Porsche Automobil Holding SE, or Porsche SE, is a German car manufacturer. The company is headquartered in Zuffenhausen, a city district of Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg.
Famous Porsche collectors include the comedian Jerry Seinfeld and Peter F Baumberger.
World record sale
A 1972-73 Porsche 917 Interserie Spyder was auctioned for $3,965,000 by Bonhams & Butterfields in August, 2010.
Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951) was an Austrian automobile engineer with more than a thousand patents to his name. During his lifetime, he played an important role in the development of airplanes and the construction of tanks for the Wehrmacht.
In the 1920s he was appointed chief engineer at Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart, Germany, later setting up his own engineering workshop. There he designed, among other things, the Volkswagen, and acted as chief of operations at the plant where the Volkswagen was made
At the end of the war, Porsche was interned by the Allies and released a few years later. After his release, Porsche immediately went to work building his first car with his son, Ferry Porsche.
Ferdinand and Ferry’s first car was named the Porsche 356, after Ferry. It was a sports car with styling reminiscent of the Volkswagen.
The Porsche 356 had the same four-cylinder boxer engine as the Volkswagen, rear-mounted just like the VW. The car boasted a mere 40 bhp and a maximum speed of 87 mph (140 km/h).
Distinguished by its elegant and innovative body, the Porsche 356 was first produced as a convertible and then as a hard top.
‘The embodiment of the sports car’
Father and son developed the Porsche 356 in the workshop of Erwin Komenda (1904-1966), a master of restrained streamlining. He had been in charge of sheet metal and design techniques for Ferdinand Porsche since the Volkswagen Beetle.
This new style of closed coupe designed by Komenda soon became the embodiment of the sports car, due in part to its 'fastback'.
Erwin Komenda and Ferdinand 'Butzi' Porsche, Ferninand’s grandson, continued this tradition with the 911.
The Porsche 911 had a sloping bonnet reminiscent of the 356 and what later became characterized as “frog eye” headlights, curves running from the top edge of the windscreen to the rear bumper, and a straight waistline.
Technologically it shared more in common with a BMW 1500, but it retained the distinctive stylistic features of the original Porsche. Today, the 911 is regarded by collectors as Porsche’s most famous car, and keystone to its identity.
The 911 is the sports car with the longest ever production run.
During the 1970s and 1980s many Porsche designers attempted to distance Porsche from its legendary design, nearly bringing the company to the edge of disaster.
After introductions of 924 and 928 models – the former developed with Volkswagen – failed to meet expectations, Porsche spent the 1990's using its classic design as a marketing advantage.
Porsche embraced the timeless nature of classic styling to become highly profitable – especially relying on the 911.
Developments included the 911 GTI, put forward by the in-house designer Anthony R Hatter as a powerful combination of sports and racing car. The new Porsche Boxster also proved a success.
Noted Porsche enthusiasts include the American comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
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