The man who designed the Porsche 911, Professor Ferdinand Alexander (F.A.) Porsche has died aged 76, Porsche AG have confirmed.
“We mourn the death of our partner, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche,” said Matthias MÃ¼ller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Porsche AG. “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. His philosophy of good design is a legacy to us that we will honour for all time.”
Born in 1935, F.A. Porsche was the grandson for Ferdinand Porsche Sr. who founded the car company that still bares the family name. Following his father Ferry Porsche and Ferdinand Sr. in the company in 1958, Ferdinand Alexander moved to lead the Porsche design studio in 1962.
A year later the first iteration of the Porsche 911 was produced, a car that through seven generations to the latest 911 have remained close to F.A.'s original design – sloping roof line, long bonnet and iconic headlights. The car continues to be at the fore of Porsche's road car catalogue and racing exploits, teams across America and Europe running the 911 in endurance races.
Though the 911 is his best known design F.A. Porsche also designed the Type 804 Grand Prix car and the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS racing car that notched up wins on both sides of the Atlantic during 1964.
Though he stepped back from the company's front line business in the early 70s he remained one of the guiding forces behind Porsche's design direction. From 1990 to 1993 he served as President of the Supervisory Board, taking on a role that helped turn around Porsche's fortunes after a difficult period.
Only in 2005 did he step down from his role on the Supervisory Board in favour of his son Oliver.