Porsche marks the anniversary of its original car with U.S. and international events
Atlanta, Georgia. Seventy years ago, the first Porsche sports car was born, creating a brand synonymous with superb engineering, timeless design, and automotive performance at the very highest level. The first vehicle to bear the Porsche name was registered on June 8, 1948: It was the 356 “No.1” Roadster. The Type 356 turned the sports car dream of Ferry Porsche into a reality. “His vision at that time embodied all of the values that still define the brand to this day,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG.
“Tradition is a commitment. Without our tradition and without our core values, we would not be where we are today,” explained Blume. “We plan to uphold the standard of technical excellence set by Ferry Porsche well into the future. Intelligent dynamic mobility has a great future ahead of it. And we have the solid technological expertise, creative employees, and unique team spirit to be involved. We have what it takes to ensure that the Porsche brand continues to fascinate – even in another 70 years.”
Porsche is celebrating this year’s anniversary with numerous activities around the world. In the United States, the exhibition “The Porsche Effect” will open February 3 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. On June 9, Porsche will be inviting sports car fans to its “Sports Car Together Day” at many of its sites around the world, including the Porsche Experience Centers in Atlanta and Los Angeles. The Rennsport Reunion VI vintage races and fan event in California from September 27-30 will also celebrate the anniversary.
The history of the Porsche brand begins in 1948. Yet the foundation of the sports car manufacturer is built upon the life’s work of his father, Professor Ferdinand Porsche – work which his son Ferry then continued. Ferdinand Porsche had already designed pioneering innovations for the automotive industry as early as the start of the last century. In 1900, he built an electric car with a wheel hub drive known as the Lohner-Porsche, a vehicle on which he would then base the world’s first all-wheel-drive passenger car. In the same year, he created a template for hybrid vehicles with the development of a mixed petrol-electric powertrain. In 1931, Ferdinand Porsche founded his own engineering office. The “Berlin-Rome Car” showcased in 1939 was the beginning of his idea for a sports car bearing the Porsche name, although this dream was only realized by his son Ferry in 1948 with the Type 356.
The successor model to the 356, the truly iconic Porsche 911 designed by the son of Ferry Porsche, Ferdinand Alexander, finally gave the company its breakthrough as one of the leading manufacturers of sports cars in the world, both from a technical and a design perspective. The Porsche 911, presented to the global public for the first time in 1963, has now been built over a million times. “Although the 911 has been consistently developed in the intervening decades and enhanced many times over with new, innovative technologies, no other vehicle has managed to retain its original essence in the same way as the 911,” says Blume. “All Porsche models to be developed now and in the future are based on this sports car. As the centrepiece of the brand, the 911 has become the sports car of dreams, winning the collective heart of enthusiasts all over the world.”
The future of Porsche sports cars is already coming up to the starting line in the form of the Mission E, its first purely electrically driven technology champion. This concept vehicle combines the distinctive emotional design of a Porsche, exceptional driving performance, and forward-thinking everyday functionality. The four-door model with four individual seats delivers a system performance of over 440 kW (600 hp) and a range of more than 310 miles, acceleration from 0 to 60 in under 3.5 seconds and a charging time of 15 minutes for 80 percent of the battery, using 800-volt fast-charging technology. Porsche has invested around one billion euros in this futuristic project, creating more than 1,200 additional jobs just at Porsche headquarters in Stuttgart- Zuffenhausen, where the Mission E will be built. “Porsche will always be Porsche – the leading brand for exclusive, sporty mobility,” reinforces Blume.
Year of production: 1948
Displacement: 1,131 cc
Power output:35 HP (26 kW)
Top speed: 135 km/h (84 mph)
The first sports car bearing the Porsche name was built in Gmünd, in the Austrian state of Carinthia, early in 1948. With this vehicle, Ferry Porsche realised his idea of what a modern sports car should be like. The prototype of Porsche Type 356 “No. 1” was ready for the road on June 8 and the State Government of Carinthia granted a special one-off permit for its trial use on public roads. The mid-engine sports car was powered by a VW engine uprated to 35 HP (26 kW). Weighing only 585 kilograms, it had a top speed of 135 km/h (84 mph). In August 1948, “Number One” demonstrated its fitness for competition racing in the Innsbruck Street Race.
Also See: [Porsche Heritage & Historical Models]