Ferdinand Porsche

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Ferdinand Porsche[2] (3 September 1875 – 30 January 1951) was an Austrian automotive engineer and honorary Doctor of Engineering. He is best known for creating the first hybrid vehicle (gasoline-electric), the Volkswagen Beetle, the Mercedes-Benz SS/SSK, as well as the first of many Porsche automobiles. Porsche designed the 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen, which was the first race car with mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout.

He made a number of contributions to advanced German tank designs: Tiger I, Tiger II, and the Elefant. In 1937, Porsche was awarded the German National Prize for Art and Science, one of the rarest decorations in Nazi Germany.

In 1996, Porsche was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and in 1999 posthumously won the award of Car Engineer of the Century.


Early life

Ferdinand Porsche was born to German-speaking parents in Maffersdorf (Czech: Vratislavice nad Nisou), northern Bohemia, during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today in the Czech Republic.

He showed high aptitude for mechanical work at a very young age. He managed to attend classes at the Imperial Technical School in Reichenberg at night while helping his father in his mechanical shop by day. Thanks to a referral, Porsche landed a job with the Béla Egger Electrical company in Vienna when he turned 18.[3] In Vienna he would sneak into the local university whenever he could after work. Beyond auditing classes there, Porsche had never received any higher engineering education. During his five years with Béla Egger, Porsche first developed the electric hub motor.

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