Ferdinand Porsche: Early Life, Accomplishments, and Legacy
Ferdinand Porsche was one of the most influential engineers within the German automobile industry of the 20th century. He played large roles in the companies of Daimler Motor Group, Volkwagen and Porsche. It is truly amazing what this man accomplished within his life. I am going to give you some highlights of his life.
The Early Life of Ferdinand Porsche
Ferdinand Porsche was born on September 3, 1874 in Maffersdorf, Austria. As a teenager he worked for an electrical company and attended the Imperial Technical College in Reichenberg.
The Professional Life of Ferdinand Porsche
In 1897 Ferdinand Porsche began working for Hofwagenfabrik Jacob Lohner & Co. where he developed the world’s first electricity driven automobile. The car was anmed the C.2 Phaeton. He worked at this company for eight years developing electricity driven cars.
In 1906 Porsche began working as the technical manager of the Austro-Daimler company. Here, he developed compact cars such as the Maja and the Kaiserwagen.
In 1909 Ferdinand Porsche and Aloisa Johanna Kaes, gave birth to a son. He was named Ferdinand but went by the name Ferry. As Ferry grew, his father taught him to be a mechanical engineer and took him in as a business partner.
In 1923, Ferdinand Porsche became the the technical director and executive board member at the Daimler Motor Group. While Porsche worked for Daimler, he was responsible for directing the development of Mercedes’ first kompressor model.
In 1931 Porsche left Daimler to create his own automobile company named Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH, Konstruktionen und Beratung für Motoren und Fahrzeuge. This company has transformed into the company known today as “Porsche”.
In 1934, Ferdinand Porsche began playing a large role in Hilter’s “people’s car project”. He worked on this with his son, Ferry. This project was the the development of the first Volkswagen. “Volkswagen” translates from German to English as “the car of the people”. In fact, many people consider Ferdinand Porsche to be the founder of the Volkswagen company.
During World War II, Ferdinand Porsche was asked by Hitler to produce Tiger tanks. Most of Porsche’s tiger tanks were converted to Panzerjägers (tank destroyers). After World War II, Ferdinand Porsche was arrested for actions under the Nazi regime. He was sentenced to 22 months in prison. While Porsche was in prison, he worked on designs for Renault’s 4CV. In this time, his son Ferry designed the Porsche 360 Cistalia model and the Porsche 356 for the Porsche company. These were the first vehicles to bear the Porsche name.
Ferdinand Porsche died in 1951 due to a stroke. It was said that his time in prison had negatively affected his health.
The Legacy of Ferdinand Porsche
Ferdinand Porsche was inducted into the Automotive Hall of fame in 1999.
In 2009, The Porsche Museum was opened in Zuffenhausen, Germany.
In 2010 a memorial was opened in Vratislavice, the hometown of Ferdinand Porsche.