Because of limited capacity at the Stuttgart plant, these 4-cylinder models have nearly all been built at Audi’s factory in Neckarsulm. Rounding out the company’s million-car tally is the prestigious 928. The only sports car of its time to be awarded the accolade of “Car of the Year,” the Porsche 928 was bought by 61,000 customers during its 1977–95 production run. The company’s achievements over the past fifty years are hard to ignore, and a flood of innovations have emerged from the engineering concepts underlying the original 356, many first found on the company’s racing machinery. As time has progressed, the concept of what constitutes the ultimate Porsche driving experience has been refined. Dr. Porsche But it all began with the genius of Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951). He was the son of a tinsmith, born into a world built upon centuries of respect for craftsmanship. At the time of his death, only the first few production examples of the 356 had rolled off the assembly line, but by then he had established himself as a true visionary, one of the few great designers who was able to visualize and create a car in its entirety. His name first appeared on a vehicle that created a sensation at the Paris Exposition of 1900. The Lohner-Porsche was a battery-powered two-seater, with electric motors driving its front hubs. Porsche had designed those motors, as well as the car’s lightweight chassis. Even then, his designs had a sporting purpose, and there were plans for a racing version of the car, targeted for a then-incredible 37-miles-per-hour top speed. By 1906, the thirty-one-year-old designer moved on to Daimler Motor Co., where he served as technical director. Thus began an association that lasted for two decades. He designed several notable automobiles, and ultimately was rewarded with the position of chief engineer in 1923. The company was known

Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, the son of a tinsmith, was born into a world built upon centuries of respect for craftsmanship.

A stripped-down racing version of the magnificent, supercharged Mercedes SSK, a Porsche design that became one of the most coveted automo- biles ever built, on both sides of the Atlantic.


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