The surname Porsche is associated today with cars that are not only luxurious but also fast. However, throughout his life, Ferdinand Porsche worked on a wide variety of projects, many of which would be unexpected even for motor enthusiasts.
September 3 marks the 145th anniversary of the birth of this talented car designer and, to celebrate, Revyuh invites you to discover 10 little-known curiosities about Ferdinand Porsche.
- Although Porsche went down in motorsport history, he never got higher education in this field. In fact, he only received training related to cars working in his father’s workshop, which was dedicated to body repair. Of course, after work, at night, he sneaked into classes at the University of Vienna.
- Despite the fact that the Porsche brand is German today, and Ferdinand is considered to be German, he was actually born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and after the First World War, he chose Czechoslovak nationality. Only in 1934 was he granted German nationality.
- Today, electric cars are considered as the culmination of the genius of modern car designers. However, Ferdinand was the first to create a hybrid car, and that happened more than a century ago with his Lohner-Porsche.
- While Porsche was serving in the military as a conscript, he was assigned chauffeur, and was the driver no more or less than the Archduke of Austria-East Francisco Fernando. Precisely his assassination, 10 years later, would mark the beginning of World War I.
- Automobiles weren’t the only thing Ferdinand Porsche was developing. Among his non-automotive creations are several tank models, and even an electric train that Ferdinand designed in 1913 based on the hybrid system that he developed.
- Even before having his own car brand, Ferdinand was already creating successful racing cars. An example of this was the ADS, R Sascha, that Ferdinand designed while working for Austro-Daimler. In 1922, the Sascha won 43 of the 53 races in which it participated.
- In 1932, Joseph Stalin invited Porsche to the USSR and offered him unlimited funds to develop and start production of a small car. Ferdinand visited the Soviet Union but ended up rejecting the offer because he felt that he could not work well with local engineers without knowing how to speak their native language.
- Despite not having received higher education, Ferdinand Porsche held two doctoral degrees and one teaching degree, which were honourably awarded in recognition of his achievements.
- In 1999, Ferdinand Porsche was awarded the Car Engineer of the Century Award, presented by the Global Foundation of Automobile Choices.
- Although the creation of the mythical Volkswagen Beetle, or Beetle, is credited to Ferdinand Porsche, it was actually Béla Barényi, one of the engineers working for Porsche, who designed this legendary car. With this, Volkswagen would eventually go to Ferdinand to do some finishing in the design and this would receive part of the profits generated by the sales of these cars around the world.