Filed under: Luxury Cars & Autos
It's hard to believe that 2010 marks Porsche's 60th anniversary of doing good business here in the United States. Though, you might also say that very few automakers have done as much as Porsche in as short an amount of time, which we'd say certainly speaks to the ongoing quality of the German automaker's wares.
Way back in 1950, Ferry Porsche and two Austrians by the names of Max Hoffman and Johnny von Neumann got together to bring the very first Porsche 356 to New York. Ferry Porsche reportedly said he'd be happy to have just five buyers per year... to which Hoffman retorted, "If I can't sell five a week, I'm not interested."
Thankfully, there were somewhat more than five interested parties in those first few years (32 cars imported by 1951, to be exact), despite the fact that the little sportscar had but 44 horsepower from its diminutive air-cooled 1.1-liter powerplant and a sticker price that matched the standard-of-the-world Cadillac convertible of the same era. By 1954, 30-percent of all Porsche production went to Hoffman.
That took care of the eastern half of the United States, leaving the lucrative California market to be ably handled by von Neumann, who bought one of Hoffman's Porsches in New York in 1951 and drove it back to California. The rest, as they say, is history – the Far Left State would go on to become Porsche's largest single market and those early pioneers would prove to be a stepping stone to much greater things with a sportscar heritage that continues down to this day.
Read more about the 60-year history of Porsche cars in North America in the press release after the break, and don't miss the accompanying historic photos from Porsche – plus one not-so-historic shot that replicates one of the earliest photographs of a Porsche 550 Spyder in New York City. The more things change, the more they stay the same... true both of New York's skyline and Porsche's timeless roadsters. See below.