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Porsche celebrates 60 years

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June 5, 2008

Ferry Porsche (centre), his father Ferdinand Porsche (right) and Erwin Komenda (left), 194...

Ferry Porsche (centre), his father Ferdinand Porsche (right) and Erwin Komenda (left), 1948, in front of the 356 No. 1 in Gmünd Photo: Porsche

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June 6, 2008 One of the world's best-known sportscar marques is turning 60. Created by Ferdinand Alexander “Ferry” Porsche, in a small workshop in the Austrian Alps, the first Porsche prototype identified as 356-001 received official approval for road service on June 8, 1948.

“It all started when I began looking around and just could not find my dream car. So I decided to build it myself,” said Ferry Porsche, who is the son of Volkswagen Beetle designer Ferdinand Porsche. "To this day, this genius and pioneering spirit has shaped the philosophy of the company".

The 356, which is still immediately recognizable as the predecessor to the the 911, 914, 944, 928 and Boxster series, attracted immediate attention by virtue of its aerodynamic teardrop body shape, placement of the engine behind the driver and the resulting handling and acceleration characteristics. Two years later the company set up production at a facility that's still used today in Zuffenhausen, Germany.

Porsche has survived its share of turmoil over six decades, in particular rising from an economic crisis in the early 90's when it was in danger of take-over. The company now has a majority holding in Volkswagen AG and continues to pursue development, not just in terms of performance but also in environmental sustainability as seen in the last year's Cayenne Hybrid prototype.

About the Author
Noel McKeegan After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007.   All articles by Noel McKeegan
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