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Porsche: The Road from Zuffenhausen (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 17. März 2017

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Gebundene Ausgabe, 17. März 2017
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Dennis Adler is the editor in chief of Car Collector magazine and the author of more than twenty books on automotive history and vintage firearms. He has written award-winning books on Packard, Chrysler, and Mercedes-Benz. In addition to being the author of works on automobiles, Adler is one of America’s most published historians on Western guns and collectible firearms. Author and photographer for more than three dozen books and thousands of magazine articles, Dennis has published work in such publications as American Rifleman, Guns of the Old West, and the Robb Report. He lives in western Pennsylvania.

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche III was the son of Ferry Porsche and grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, who founded the Porsche car company. “Butzi,” as he was known, designed the first Porsche 911 and founded the Porsche Design Group. He died in Austria in 2012.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Chapter 1

The Father

Professor Ferdinand Porsche

Ferdinand Porsche was born on September 3, 1875, just in time not only to witness the evolution of the automobile but also to participate in its development. When he was eleven years old, Ferdinand became fascinated with a new invention patented in 1886 by German machinist Karl Benz. In his Mannheim workshop Benz had created what historians regard as the first motorcar, but more important, he had inspired others to follow in his path, among them young Porsche.

Fourteen years later, as an engineer in the employ of the Lohner motorworks in Vienna, Ferdinand Porsche designed his first motorcar, the Lohner-Wagen, a small, four-person carriage powered by two electric motors, each developing 0.98 horsepower and turning the front wheels. While this would appear to make Porsche one of the earliest pioneers of front-wheel drive technology, his design was not influenced by any contemporary ideology promoting the advantages of front-driven wheels. In point of fact one could say that Porsche’s design was conceived by using “horse sense.” The motors replaced the horse, the horse pulled the carriage, and thus the electric motors were placed in the front. Interestingly, this was not the common practice at the turn of the century. Most early horseless carriages had their engines mounted in the rear, under the seat, with chain-driven rear wheels. In 1901, Wilhelm Maybach and Paul Daimler partly changed that tradition by positioning the engine under the front bonnet of the revolutionary new Mercedes, what was to be the first modern automobile. The drive, however, still went to the rear wheels via chains.

Despite the Mercedes’ success, electric motorcars were more popular for a brief period in the 1900s than either steam-powered cars or those equipped with noisy, obstreperous internal combustion engines. In September 1900, intent on building even better electric motor wagons, Porsche had designed the Lohner-Porsche racing car, which was delivered to British sportsman E. W. Hart. This example used not two but four motors, one at each wheel. Almost ninety years later, Porsche’s son Ferry would write of this design in his autobiography, Cars Are My Life: “[This] racing car designed by my father used the same mode of propulsion as was applied to the American ‘moon car’ driven on the moon by astronauts David R. Scott and James B. Irwin in July 1971.”

That simple anecdote underscored Ferdinand Porsche’s entire career. From the very beginning he looked beyond contemporary practice and searched for ways to improve what appeared to be in no need of improvement. This ideology was to serve him well in his first managerial position as technical director of Austro-Daimler.

The firm was established in Vienna in 1899 as the Austrian branch of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, which had become one of Germany’s most successful manufacturers of motor carriages and internal combustion engines. By the 1890s, D-M-G founder Gottlieb Daimler and his associate, Wilhelm Maybach, had developed a four-wheel motor carriage and the first motor-driven fire engines and general-purpose trucks (lorries), and had successfully completed experiments with dirigibles. This latter event was to play a significant role in Maybach’s future.

The first designer at Daimler’s Austrian branch, located in Wiener Neustadt, was Gottlieb’s son Paul. Riding on the success of the 1901 Mercedes, Paul assumed his new position in 1902.

He was instrumental in Austro-Daimler’s early achievements, but by 1906 there was growing disharmony between Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and its Austrian subsidiary. Paul had been called back to Germany in 1905, and the following year Austro-Daimler divorced itself from D-M-G and became an independent company.

In Germany the acrimony that had been growing between Paul Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach since his return to D-M-G finally became too much for the sixty-year old engineer to endure. Maybach’s closest friend and associate, Gottlieb Daimler, had died of heart failure in 1900, leaving him in control of the company’s engineering department, the first product of which had been the 1901 Mercedes designed by Maybach and Paul Daimler. With his return to D-M-G, the friction between Paul and his late father’s associate began to escalate, and following a lengthy disagreement over the design of a 1906 race car, Maybach decided to retire. In April 1907 he left the company he had helped bring into being with Gottlieb Daimler in 1890, and Paul assumed his position as chief engineer.

As for Wilhelm Maybach, afternoon tea and retirement were not what he had in mind when he departed from D-M-G. Having pioneered the development of the first motor-powered lighter-than-air craft in 1888, Maybach joined forces with Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin in the development of a new aero engine for Zeppelin’s giant airships. Maybach was given responsibility for overseeing the construction of all-new engines, and his son Karl (a gifted engineer in his own right) was appointed technical director. A separate company, Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH (changed in 1912 to Maybach Motorenbau Gesellschaft), was established to produce the Zeppelin engines, and it would be from the M.M.G. factory in Friedrichshafen, Germany, that the first Maybach automobiles would emerge following World War I, to be marketed in direct competition—in revenge, one might say—with Mercedes.

