The second generation: Putting their shoulders to the wheel

While the Second World War was still raging, the Porsche design company moved to Gmünd in Carinthia. The war being over, Ferry Porsche and his team worked on winches and tractors and repaired former military vehicles, also in their workshop in Zell am See.

Since there was a risk that the occupation forces might seize their father’s lifework, Ferry Porsche and his sister Louise (married to the lawyer Dr. Anton Piëch since 1928) decided to establish the Austrian Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH in Gmünd, Carinthia, on April 1, 1947 and led the company as general managers. At that time the company was commissioned by the Italian tycoon Dusio to design an all-wheel drive, formula 1 racing car. However, the "Cisitalia" never took part in a race because of financial problems. Brother and sister used the proceeds made with the Cisitalia as bail so that their father could return home from internment in France.

A brand emerges

In the meantime, Ferry Porsche was able to fulfil his dream. Based on the VW Beetle, the first sports car bearing the name Porsche was manufactured in the Malta Valley, in Carinthia. In 1948, Ferry presented under the design number 356 an automobile that was to establish the legendary reputation of the Porsche brand. The first model was still a mid-engined sports car, but the hand-
made coupés succeeding it were equipped with a rear engine. Well over a dozen of these sports cars were still manufactured in the Porsche workshop at Alpenstrasse, Salzburg.

The most important decision, however, was taken
1,000 km further north, when the allied forces agreed
to have the Volkswagen manufactured in the rebuilt VW plant. The Porsche technicians were needed to support the start-up. At the same time, Ferry Porsche started to negotiate the contracts with the newly appointed CEO of VW, Mr. Nordhoff. The core conditions of the contract were a licence fee to be paid for every Beetle, the approval to build a sports car (the Porsche 356) based on the Beetle and the rights to distribute it via the worldwide distribution network. Other key elements were agree-
ments concerning the technical work of the Porsche design office and, last but not least, the VW general importer’s licence for Austria. This comprehensive agreement was signed in Bad Reichenhall by Ferdinand Porsche, Ferry Porsche, Louise Piëch, and Anton Piëch and by the CEO of VW, Mr. Nordhoff. Thus the father’s design, the Beetle, laid the foundation for the future success of the Porsche enterprises in Salzburg and in Stuttgart.

On September 7, 1948, the district administration of Spittal an der Drau, Carinthia, issued a trade license to "deal in motor vehicles and their spare parts, limited to products of the Wolfsburger Motorenwerke", (later known as Volkswagenwerk), to the name of Ferdinand Porsche.

Camouflaged in a saw mill in the Carinthian Malta Valley: the Porsche design office in 1944/45.

April 1, 1947: the „Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH“ was founded.

The „Cisitalia“, a flat, 12-cylinder mid-engine, four-wheel drive racing car, was one of the first orders.

Ferry Porsche’s dream of his own sports car came true in 1948 when the Porsche 356 was built.