When you have a discussion about luxury cars and their continuous influence on the automotive world, one of the first has to be Porsche. Only a hand full of car manufacturers can boast about a fifty year reign, but this is the seventieth year of Porsche’s gracing the road.
On June 8, 1948, the 356 “No.1” Roadster was the very first vehicle to hold the Porsche name. On that same day, the Porsche brand was conceived. That initial vehicle made Ferry Porsche’s dream concept of a sports car go from a fantasy into reality. Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board for Porsche, stated at yesterday’s New Year Reception event at the Porsche Museum that “Ferry’s vision at that time embodied all of the values that still define the brand to this day”. Representatives from the state of Baden-Württemberg as well as from the city of Stuttgart and the worlds of politics, economics and society, joined Porsche to help celebrate the beginning of its anniversary year with the slogan “70 years of the Porsche sports car”.
Blume went on to say, “Tradition is a commitment. Without our tradition and without our core values, we would not be where we are today. We plan to uphold the standard of technical excellence set by Ferry Porsche well into the future. Intelligent dynamic mobility has a great future ahead of it. And we have the solid technological expertise, creative employees and unique team spirit to be involved. We have what it takes to ensure that the Porsche brand continues to fascinate – even in another 70 years.”
The origin of the brand begins in 1948 even though the foundation of the sports car manufacturer is built on the shoulders of Professor Ferdinand Porsche’s life work (which his son Ferry continued). Ferdinand had already designed pioneering concepts for the automotive industry around the start of the last century. In 1900, he created an electric car with a wheel hub drive known as the Lohner-Porsche (a vehicle on which he would then base the world’s first all-wheel-drive passenger car). That same year, he put together a base for hybrid automobiles with the construction of a mixed petrol-electric powertrain. The “Berlin-Rome Car” put on display in 1939 was the start of his idea for a sports car holding the Porsche name (even though this dream was only realized by his son Ferry in 1948 with the Type 356).
The successor model of the 356 (the Porsche 911), designed by Ferry’s son Ferdinand Alexander, at last gave the company its breakthrough as one of the top manufacturers of sports cars in the world (from a technical and a design perspective). The 911, presented to the world in 1963 for the first time, has to date been built over a million times. Blume says, “Although the 911 has been consistently developed in the intervening decades and enhanced many times over with new, innovative technologies, no other vehicle has managed to retain its original essence in the same way as the 911. All Porsche models to be developed now and in the future are based on this sports car. As the centrepiece of the brand, the 911 has become the sports car of dreams, winning the collective heart of enthusiasts all over the world.”
Porsche’s future sports cars are already coming up to the starting line in the shape of the Mission E: the first truly electrically driven technology goldenchild from Zuffenhausen. This concept vehicle incorporates the distinct emotional design of a Porsche, outstanding driving performance and forward-thinking everyday functionality. Porsche has invested just about one billion euro in this project, creating more than 1,200 additional jobs just at the headquarters in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, where the Mission E will be built. “Porsche will always be Porsche – the leading brand for exclusive, sporty mobility”, Blume assures.
Porsche is celebrating this year’s anniversary with various activities around the world. Including client appreciation events bringing together Porsche owners at dealerships around the world to celebrate “Sportscars Together”.
On February 3 “The Porsche Effect” will open at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. In Germany, the first “70 years of the Porsche sports car” exhibition will open from March 20–31, at “DRIVE, the Volkswagen Group Forum” in Berlin. The Porsche Museum will also be holding its own anniversary celebrations with a comprehensive special exhibition opening on June 9. On the same day, Porsche will be inviting sports car fans to its “Sports Car Together Day” at all of its sites around the world.
Over the past weekend of June 16–17, the sports car manufacturer hosted employees, residents of the Zuffenhausen district and prospective customers to a public celebration in and around the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. The “Festival of Speed” held from July 12–15, at the Goodwood race track in the UK will also celebrate the anniversary, as will the “Rennsport Reunion” in California from September 27–30. The celebrations will conclude with the “Sound Night” event to be held for the first time in the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart on October 13.