Today is 11th November 2011 – or 11/11/11. As a boy, I remember my grandmother recalling being at school on 11th November 1911 and her teacher telling the class that this would be the only time they’d experience such a date.
Now, 100 years on, I have a daughter who’s the same age as my gran was on the last 11/11/11.
The world has changed beyond recognition in the last 100 years – more so than at any other time in the history of humanity. There have been good time and bad times but, on the whole, I think we live in a better world.
But this blog is about Porsche and there was no car manufacturer of that name in 1911 – indeed, the car business was in its infancy and still finding its feet. Ferdinand Porsche was born in 1875 and, by the turn of the century was working for Jakob Lohner & Co in Vienna, a coach builder and fledging car maker. With Porsche’s input, the company created what has since been hailed as the first hybrid car. The System Lohner-Porsche began life as fully electric, with motors directly driving two (and later) four of the wheels. Later, Porsche added an internal combustion engine to generate power for the electric motors. It’s since been pointed out that this system of having a motor to drive each wheel was used in the ‘Lunar Buggy’ of the Apollo moon missions, although there’s no record that NASA was inspired by Porsche’s creation.
By 1911, Ferdinand Porsche was working for Austro-Daimler as chief designer, taking a particular interest in racing cars. By 1916 he was managing director.
The Porsche name would not be used on a car until the 356 of 1948 but two world wars happened before then and, today, that has become the real significance of 11th November.