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About Porsche

• 1931

Ferdinand Porsche left Daimler to create his own company. His company was named Dr Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH.

In the same year, Porsche designed a six-cylinder sedan for Wanderer, a company based in Chemnitz. He would also design a new in-line eight-cylinder engine.

Porsche would be responsible for a milestone in the history of cars by creating the torsion bar suspension, which would be a mainstay of automobile manufacturing for decades.

• 1933

Porsche would get a contract to design a racing car for the Saxon Auto Union. This car would have 16 cylinders and would go on to be one of the most successful racing cars in the era before World War 2. It would win three international Grand Prix races and set three world records.

• 1934

Porsche and his son, Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche started working on Hitler's People's Car project. It was during this period that he came up with the early designs for the first Volkswagen car. Hitler requested that Porsche and his son (Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche) design a heavy tank for the German army's Tiger program. Porsche produced several tank designs. Porsche's tanks had crucial design flaws that caused the tanks to break down on the battlefield. Another company (Henschel & Sohn) got the contract instead.

• 1945

World War 2 ended and Porsche was arrested and made to spend 22 months in prison for war crimes. His son spent the time supervising the creation of a racing car until his father’s release in 1947.

Early models of what would become the 356 were built in Gmund, Austria. These first versions were made with parts from the Volkswagen Beetle, though Porsche would make its own parts later on. The same man, Erwin Komenda, designed both the 356 and the Volkswagen Beetle. The 356 is widely considered to be the first Porsche because it was the first car sold by the company. Its success would give the younger Porsche the confidence to build more automobiles.

• 1948

The prototype 356 made its first journey in June of 1948 after getting a special permit from the Carinthian state government.

• 1950

Production of the 356 was moved to Dr Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH in Stuttgart and Reutter Karosserie was commissioned to produce the car's steel body.

• 1951

The senior Porsche died in Stuttgart at age 75.

• 1954

Porsche developed a four-wheel amphibious vehicle for the German Army. The vehicle was the type 597 Jagdwagen. Despite the fact that the Porsche vehicle was technically superior, the contract went to DKW instead.

• 1961

The foundation for the Weissach Development Centre was laid. It included a skid pad built for testing chassis. The Weissach Development Centre would go on to become a major resource of Porsche Engineering.

• 1963

The Porsche 911 debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche (grandson of Ferdinand Porsche) developed it as a larger and more powerful replacement for the 356. An air-cooled flat-6 engine mounted in the rear of the vehicle powered the first versions. Erwin Komeda participated in the design of the vehicle, though its styling was most the work of F.A. Porsche. The 911 would go on to become the company’s best-known model, the vehicle that would define the brand.

• 1969

The VW-Porsche 914 would debut in the fall of 1969 and would be the most successful product of the collaboration between the two giants. It featured a central engine that optimized the use of space in the small car. The engine's position also provided exceptional weight distribution due to the car's low center of gravity.

• 1971

1971 would be the year that Porsche's development division along with the company's construction, testing and design departments would move to the Weissach Development Centre. Weissach would get a range of other testing installations to go with its skid pad. The other testing facilities including a test track, a wind tunnel and a facility to test for exhaust emissions.

• 1972

The name of the company would be changed. It went from Kommanditgesellsschaft (KG) to Aktiengesellschaft (AG) indicating a change from a limited partnership to a public limited company. An executive board with no members of the family along with a supervisory board with mostly family members was also established. This change marked the end of family members being involved in the company's operation.

Most of them left, including F.A. Porsche. F.A. Porsche would go on to found his own design company that specializes in luxury items including sunglasses, watches and furniture. Ferdinand Piech was Ferry Porsche's nephew and he went on to a career with Audi. He would eventually become chairman of the Volkswagen group.

• 1974

Porsche launches the 924 as the successor to the 914.

• 1981

Porsche collaborated with aircraft manufacturer Airbus to improve cockpits. Their improvements included replacing analog instruments with monitors. They also collaborated with Linde Material Handling in the development of industrial vehicles such as forklifts.

• 1983

The TAG turbo motor was developed for the McLaren racing team.

• 1984

Porsche worked with Eastern European vehicle manufacturer AvtoVAZ to revise the Lada Samara for durability and cost.

• 1990

Porsche Engineering Services designed and tested the Mercedes Benz 500E for Daimler-Benz AG.

• 1993

Porsche collaborated with Audi to design the car known as the Audi Avant RS2. The car was manufactured at the Zuffenhausen Porsche plant from 1993 to 1994.

• 2000s-Present

The Porsche Engineering Group was established in 2001 with the aim of managing and marketing Porsche Engineering Services around the world. The company would design a V2 engine for Harley-Davidson in 2002 as well as the electrical components for Seabob water scooters.

• In 2012, Porsche AG acquired the Nardo Technical Center in Italy, one of the best-known automotive proving grounds in the world. It features a 6.2km long-handling track and a 12.5km circuit.

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