Published on June 1st, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Porsche 924 Is 40 Years Old
Who hasn’t heard of Porsche? In 2006 it won the most prestigious automobile brand for over 70 years of excellence. Established at first as a consulting and development company by Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Porsche in 1931, Porsche SE has since become synonymous with luxurious sports cars as well as cutting edge technology.
Situated in Stuttgart, Porsche’s first contract of developing a people’s car, a Volkswagen, appointed by the German government. The result was one of the most famous cars in history, one of the best sold and one of the most easily recognizable out there, the Beetle. Many features of the Beetle would find their place on the first ever Porsche, the 64, developed in 1939.
During WWII the Porsche factory turned to making vehicles for the German Army, such as the Kubelwagen and the Schwimmwagen as well as contributing to the production of Tiger and Elefant tanks. After the war Ferdinand was imprisoned for war crimes for 20 months and was during that time that his son, Ferry Porsche, decided to build a new car to suit his needs, the 356.
The success of the 356 and the death of Ferdinand Porsche in 1951 gave Ferry the confidence to follow in his father’s footsteps and continue designing cars. One of his most famous designs was the Spyder 550, a car that would prove very successful in races.
By now, the general line of the company seemed evident, as in 1964 another sporty model, the 911, another car with an air-cooled, boxer, rear-mounted engine. The design team for this car was led by Ferry’s oldest son, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. This car would take the legacy of the 550 Spyder even further, winning races and rallies. Testimony to the success of the 911 is the fact that it’s still in production today, despite being heavily modified.
Porsche was going to change its status in 1972 from a limited partnership to a public limited company, which meant that now Porsche would be run by a board of directors supervised by family members. In 1974, at the Paris Auto Show, Porsche unveils the new 911 Turbo, with exhaust turbocharger and pressure regulator.
When the 924 was entered in production in 1975, Porsche took a leap of faith because it had not experienced with front-mounted engines for a long time.
The 924 was a sports car without precedent. Engine in the front, transmission at the rear, and all manner of space in between. Forty years ago, Porsche astonished the public by presenting a modern four-cylinder sports car with a transaxle design. An advertising slogan lauding the “family sports station wagon” captured the vision behind it. And the car broke new ground. Just one year later, Porsche enriched the Gran Turismo world with the impressive 928. Again, the concept called for the engine in front and the transmission in back. But this vehicle was a futuristic sports car with an eight-cylinder engine. According to a brochure from 1977, the design of the 928 shook up automotive hierarchies by combining three cars into one: a thoroughbred high-performance sports car, a comfort-oriented luxury sedan, and a versatile utility vehicle.