Tuesday 30th January 1951
Ferdinand Porsche, the legendary Austrian-German automotive engineer, died in Stuttgart, Germany aged 75. In 1898, he was employed by Lohner, a manufacturer of electric cars and, at the age of 23, he designed the Lohner-Porsche. This car was exhibited at the most prestigious car exhibition of the time, L’Exposition Universelle De Paris in 1900. Porsche won the opportunity to design another prototype, a four wheel drive with an electrical motor in each wheel. During the next 25 years, he worked for many different companies. One of his most important achievements was the design of a road train used in the First World War. Porsche joined Daimler Germany in 1923. In 1926, Daimler merged with Benz, providing the opportunity for Porsche to work on the Mercedes S and SSK projects. As well as race cars, he designed a diesel powered truck and a popular automobile. He opened his own engineering office in Stuttgart in 1930. In 1934, the order from Hitler to design and build the first “peoples car” was received. Porsche designed the Volkswagen Beetle, as well as many military vehicles used by the Nazis during World War II. After the war, Porsche spent twenty months in a French prison, and his son took control of the business. Dr. Porsche (he received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Stuttgart) was certainly the most prolific automotive designer of first half of the 20th century.