Birthdate : September 3 1870
Deceased : Januari 30 1951
Ferdinand Porsche was born September 3 1870 in Maffersdorf, back then that was Austria-Hungary. Today that’s part of the Czech Republic. Ferdinand Porsche was one of 5 children. His father Anton Porsche had a plumbing workshop and after Ferdinands elder brother died, Anton Porsche wanted his son Ferdinand to take over the family business.
Ferdinand however had other interests. As a teenager he developed strong interests in electricity, but to fullfill his father wishes he completed the plumber apprenticeship. At an age of 18 he started working at Bela Egger Electrical company in Vienna. Just a few years later, in 1897 he designed the electric wheel-hub motor. This definitely can be seen as a groundbreaking development, as the design was later used in the very first vehicle designed by Ferdinand Porsche. He engraved P1 in all the key components.
The Egger-Lohner was a carriage-like car driven by two electric motors within the front wheel hubs, powered by batteries. This drive train construction was easily expanded to four-wheel drive, by mounting two more electric motors to the rear wheels. The Lohner Porsche was born, and is known as the very first hybrid vehicle ever built.
In 1903 Porsche marries Aloisa Johanna Kaes, who one year later gives birth to daughter Louise.
In 1906, Austro-Daimler recruited Porsche as their chief designer. 19 September 1909, Ferdinand was racing in one of his Austro-Daimler cars when he received a telegram. His son Ferdinand Anton Ernst was born.
Porsche’s best known Austro-Daimler car was designed for the Prince Henry Trial in 1910. Porsche had advanced to Managing Director by 1916 and received an honorary doctorate from the Vienna University of Technology in 1916.
In 1917 Ferdinand became General Manager of Austro-Daimler, in 1922 he presented the Austro-Daimler Sascha, a small 4-cylinder racing car with a displacement of 1.1 litres. This car entered in the Targa Florio with a 1st and 2nd place as a result. In 1923, Ferdinand joined Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in Stuttgart as a technical director and an board member. Just one year later, the company would merge with the Benz company, to start producing cars under the name Mercedes-Benz as soon as 1926.
1932. The year his grand-daughter Louise Piech was born, Ferdinand Porsche was contracted by Wanderer to design a supercharged 16-cylinder Grand Prix racing car. Porsche brings a visit to the Soviet-Union and declines a very attractive order from Joseph Stalin, to become a chief construction director. The sole reason for this decline was that Porsche wanted to continue racing his own designed cars, and the European Grand Prix did not extend to the Soviet-Union.
After the contract between the Porsche design office and the Reichsverband der Automobilindustrie – the idea of Volkswagen was born in 1934. This is the period Porsche designs the very succesfull Auto Union 16cylinder, also known as Porsche Typ22.
In 1936, Ferdinand Porsche boards a ship direction USA together with Ghislaine Kaes. Their goal is to visit some automotive factories in the USA to gather information to build a plant in Germany for the production of Volkswagens.
Just one year later Ferdinand Porsche returns to the USA with the same purposes,now accompanied by Ghislaine Kaes and his son Ferry Porsche.
In 1938 the Porsche company has about 200 employees and the place they reside becomes somewhat crowded. The company moves to a brandnew building in Spitalwaldstraße 2, later known as Porsche Werk 1.
During WWII, Ferdinand Porsche is involved in the melioration design of several tanks and missiles. That’s the reason he’s emprisoned at the end of the war, only to be released in August 1947
November 1950 Ferdinand Porsche suffers a stroke. Unfortunately he doesn’t recover very well and only a few months later, January 30 1951 he dies from the consequences. He is burried in the chapel at the family estate “Schüttgut” in Zell am See, Austria, close to Gmünd where the first Porsche was born.