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Happy Birthday Prof. Dr. Ing h.c. Ferdinand Porsche

Posted in Classic, History, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Racing, Volkswagen by Corey | September 3rd, 2008 | 1 Response |

On this day, 133 years ago in 1875, Ferdinand Porsche was born.
By 1905, when he was only 30 years old, he was already a famous engineer in Europe because of his work with Jakob Lohner & Company. For years after that he worked for various different firms, always responsible for the cars that dominated racing. He eventually worked for Austro-Daimler and Mercedes-Benz, built the Mercedes-Benz SSK and the prototype for the Volkswagen Beetle.

In 1931, he founded the consulting firm that would go on to become the Porsche motor company, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche GmbH, Konstruktionen und Beratungen für Motern, Fahrzeug, Luftfahrzeug, and Wasserfahrzeugbau (Constructions and Consultation for Motors, Vehicles, Aircraft, and Watercraft). The famous Dr. Ing h.c. comes from an honorary doctorate from Vienna Technical University.

He died on January 30, 1951 after suffering a stroke a few months earlier. He was a completely self made man, with almost no formal education, who became the greatest automobile engineer of all time.

In 1999, he was given the posthumous title of Car Engineer of the Century.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Porsche.

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  1. Dr. Porsche created the first hybrid automobile, too. It was called the “Mixte” and used an internal combustion engine, fitted to a generator, to drive electric motors in the (wheel) hubs, way back in 1901.

    The Mixte was a series hybrid, similar in concept to a diesel-electric locomotive. Dr. Porsche himself won a rally, piloting a FWD version of the Mixte. 300 platforms, based on his design, were sold, most using 2WD; some were configured as RWD trucks, buses or fire engines.

    The Mixte set several Austrian speed records, being the first car to achieve 35 mph in that country. Hey, only two years prior to that the Land Speed Record of 62 mph was achieved by Camille Jenatry; driving a car powered solely by electric power.

    So Dr. Porsche was way ahead of his time.