Coming of Age
In 1934 Ferdinand Porsche developed the first Porsche diesel motor for the Porsche tractor. It may come as a surprise that he briefly dabbled in the field of agricultural vehicles during the company’s early years. He produced three prototype tractors that year that included hydraulic coupling between engine and transmission. Although development of an air- cooled diesel engine was underway it was not yet ready for production, so the three prototypes all featured petrol engines. In 1937 there was an official order from the German government to develop a “Volks-Tractor,” so while developing the “people’s car,” Professor Ferdinand Porsche was also designing the “people’s tractor.” Numerous tests were carried out
on the air-cooled diesel engine and by the early 1950s four basic models had been designed in one-, two-, three-, and four-cylinder versions with a power output ranging from 14-44 bhp. A four-wheel drive tractor was also on the drawing board as early as 1946. Following the end of the Second World War, Porsche signed licensing agreements with Allgaier GmbH and Hofherr Schrantz, allowing them to use their modern and uniquely designed engine. The result was the creation of the Allgaier – System Porsche and the Hofherr Schrantz – System Porsche. In 1959 Mannesmann AG bought the license for the Porsche diesel engine and the Allgaier tractor design and went on to produce over 125,000 Porsche-Diesel tractors.
ABOVE: The Porsche Standard Star 219.
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