Fiercely proud of its independent status, Porsche’s name was linked with performance racing almost as soon as the company was established in 1948 by Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferdinand (‘Ferry’). To date, Porsche cars have won an estimated 24,000 races worldwide, including more than 50 class wins at the Le Mans 24-hour race.
As the design brains behind the Volkswagen Beetle, Porsche senior brought a career’s worth of engineering expertise to the business, but it was Ferry who dreamed big, stating: “In the beginning, I looked around and could not find the car I'd been dreaming of: a small, lightweight sports car that uses energy efficiently. So I decided to build it myself."
The immediate result was the Porsche 356, which featured a rear-mounted, jazzed-up Beetle engine and quickly made its mark in terms of agility, comfort and reliability. It would be an immediate hit with customers and on the race track.
Porsche began to manufacture its own engines in 1950s but the company’s place in the history books was sealed in 1964 when it introduced the Porsche 911 – a rear-engine sports car that has become a legend in the automobile world. In 2013, Porsche introduced a special anniversary model of the 911 to mark its 50th birthday.