Before the Porsche company was even created, Ferdinand Porsche pioneered the P1 Porsche, (P1 standing for “Porsche #1”) in 1898. As the first Porsche ever built, “P1” was engraved on many of its parts, ensuring authenticity. A little known fact; the inaugural Porsche was actually the first hybrid auto with combined electric and gas motors.
In 1931, when Porsche was founded, it was badgeless, with no identifying marking on the company’s products. The Porsche line remained that way until the horn button of a 1952 Porsche 356 became the first car to sport the company’s iconic logo. Prior to 1952, it was nothing more than the word “Porsche” lettered on these machines that identified their company of origin. Later in 1954, the Porsche 356 became the first model to display the Porsche crest on its bonnet.
Stuttgart, the word found on Porsche’s emblem, is the city where the company is headquartered. Located in southwest Germany, Stuttgart, (English translation, “stud garden”) was originally a breeding garden for cavalry horses back in the 10th century, hence the black horse on its hind legs on the Porsche emblem, symbolizing strength and power. The black and maroon shield with antlers is borrowed from the coat arms of Wurttemberg-Hohenzollern. Combining the two into an unforgettable and distinctive symbol and capping it with the Porsche name, this lasting and instantly recognizable ornament alludes to the high performance and meticulous styling so central to the Porsche sensibility.
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Some fun facts about Porsche; one of its most popular models, the 911, was originally named the 901. However, the French manufacturer Peugeot claimed to have rights to the naming convention with a “0” in the middle of the three number series (the Peugeot 205, 406 and 108 for example). Thus the Porsche 901 became the 911. The 911 is the only Porsche that continues to be built in its native Stuttgart. Ferdinand Porsche was also the creator of the renowned VW Beetle, introduced in 1938.
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Jason Paynter is a classic car appraiser, collector and unabashed enthusiast. He is also author of the new book, Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting & Investing in Classic Cars, available at Amazon! He lives in Louisville, KY with his beautiful wife and three sons who are (heaven help him) almost all of driving age.