Porsche: 70 years of thrills



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When talk turns to Porsche’s glorious past it’s always about the cars, is it not?

There have been so many great ones: The 356, first seen on July 11, 1948, when Herbert Kaes completed a demonstration lap on the streets of Innsbruck, Austria; the 901 that stunned the 1963 Frankfurt show (name later changed to 911 because Peugeot had dibs on three-digit vehicle names with a zero in the middle); the silky 928 that arrived 14 years later; the 959 that many regard as the supreme supercar of all time; and the Cayenne that in 2002 was the first example (by a far piece) of the modern megatrend of sports car, superluxury and exotic brands taking to SUVs.

To name just a few.

But Porsche is about people, too. Extraordinary people — ranging back to Ferdinand Porsche, the father of the father of the Porsche sports car company and his son, Ferry, who founded Porsche AG 70 years ago.

Among other prodigious contributors were Ernst Fuhrmann, the powertrain visionary who would eventually lead the company; Ferry’s son Butzi, who designed that 911; Ferry’s nephew Ferdinand Piëch, who refocused Porsche engineering and racing in the 1960s; and Wendelin Wiedeking, who modernized Porsche in the 1990s with manufacturing principles borrowed from Japan.

To name just a very few.

Porsche has a pantheon of heroes over its 70 years, one of whom is little known. We remember a forgotten man who was present at the creation — Adolf Rosenberger.

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