When the Porsche 911 debuted in the 1965 model year, it revolutionized the sports car, turning it from a crude performance machine to a performance machine with some class and sophistication. The man behind the design of this now legendary machine, Ferdinand Porsche, has passed away at the age of 76 and the cause of death has not been released.
The 911 is one of the few cars that, with the exception of some basic restyling and technological advances, still looks strikingly similar to its original model. The 911 also remains one of the top luxury sports cars in the world. This is a great tribute to the designing genius of F.A. Porsche, as those inside of the company knew him.
Porsche was born on December 11, 1935 and quickly got into the family business as just a young boy, though not actually on the payroll. It was not until he competed his schooling in 1958 that he joined the company as an employee. Just four years later, he took over the design studio at Porsche.
In the 1970s, Porsche left the company in the control of other family members and focused on designing eyeglasses, watches, and pens in his own studio, dubbed Porsche Design Studio. From 1990 to 1993, he rejoined Porsche AG, as a chairman, and helped guide the company back to greatness after a steep decline in sales through the 1980s.
Despite the fact that F.A. Porsche is really only well known for designing one model of vehicle, that model will keep him a legend forever. Fortunately for all of us, the spirit and ingenuity of Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche will live on for many years to come in the form of his creation, the Porsche 911.
gallery: Porsche 911/991