Ferdinand Porsche was born in 1889. He was a genius when it came to technical endeavours. When Porsche was 25, he honed his interest to automobile design. Loyner & Company adopted his first design. Over a twenty-year period, Porsche successfully associated himself with just about every major auto manufacturer in Germany. At the same time, he designed several well-known luxury automobiles, including a stint with Mercedes Benz, where he helped in the design of the SSK series. He also designed the Type 32 and the Auto Union Wanderer, ancestors of Volkswagen Beetle. After an argument with Mercedes over policies involving engineering, he established Porsche A.G., his own engineering group.

Porsche touted thousands of patents named by him. He was also a key player in the development of tanks and airplanes for Wehrmacht. Porsche was named chief engineer at Mercedes Benz in the early 1920s, and went on to open an engineering workshop of his own. In the workshop, he designed the Volkswagen and served as chief of operations in the Wolfsburg factory where Volkswagens were manufactured.

By the end of the war, Porsche did an Internship under the Allies. After that he worked with his son, Ferry, to build his first automobile. The car was called the Porsche 356 after his son. It was a flashy sport car that had a four-cylinder boxer engine that was rear mounted. The styling was quite similar to the Volkswagen. It boasted a speed of 87 miles per hour and 40 bhp, and was the first convertible style. Porsche and his son created the Porsche 356 in Erwin Komenda’s workshop. Komenda was a genius when it came to restrained streamlining, and was once in charge of design techniques and sheet metal for Porsche since the Volkswagen Beetle. The closed coupe design style Komenda created was the true embodiment of this sports auto because of its fastback.

The end of the 356 came in 1965, but the engine of the 356 remained intact with the introduction of the 912, which was replaced by the 914 in 1970 and the 924 front engines in 1976. The new 928s were introduced in 1978, holding 250-hp V8. On sale in 1982, the 944 debuted with a four-cylinder, Porsche built engine, followed by the super 959 in 1985. By 1987, the 250,000 911 rolled off the line.

Following the 911 tradition

The tradition of the fastback lived on through Komenda and Ferdinand Butzi Porsche (founder’s grandson,) with the introduction of the 911. The 911 showed off an eye-catching sloping bonnet, characterized as an auto with frogeye headlights, a straight waistline and curves that ran from the top of the windscreen to the rear bumper.

A major player in Porsche’s identity, the 911 did not receive the support expected, and throughout the 1970s and 1980s some of Porsche designers tried to steer away from the classic design. This attempt fell short and almost put Porsche out of business.

By the 90s, the company realized the timelessness of the original style of the 911 was far more marketable than other attempts at different designs like the 924 and the 928. Going back to its original design, the 911 GTI was introduced followed by the Boxster in 1999. Basically, Porsche now offers four market models – the 911 Carrera, Cayman, Cayenne Sports SUV and the Boxster. The Porsche Panamera made its debut in 2010.

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