Happy birthday Ferdinand Porsche!

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Ferdinand Porsche (September 3, 1875—January 30, 1951) was an Austrian-Hungarian automotive engineer. He is best known for his creation of the brand of sports cars, Porsche.

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Porsche was born in Bohemia, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. At a young age, he became interested in mechanics and attended the Imperial Technical School in Reichenberg. When he was 18, he got a job at Béla Egger Electrical company. While there, he developed the electric hub motor.

By 1898, Porsche was working for Jakob Lohner & Co, the company that created coaches for the Austrian emperor. In 1898, they released their first "car," called the e "System Lohner-Porsche." The car became the basis for a more powerful four-wheel drive car with electric motors on all four wheels. This model was shown at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900.

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In 1901, Porsche had developed his model to include an internal combustion engine, making it the first petroleum electric hybrid vehicle on record.

In 1902, he was drafted into the military and served as chauffeur to Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

In 1906, he was recruited as chief designer at Austro-Daimler. By 1926, he was named technical director at Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft's in Weimar, Germany.

In 1931, Porsche left Daimler to form his own firm. In 1934, he became involved in Adolf Hitler's "people's car" project. With his son at his side, he developed the Volkswagen. Later known as the Beetle, the car was mass produced throughout Europe. Beginning in 1942, Porsche designed military vehicles. After the war, he and his son were arrested by the French as war criminals.

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While incarcerated, Porsche's son designed the Cisitalia, a sports car. This laid the groundwork for their historic Porsche sports car, revealed in 1950.

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In 2009 the Porsche Museum opened in Zuffenhausen, Germany.

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Wednesday, 03 September 2014
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