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Tag: Porsche

September 30, 1955 – James Dean dies driving Porsche 550 Spyder
Features, This Day

September 30, 1955 – James Dean dies driving Porsche 550 Spyder

Actor James Dean had just finished filming the movie Giant and was ready to get back to the action on the racetrack. During production of the movie, Warner Bros. barred Dean from pursuing a new passion, racing. The fear, of course, was injury, or worse, death. Unfortunately, Dean would not make it to the track before fate had its way. On this day in 1955, at the age 0f 24, James Dean was killed behind the wheel of his new Porsche 550 Spyder, en route to the Salinas Road Race.  Dean driving a Porsche 356 Dean, who starred in such movies as East of Eden, Giant and Rebel Without a Cause, took an interest in auto racing in 1954. His first professional race would come at Palm Springs Road Races, held March 26-27, 1955. The young driver's were on full display, taking first place in t...
September 3, 1875 – Ferdinand Porsche is born
Features, This Day

September 3, 1875 – Ferdinand Porsche is born

Ferdinand Porsche, International Motorsports Hall of Fame member and Car Engineer of the 20th Century, was born on this day in 1875 in current day Czech Republic. Aside from founding Porsche, this is the man responsible for some of the world’s most beloved and distinguished automobiles. His first automotive creation, an electric-gas hybrid vehicle known as the Lohner-Porsche Mixte, debuted in 1898. It was the first mass produced hybrid vehicle to combine these two power sources and it was manufactured from 1900 to 1905. A 1902 draft saw Porsche enter military service where he served as chauffeur to Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the crown prince of Austria. His assassination would ignite WWI a decade later. Above: The Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid. Top: Ferdinand Porsche with a...
June 8, 1948 – The first car with a Porsche badge debuts
This Day

June 8, 1948 – The first car with a Porsche badge debuts

Ferdinand Porsche, an automotive consultant, designer and engineer, debuted his first vehicle at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1900. In 1936 the Nazi party recruited him to design an affordable vehicle for the German people, which evolved into Volkswagen. Following WWII, Ferdinand was arrested for war crimes and his son Ferry took over the family firm. While struggling to keep it afloat, a wealthy Italian approached Ferry, announcing his wish for a new race car. The family business went to work, creating the Type 360 Cisitalia. The car would fund Ferdinand's bail, but by then he had already approved a new project being spearheaded by his son, the 356/1 prototype. It became the first car to officially bear the Porsche name, and too its maiden voyage on this day in 1948 during its road certi...
April 6, 1904 – VW Beetle & Porsche 356 designer Erwin Komenda is born
Automotive, This Day

April 6, 1904 – VW Beetle & Porsche 356 designer Erwin Komenda is born

Sure, Ferdinand Porsche often gets the credit for the Volkswagen Type 1, but let's not forget he had a huge team working for him during its development. Among his employees was Erwin Komenda, who first met Porsche while working as a designer at Steyr in the late 1920s. When Porsche left Steyr and began his own automotive engineering firm, Komenda followed him. He became the head of the the bodywork design department, a position he would hold until his death in 1966. Above: Erwin Komenda was a lead designer for the 1936 Porsche Type 60 prototype for the German "Volkswagen". By Ralf Roletschek -GFDL 1.2. Top: Erwin Komenda, left, with Ferry Porsche and Ferdinand Porsche and the first Porsche 356. Early in his career with Porsche he designed the body of what would become the Volkswagen...
January 30, 1951 – Ferdinand Porsche dies
This Day

January 30, 1951 – Ferdinand Porsche dies

Ferdinand Porsche, International Motorsports Hall of Fame member and Car Engineer of the 20th Century, died on this day in 1941 at the age of 75. Aside from founding the company that bears his name, Porsche developed several other beloved and distinguished automobiles. His first automotive creation, an electric-gas hybrid vehicle known as the Lohner-Porsche Mixte, debuted in 1898. The vehicle, manufactured from 1900 to 1905, became the first mass produced hybrid to combine these two power sources. In 1902 Porsche received military draft orders. During his time in uniform he served as a chauffeur to Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the crown prince of Austria. His assassination would ignite WWI a decade later. Above: The Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid. Top: Ferdinand Porsche with a Por...
November 26, 1963 – Porsche debuts the 904 Carrera GTS
This Day

November 26, 1963 – Porsche debuts the 904 Carrera GTS

After withdrawing from Formula One at the end of the 1962 season, Porsche refocused its attention on the track to sports cars, where the company originally made a name for itself. The car they developed to tackle the FIA-GT class was the mid-engine Porsche 904, which debuted on this day in 1963. It is officially called the Carerra GTS due to a naming rights issue, similar to why the Porsche 901 became the Porsche 911. The 904 was Porsche’s first vehicle to use a ladder chassis and a fiberglass body. Its engine was inherited from its predecessor, the 718, which was the factory’s leading race car at the time. The 1,966 cc, four-cam flat four made 180 hp and pushed the car to 160 miles per hour when red lined in fifth gear. Porsche 904-6 CC BY-SA 2.0 de. The car made its racing deb...