Just like Ford and Chevrolet are named after their founders, Porsche was the brainchild of Ferdinand Porsche and his similarly named son. Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG was founded in 1931 and had its headquarters in Stuttgart where its premises sit up to date. Initially, the company did not manufacture cars of its own but rather offered motor vehicle development and consulting services. It was not until the German Government offered Porsche an assignment to design and manufacture a car for the people that it started independent operations; the Volkswagen beetle is still considered one of the most successful cars of its time. Shortly afterwards, the company designed and built the Porsche 64 which came to be in 1939.
During World War II, Porsche developed and produced war versions of the Volkswagen with the most successful being the Kübelwagen whose production went up to 52,000 units and the Schwimmwagen which saw 15,584 tanks produced. However, the attempt by Porsche to design and develop heavy war tanks did not succeed fully as it lost to Henschel and son in contracts to develop Tiger I and Tiger II. Although he lost the contracts, the chassis Porsche designed for Tiger I was later used as a base for the development of Elefant Tank Destroyer.
Shortly after World War II came to an end in 1945, Ferdinand was arrested for war crimes on the 15th of December in the same year but was not tried. It was his son Ferry Porsche who struggled to keep the company up on its feet for the 20 months Ferdinand served in Jail. During this time, Ferry embarked on a project to build his own car; it is said that he sought to design and build the Porsche 356 since he could not find an impressive car to purchase at the time.
The 356 became very popular and is until date known as the first Porsche since it was the first model ever sold by the then young company. Since then Porsche has been very successful in design and manufacturing of race cars, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) and sedans.
Porsche 356 gained widespread popularity and production reached 10000 in 1958. This was the same year when Porsche started outsourcing body production as an effort to meet a rapidly growing demand for the model. However, 5 years later when 356’s successor 911 came to be, Porsche acquired the outsourcing company Reuter and started an independent distribution network in the United States.
Like Einstein is synonymous with genius, so is Porsche with racing. From statistics, Porsche cars have won over 24,000 races all over the world which are inclusive of 50 class victories at Le Mans. Today, popular consumer models of the Porsche are the Boxster 2 seat roadster, the Cayman 2 seat coupe, Cayenne SUV, the Macan SUV crossover and Panarema 4-seat sports sedan. Since the times of Ferry Porsche, the company has remained stable and is still credited for operating independently while most of its competitors have been absorbed into larger auto manufacturers. Note that Porsche cars are also symbolic of high profile individuals; due to their quality, exquisite design and capabilities they are highly priced for their worth.
Photo taken from netcarzone.com, a site with bunch of news and stories about Porche and other muscle cars.