The name Porsche was a giant in the world of cars long before they made the humble Porsche 356. Ferry Porsche who was the chairman of the supervisory board of Porsche AG was born in the automobile hysteria that the Ford family had recently created. His father Ferdiand Porsche was creating seminal cars at the time. As with many at the time the war effort became paramount in Germany and when Ferdinand got jailed during the war it was Ferry who moved to Austria and the true Porsche that we know today was born.

The first Porsche was completed in 1948 on June the 8th. This was called 356 and with its compact design and low weight and short wheelbase it exceeded all expectations. It was said that whilst it was going up the Katschberg mountain pass it climbed like a goat. This format that the 356 was born out of was the starting point for virtually every Porsche built since.

Porsche however has always been about one car the one that everyone recognises. The 911, the 911 was not originally conceived as a direct replacement for the 356 but was an experiment of four seater version. When the 911 was first introduced into the line up it coincided with the third generation of Porsche in the family it was Ferry’s son also called Ferdinand it was he who was the designer of the 911 shape, that is still recognisable today in the modern variants of the 911. The 911 has to be the most famous Porsche car shape ever created.

The Porsche 911 stuck to its design of engine-behind-rear-axle layout that Ferdinand had originally developed. In the early years it created some problems however as the “back end” could be a little bit twitchy and have you heading back in the direction you came from with one slip of concentration. The 911 is thought of as the sharpest and most quick witted compact performance car in the world. Nine-eleven, nine-one-one unless you are in the USA where this is the call sign for the emergency services is all that needs to be mentioned and everyone knows exactly what you are talking about. It does not even need to be preceded by Porsche. The 911 that grew out of the 4 seat project car was given the name 901 and was initially produced with a air cooled flat six engine. The engine then grew and grew until eventually it went as big as 3.0 liters. As this engine got bigger and bigger the power from the engines was getting more and more, and the biggest problem it had was the handling and the lift off from under steer. To try and combat this Porsche moved weight around the vehicle to try and balance it some more, but they never really shook off this reputation. This was until the 4 wheel drive versions were introduced this meant the power could go up and up and up and it is not rare to see one today with 300 to 400 horse power.