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IOL mot pic apr10 FA Porsche 911

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FA Porsche with the classic 911 in 1963. He was only 28 at the time.

Staff Porsche in Stuttgart are mourning professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the honorary president of the supervisory board, who passed away on 5 April in Salzburg, aged 76.

Porsche CEO Matthias Müller said: "As the creator of the Porsche 911, he established a design culture in our company that has shaped our sports cars to this very day."

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, eldest son of Ferry and Dorothea Porsche, was born on 11 December 1935 in Stuttgart, into a family dominated by cars - even as a little boy he spent a lot of time in the workshop of his grandfather, Ferdinand Porsche.

He graduated from the prestigious College of Design in Ulm in 1958 and started work in the Porsche design office, where one of his first projects was a plasticine model of a proposed successor to the 356 series.

A TIMELESS CLASSIC

In 1962 he became head of the Porsche design studio and a year later created a sports-car icon in the 911, a timeless classic that lives on in the seventh-generation 911, almost half a century later. He was also responsible for, among others, the Type 804 Formula 1 racer and the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, considered one of the most beautiful racing cars ever.

When Porsche became a limited company in 1972 all the family members retired. FA Porsche founded the Porsche Design Studio, and in 1974 moved it to Zell am See in Austria, where he designed classic men's accessories such as watches, eyewear and writing instruments under the brand name "Porsche Design". He also designed industrial products, household appliances and consumer goods for internationally known clients.

Always a functionalist, he said: "Design must be functional, and functionality must be translated into form, without gimmicks that have to be explained. A coherent product needs no embellishment.

"Good design should be honest."

Let that be his epitaph, and a golden rule for those who shape the objects we use every day - especially cars.


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