Today it was announced that Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche has passed away at age 76. For those who know little to nothing about cars for the last 50 years, Butzi Porsche was the man who gave the world the Porsche 911.
Helen of Troy may have launched 1,000 ships but Butzi Porsche launched 100,000 sports cars with his update of the original rear-engined Porsche – the 356. The first 911 was unveiled at the 1963 Frankfurt auto show – defying physics by hanging the engine out over the rear axle. What seemed like a quick lesson in vehicle dynamics would ultimately go on to be a permanent fixture both in Porsche’s model line-up as well as innumerable racing series’ worldwide for the next 49 years. Yes, the setup of the chassis and weight distribution didn’t make much sense but the results speak for themselves from the 7 generations of 911′s produced, countless races wons and fight-to-the-bitter-end diehard following of 911 fanatics.