The Classicist: Celebrating Porsche's 60th Anniversary
In the past six decades, Porsche, which celebrated its 60th anniversary this year, has become the quintessential sports car, with unique and striking looks matched by superb engineering and performance. Porsche is both the smallest independent German automaker and the world's most profitable automaker. The first Porsche sports car was the legendary Type 356 "No. 1", which debuted in 1948, but the conceptual basis of the brand is the result of the lifelong work of Professor Ferdinand Porsche (1875–1951), which was continued by his son Ferry (1909–1998).
Professor Porsche established an independent engineering office in Stuttgart in 1931 and went on to make automotive history with pioneering developments in motorsports. Over the next 60 years Porsche introduced innovative production models such as the 356, 911, 914, 924, 944, 928, the Boxster, the Cayenne, and, most recently, the four-door Panamera, while continuing its strong showing in the world's most important auto races.
In celebration of the 60 year milestone, Universe has published an impressive tribute titled Porsche: The Fine Art of the Sports Car. In merging the highest standards of design with advanced technology, the Porsche has become "a four-wheeled work of art," they note. The book plots a stunningly-photographed course through 48 Porsche models through the most recent innovations. Interwoven with the history of the Porsche's development are factors and events that influenced the evolution of the company.
Gallery: 60 Years of Porsche
These events were not always beneficial, but they all had a profound effect. Taken into account are the imprisonment of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche by the French during World War II, the development of the Volkswagen, the ever-changing rules of national and international racing associations, and "the marketing genius of people as far away from Stuttgart as Chicago." Porsche: The Fine Art of the Sports Car features over 380 pages of text and more than 250 incredible color and 120 historical black-and-white photographs, many drawn from the Porsche archives.
Meanwhile, Porsche's amazing new museum at Zuffenhausen's Porscheplatz in Stuttgart will open on January 31st. Construction began on the high-tech building in October 2005. The museum is designed to be "an architectural emblem of the Porsche brand" and to "make history as the most spectacular building project ever undertaken by the company." In addition to 80 ever-changing exhibits, the museum will also feature workshops, a Porsche boutique, the Porsche archive, a restaurant, a café and an event space.