Ernst Fuhrmann

Birthday : 1918-10-12
Deceased : 1995-02-06

Biography Ernst Fuhrmann

Dr Ernst Fuhrmann (Vienna 21 October 1918, Teufenbach 6 February 1995) was the chairman of Porsche AG between 1972 and 1980. He was a German citizen.

Fuhrmann’s attended primary school in Vienna before progressing to a Grammar school. Between 1936 and 1941 he studied engineering at Vienna Technical University, graduating in 1950 under Professor Richter with a thesis on the subject of “Cam drive for the control of the high-speed combustion motors”. In 1943 he starts working in Berlin, at the AEG Research institute, working on the development of ultrasound and infrared devices for detection and control. He returns to Austria after the war and has several jobs as a mechanic and watchmaker before joining Porsche March 19 1947.Initially at the Gmünd facility in Austria, relocating subsequently to Stuttgart.

In 1950, the year in which he married his wife Elfriede, he received his Doctorate of Machine Construction (des Maschinenbaus) for a study on valve trains in high-speed internal combustion engines.

In July 1952 Ferry Porsche tasked Fuhrmann with the design and construction of a high-performance racing engine, based on a Volkswagen 4cylinder Boxer-engine and with the goal of achieving 100HP per litre displacement. Fuhrmann and his team made the impossible possible and designed and constructed the engine in just 6 months. April 2 1953 the new motor did its first revs at the factory in Zuffenhausen. The first weekend of 1953, Huschke von Hanstein, race chef at the time, and Hans Herrmann took the new 547 engine for the 1st test drive in a Porsche 550 Spyder at the Nurburgring. One week later, Hans Stuck drove a 550 Spyder powered by a 4-cam engine at the Freiburg-Schauinsland Hill Climb. The maiden race for the 4cam enine.

In 1956 Fuhrmann left Porsche and took over responsibility for development with the car parts company Goetze, where in 1962 he joined the board of directors.

He returned to Porsche in 1971 initially as Technical Director, and between 1972 and 1980 as Chairman of the board at Porsche AG which by then had become a Share-holder owned company. In 1977 he was granted an Honorary Professorship by the Vienna University of Technology.

He was succeeded at Porsche by German-American Peter W. Schutz.