In 1931, the Porsche car company was started by Ferdinand Porsche. He oversaw the creation of the Mercedes kompressor car in the early 1920s. After this time, he joined with his son, Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche, to design the first Volkswagen car. Starting in the late 1800s until 1938, Porsche was a successful Austrian automotive engineer.
On September 3, 1875, Ferdinand Porsche was born in Maffersdorf, Austria. His love of technology was evident at a young age. Porsche found electricity especially interesting. In 1893, Porsche was able to get a job with the electrical company Bela Egger & Co. located in Vienna. He was 18 years old. During this time, Porsche became a part-time student. He attended the Imperial Technical University in Reichenberg.
The supervisors at Bella Egger & Co. were impressed with the technical skills of Porsche. It was only a short time until he was promoted from being an employee to a position in management. Porsche experienced a number of important milestones for his life starting in 1897. This is the year Porsche built an electrical-hub motor. It was a concept that was proposed a decade earlier by American Wellington Adams. He started working at the Vienna-based company Hofwagenfabrik Jacob Lohner & Co. It belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Army’s joint Imperial and Royal Army. While working with this company, Porsche did develop the world’s first electric car. It was the Egger-Lohner electric vehicle C.2 Phaeton
The engineering skills of Ferdinand Porsche got international attention in Paris during the 1900 World’s Fair. His wheel-hub engine was used to power a non-transmission vehicle known as the Lohner-Porsche. The wheel-hub engine received international attention. In late 1900, a race near Vienna known as the Semmering circuit took place. Porsche tested his engine in a race. He was able to drive one of his own inventions in a race at the Semmering circuit.
In 1906, Porsche was working at the Austro-Daimler company and was made a technical manager. He moved to Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft company in 1923. Here he was a made an executive board member as well as technical manager. This is where he supervised the creation of the Mercedes Kompressor vehicle. In 1917, Porsche was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Imperial Technical University. He was also awarded the German National Prize for Art and Science in 1937.
In 1931, Porsche created his own firm. Starting in 1934, he was very involved with the people car project promoted by Adolf Hitler. This is when he and his son designed the first Volkswagen vehicle. After this time, they were always working together.
World War II
This is when Porsche and his son worked on Hitler’s Tiger Program. It was created to manufacture heavy tanks. His design didn’t work well in the field and another company got the contract to make Panzer tanks. Some of the chassis from Porsche’s invention were converted into tank destroyers. At the end of the War, French soldiers arrested Porsche. He was in prison for 22 months with his son. During this time, he and his son created a new racing car. In 1950, Porsche and his son made history when the new Porsche sports car was introduced to the world.
On January 30, 1951, Porsche died. He was 75 year old. The Porsche Museum opened in 2009 at Zuffenhausen, Germany.