Most people know a thing or two about Porsche – it’s famous, after all. Fanatics might know a thing or three. But we’re betting you won’t know all thirty of these Porsche fun facts, spanning four categories.
- Mr Ferdinand Porsche himself designed his first car in 1898. A few things make this interesting: he was 22 years old, it was electric, and was named the P1.
- This very car ended up winning a price race in 1899.
- Ferdinand actually did jail time for his Nazi involvement, during which time the first branded Porsche was built – the 365.
- Six famous automakers were influenced by Ferdinands designs: Lohner, Austro-Daimler, Mercedes-Benz, Steyr-Werke, Auto Union (Audi), and Cisitalia. This influence spanned over three decades.
- VW Beetle was born in Ferdinand’s back yard, basically. Well, private villa.
- Having built “Sascha” at the request of a rich filmmaker, Ferdinand played his part in proving that small cars could be much faster on the track than their larger, more powerful counterparts. Sascha won 43 races.
- The first branded Porsche, the 365/1 had its engine mounted behind the driver, infront of the rear axle, making it a mid-engine and not rear engine race car. It was moved to make production more affordable and to make room for a backseat.
- Porsche’s regular WEC LMP1 racing numbers, 17 and 18, are a tribute to 917 that won Le Mans in 1970 and to the 918 Spyder. The white is because it is Germany’s racing color.
- Porsche is a Green Hell record holder, holding both the race and road car lap records at Nordschliefe. The racing record was captured by the 956 at 6m 11s, and the production car record by the 918 Spyder at 6m 57s.
- The 935 became a racing legend in 1978, and was nicknamed “Moby Dick” after the book by Herman Melville.
- Porsche has never won a Formula 1 World Championship. It has won the Monte Carlo rally, Le Mans, and Paris-Dakar rally. The closest it came in Formula 1 was a Porsche-engine powered McLaren.
- Amongst the list of strange designs that Porsche has in its store is a Barbeque grill.
- Harley Davidson has a model – the Harley V-Rod – that carries an engine specially developed by Porsche.
- Porsche advanced the design of the cockpit for the Airbus A300. Among the upgrades was digital screens in place of analog readouts.
- The world’s first black chronograph watch, made to mimick the gauges in a car, was amongst Porsches odd involvements.
- Lamborghini may own the title of race car-come farming machinery designers but Porsche has had its hand in forklift design and made 125 000 tractors spanning the 50s and 60s.
Off The Track Facts
- Porsche was the first company to sell a car, the 944, in the USA with a passenger airbag. The year was 1986 and one airbag wasn’t even standard issue at this time.
- The Dutch received special treatment at a stage from Porsche. Their police car was the 356, and Porsche made ten more for their fleet after they had stopped production.
- The Porsche body as we know it was originally produced by a company that went on to be better known for manufacturing car seats. Recaro was previously known as Reutter Carrosserie Werke when Porsche bought their body-making component. They’re really good at making car seats.
- If Peugot hadn’t staked a claim to use “0” as a middle digit in all three digit car titles, the 911 would now be known as the 901. There are still a few, highly sought after, 901s around.
- Anyone know why the first 25 917s are called secretary cars? A looming deadline resulted in Porsche pulling all hands on deck to complete their production. Everyone near the floor, right up to the secretaries, was commissioned to help.
- Today’s 919 hybrid may often be thought of as Porsche’s track blazer, but the 1973 Can-Am series was dominated by the 5.3 litre, 12 cylinder equipped 917/30 which topped out at 240mph – 30mph faster.
- The old James Dean tale of how he died in his Porsche 550 Spyder usually makes the list, but did you know that the parts taken from his Porsche were placed in racing cars, one of which eventually ended up in an accident of its own. “The Little Bastard” lived up to its name.
- When Porsche adjusted the 993 during 1994 and 1997 to meet Environmental laws for a USA market, Sweden kept the original European model.
- The Stuttgard-Zuffenhausen Porsche factory makes roughly 240 cars a day.
- Only 15% of this factory’s workforce is female.
- It takes a whopping 4.5 hours to make each boxer engine.
- Porsche’s first factory in Gmund, Austria, was originally a sawmill.
- Two 918s made it out the factory with no paint jobs being applied whatsoever.
- Each sun visor has a bleeding 200 hand stitches, and takes 45 minutes to complete.