The founder of the Porsche car company has died today at the age of 76 after a long and fruitful engineering career. Not only did he establish the Porsche car brand, he also designed the Volkswagen Bubu, the Mercedes-Benz SSK, the German Tiger tanks (which he gave his name) and the Elefant, and the largest and heaviest tank in the history of the Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus.
Ferdinand Porsche was born in the Czech Republic (then as part of Austria-Hungary as Croatia). At a young age he was a driver for Archduke Francis Ferdinand (killed in Sarajevo in 1914) and then worked for a long time for Daimler (a Mercedes manufacturer).
He founded his own company, today’s Porsche, in 1931 in Stuttgart. Hitler appreciated Porsche, which is why he was charged with war crimes after the war and spent 20 months in a French prison without trial.
When he returned he barely restarted the Porsche Company, but it gradually grew. Today, the Porsche Holding holds 50.76% of the voting rights as the largest shareholder in the Volkswagen Group (Europe’s largest automaker, with Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti brands).