The History of Porsche

Porsche is the world's leading manufacturer of sports cars. Its history is a process of evolution of a single idea that lasts more than half a century. The beginning of this process was the Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche, who opened his design office in Stuttgart in 1931. He was commissioned by Hitler in the late 30's to develop a rear-motor small car Volkswagen Beetle, and ten years later his son, Ferry Porsche, built on the Beetle chassis the first sports model - the Porsche 356. Its small-scale production was organized in 1948 in a sawmill in the Austrian village of Gmund. The car turned out to be surprisingly popular, and in 1950 the company returned to Stuttgart, where it signed a contract for the supply of bodies with a local studio Reutter. A year later, it entered the American market, which became its main market for many years.

In 1964, the Porsche 356 was replaced by the legendary Porsche 911, a sports car with a 2+2 seating arrangement and a rear-mounted air-cooled 6-cylinder engine. Available with a coupe or targa body, it is widely recognized for its driving qualities, smartness and reliability. The first generation of this model, known as the Porsche 911 Classic, was produced for 25 years almost unchanged, and all of its successors repeated the original design in one way or another and kept the specific design, evolving only in the direction of performance, comfort and technology. The exclusivity of the Porsche 911 is evidenced by the fact that it is still in production today, remaining the only rear-engine sports car on the market.

Porsche has always belonged to the Porsche family, but in 1972 it was transformed into a joint stock company, and the descendants of Ferdinand Porsche withdrew from direct management of its affairs. From the beginning, Porsche worked closely with Volkswagen, from which some parts for the Porsche 356 were purchased. Later, the two companies had joint projects such as the VW-Porsche 914 (1969-1976) and the Porsche 924 (1976-1988). In the mid-1970s, Porsche management planned to replace the obsolete Porsche 911 with front-engine models of the 928 (1977-1995) and 924/944/968 (1976-1995), but they were never recognized as the 'real' Porsche. In 1996, the center-engine roadster Porsche Boxster was launched, and 10 years later it was joined by the two-seat coupe Porsche Cayman. Then, the Porsche lineup included cars in completely different classes: the Porsche Cayenne SUV (2002), the Porsche Panamera sports sedan (2009) and the Porsche Macan crossover (2014). The Porsche 959 (1986-1992), Porsche Carrera GT (2003-2006) and Porsche 918 Spyder (2013-2015) supercars were particularly important to the firm.

Porsche is one of the most famous brands in motorsports history. The first racing successes of Porsche cars date back to the early '50s, when the Porsche 550 Spyder became famous for its performances in the Carrera Panamericana race. In the next decade, the company unsuccessfully tried to compete in Formula One, but its cars had no equal in rallying and endurance races. Porsche's biggest achievement is 18 victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a record unbeaten by any brand. In addition, Porsche has won two Formula 1 World Championship (as an engine supplier to McLaren), 14 victories in the World Touring Car Championship, 20 wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona, 11 wins in Targa Florio, 18 wins in the IMSA Championship, six wins in the German DRM Championship, four wins in Monte Carlo Rally and two wins in the Paris-Dakar Rally.

Today Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG is the most profitable car company in the world: it has the highest profit per unit. Since 2009, it is part of the Volkswagen AG Group, half of the shares of which, in turn, belongs to the holding company Porsche SE, founded in 2007 and controlled by the Porsche family. The company produces six models: 718 Boxster, 718 Cayman, 911, Panamera, Cayenne and Macan. The first three of them are assembled at the main plant in Zuffenhausen (a suburb of Stuttgart), the others - in Leipzig. Do not forget to use Porsche VIN decoder in order to avoid potential problems when buying a used car.

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