Happy birthday Porsche – 62 today

OK, so it’s not a big birthday but it’s 62 years today since the very first Porsche was completed.

Interestingly, that first car  – built in 1948 and now known as ‘Number One’ – was, in fact, mid-engined, not rear engined as was following Porsches. This gorgeous-looking creation was hand-made from aluminium and remains a thing of great beauty. Ferdinand Porsche, however, decreded that the engine should be ‘turned round’ for subsequent Porsches, because of the obvious packaging advantages (this is the man who designed the Beetle, remember) – by doing so, he made room for a pair of rear seats.

That rear-engined car went on to become the 356 and the configaration was retained for the 911, and a legend was born.

It’s interesting to think what might have happened if Herr Porsche had opted for handling over practicality and retained the mid-engined layout. Would we today be driving around in mid-engined, two-seater 911s, or would the car not have been such a success and been replaced years ago?

Whatever, Porsche today is in rude health and we can look forward to many more years of great cars.


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