Ten facts you might not know about Porsches
Think you know everything about one of the biggest sports-car makers in the world?
We asked experts at design911.co.uk to tell us 10 things we wouldn’t know about Porsche.
From tractors to how the emblem was designed, see if you were familiar with these little-known Porsche facts.
This image from 1900 shows the first hybrid car, designed by Mr Porsche himself
1. Founder, Ferdinand Porsche, created one of the first hybrid cars in 1899
In the early days of the 20th century, Ferdinand Porsche – at just 18 years of age – started working for Vienna-based coach-builder Lohner-Werke. Within just two years he designed one of the world’s first hybrid vehicles.
First prototypes were two-wheel drive, battery-powered electric vehicles with two front wheel hub-mounted motors. An updated version followed soon after combining hub-mounted electric motors in each wheel, powered by batteries and petrol-engine generator.
Pictured, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, designer of the Porsche 911 model, and son of Ferdinand ‘Ferry’ Porsche
2. Before sports cars there were tractors
Lamborghini is famed for making farming machinery, but Porsche manufactured more than 125,000 tractors in the ’50s and ’60s, and once designed forklift trucks and airplane cockpits.
The 911 has been in production for 54 years without fail, with all cars being built in its home city of Stuttgart
Stars from the tennis world: Maria Sharapova (left) posing with a Porsche 918 Spyder hypercar. Right, tennis player Tim Henman stepping into his 911
3. The 911 is one of the longest running production cars ever
Designed and first built in 1963, the Porsche 911 is one of the longest-serving cars of all time. It’s one of very few models not to go out of production since the 1960s, with each new generation preserving some of the original design – though growing in dimensions considerably over five decades.
4. The first road car WASN’T rear engined
While the Porsche 356 – the first road car from the brand – was rear-engined, the first prototype had the engine behind the driver but in front of the rear axle for better balance. It also won its very first race, a hillclimb event in Innsbruck, Austria.
This image from 27 May 1938 taken outside the Fallensleben German car factory shows diesigner Dr Ferdinand to the left of Adolf Hitler
5. The very first VW Beetle was built in Ferdinand Porsche’s private villa
You might know that Ferdinand Porsche was the designer behind the original VW Beetle, but what you may not know is that the first model was created in his own home.
6. The 911 almost wasn’t a 911
Ferdinand Porsche originally wanted to call the 911 the 901, but Peugeot vetoed the ideal because they classified their cars with number-0-number.
Porsche has built more than one million 911s to day – and it reckons 70% of all cars are still on the road today
James Dean (right) pictured in the Porsche 550 Spuder which claimed his life in 1955
7. It has built more than 1 million 911s in 54 years
That’s right, Porsche has churned out seven-figures worth of 911s since the car first arrived in the ’60s. It means around 50 911s have been produced each day since the first one rolled off the production line in 1963 and Porsche claims 70 per cent are still being used on the road today.
The Stuttgart manufacturer even produced a special-edition model to celebrate the 1,000,000 landmark – read about it here.
The Porsche emblem is iconic – but do you know what it means?
8. Its logo was designed on the back of a napkin
One of Porsche’s most famous and iconic features is of course its crest featured on the front of all vehicles. The crest is based on the coat of arms of Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Württemberg and where Porsche has been based for decades.
Chief designer, Ferry Porsche, who oversaw the design of many of Porsche’s most iconic cars, outlined the crest on the back of a napkin whilst brainstorming logo ideas.
9. It created the world’s first black chronograph watch
In 1972, Porsche developed the first black chronograph watch by copying the gauges in the 911.
A Porsche 911 owned by David and Victoria Beckham at the time receiving a personal touch from a Christie’s Security Guard
If you want your Porsche to stand out from the crowd there are three colours you need to avoid
10. Black, white and red are the most popular colours
Even though the company will custom paint a car in any colour for a fee, black, red and white are the most popular colour choices, according to data.
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online