Porsche Celebrates 70 Years of Iconic Sports Cars

A Porsche 356 at the Porsche Museum

By Paul Riegler on 8 June 2018
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Porsche, known formally as Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH, is celebrating 70 years since its first vehicle, the 356 Model 1 Roadster, received street certification in 1948.

The 356 was a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive, two door that was available both as a hardtop coupe and a cabriolet.

Early prototypes of the 356 were designed and built by Ferry Porsche, the son of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche, while his father was in prison having been arrested (but not tried) for war crimes. Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH produced the 356 in a small factory in Gmünd, Austria, until production was taken over by his father’s company in 1950. The car was embraced by dealers and sold well.

“His vision at that time embodied all of the values that still define the brand to this day,” said Oliver Blume, the automaker’s Vorstandsvorsitzender or CEO, referring to Ferry Porsche.

Given a shortage of parts and manufacturing capability in post-war Austria and Germany, the 356 borrowed multiple components from the Volkswagen Beetle but, as production continued, most Volkswagen-sourced parts were replaced by those manufactured by Porsche.

The 356 was continually improved and Porsche added other vehicles such as the 550 Spyder and 904 GTS to the lineup. Production of the 356 continued until 1965.

The Porsche 911 – perhaps the best known Porsche – made a significant imprint on the company and the DNA of other modern-day Porsche vehicles.

The iconic 911, introduced in 1963, quickly became the world’s quintessential sports car, especially in the automaker’s largest single market, the United States, and every Porsche since the 911 was introduced carries with it the 911’s DNA.

To celebrate, Porsche will hold celebrations at local dealerships as well as at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Jets and Giants. On September 27, what the automaker terms the “largest” Porsche gathering in the world, Rennsport Reunion VI, will take place at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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