uniqueness, Porsche is once again sharpening their look. The Turbo models are, for one, being given a particularly exclusive version of the modernized crest, which is dominated by the new Turbonite color tone...
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...
Porsche Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort The crowds attending the Masters Historic racing weekend at Zandvoort were treated to a festival of racing in brilliant weather. To spice up the cars on the race weekend menu, five iconic Porsche racing cars were driven around the circuit which is located in the dunes north of Zandvoort, Netherlands, near the North Sea coast line – the Porsche Historic...

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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