These seemingly unrelated events all favored Ferdinand Porsche, who became chief engineer at Austro-Daimler following Paul Daimler’s departure. Porsche would remain with the Austrian firm for seventeen years, during which time he created many of the company’s most successful race cars. He also struck up a lasting friendship with a young race driver named Alfred Neubauer, who was himself destined to become one of the pivotal figures in German automotive history.

It was during his tenure in Austria that Porsche gained prominence as both an engineer and a designer. In 1909 he entered a trio of Austro-Daimler 28/36PS sports touring cars in the Prince Henry Time Trials, a successor to the Herkomer Trials and an important race for production automobiles of the time. One of the specially prepared Austro-Daimlers finished first in one stage of the event, and, thus encouraged, Ferdinand Porsche returned with a team of eight cars the following year, sweeping the first three places overall, with Porsche himself driving the winning car.

By 1916 he had risen to the position of managing director of Austro-Daimler. The Viennese Technical University presented him with an honorary doctorate for his advances in aircraft and automotive technology, after which he referred to himself as Professor Porsche, or Herr Doktor. In 1940, Porsche was also awarded an honorary professorship by the German Ministry for Science and Education, which gave him a great deal of pleasure.

Wars were to play a pivotal role in Porsche’s life and career. The assassination in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, ignited World War I. When the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, Germany sided with the Austro-Hungarian empire, and declarations of war began flying in every direction. Soon all of Europe was engulfed in a conflict that would last until November 11, 1918. Throughout the war Porsche concentrated his efforts on the design of aircraft engines, developing an in-line six-cylinder aero engine; an air-cooled opposed four (the fundamentals of which would reappear in Porsche’s design for the Volkswagen), a rotary engine,... -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Der amerikanische Automobil-Historiker Dennis Adler gibt in diesem Buch in 14 Kapiteln eine ziemlich vollständige Darstellung der Geschichte der Sportwagenmarke Porsche und ihrer Produkte. Von der Lebensgeschichte Ferdinand Porsches über die ersten Entwicklungen des Konstruktionsbüros Porsche, die Modellreihen 356 und 911 sowie die Frontmotorfahrzeuge 924, 928, 944 und 968 bis zu den modernen Baureihen Boxster, Cayman, Cayenne und 911 (Typ 997) findet man alles Wissenswerte über den Zuffenhausener Automobilhersteller. Auch die motorsportlichen Aktivitäten Porsches bleiben nicht unerwähnt. Ein interessanter Abschnitt befasst sich mit den von Sammlern sehr begehrten Porsche-Prospekten und -Postern. Dieses hervorragend verarbeitete Buch im Querformat besticht vor allem durch seine brillanten Fotos, die alle Aspekte der reichen Thematik eindrucksvoll abdecken. Insbesondere die zeitgenössischen Bilder aus der frühen Markengeschichte erscheinen bemerkenswert. Die großformatigen Farbfotos der verschiedenen Porsche-Modelle wissen ebenfalls zu gefallen, und es stört dabei nicht, dass eine Vielzahl der abgebildeten Fahrzeuge vom amerikanischen Markt mit seinen besonderen, auch äußerlich erkennbaren Spezifikationen stammt. Der Text ist fachlich in Ordnung, allerdings spürt man an einigen Stellen schon, dass es sich um eine Übersetzung des amerikanischen Originalwerks aus dem Englischen handelt. Das tut aber dem positiven Gesamteindruck dieses prachtvoll illustrierten Buchs keinen Abbruch.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.9 von 5 Sternen 18 Rezensionen
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Magnificent but imperfect 20. November 2009
Von Jon Warshawsky - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Porsche: The Road from Zuffenhausen is pretty enough to sit on a coffee table, but substantial enough to do justice to the history of Porsche. Far and away the most impressive sections are those describing the origins of the company, Ferdinand Porsche's early experience in the fledgling German car industry, and the evolution of the 356. The emergence of Porsche after World War II is inspiring, and you cannot read those chapters without feeling closer to the marque. Likewise, the birth of the 911 gets extensive coverage here, as it should.

As Dennis Adler is a photographer, the quality of the photos throughout (whether taken by him, or selected by him from the archives) is top notch. The 550, in particular, is nicely portrayed, and the contemporary photos from races and factory marketing materials throughout the book are enough to fill an afternoon.

While the author is an impressive historian, his knowledge of the specific models -- or maybe just editorial inaccuracies -- make for some rare disappointments. For example, the Roadster model of 1960-1962 is described as the Convertible D in a photo spread. While the differences are trivial to the casual reader, Porschephiles make a huge distinction between the 356A and 356B series cars.

The other weakness comes with the descriptive material for the more modern models -- the 996 and 986. Whether Adler works for Porsche I don't know, but his text here becomes almost worshipful, when in fact these models are now widely regarded with disfavor both on aesthetic and build quality criteria. And they have held value poorly as a result. As a self-described journalist, Adler owed us a bit more here than warmed over advertising hype over what was in the showroom as his book went to press.

With regard to WWII, while it is fair to give Ferdinand Porsche the benefit of the doubt with regard to his Nazi associations, Adler is perhaps a bit too sympathetic. It would be beyond the scope of the book to get into the moral aspects of collaboration. But we have a pretty good idea as to where the labor came from to construct factories under Hitler's government -- factories that earned Porsche his keep during the war years.

Overall, though, a fascinating and well-researched book. It is an accessible history of one of the world's legendary sports car marques, without the tedium of listing bolt sizes and wheel offsets. As a special treat, the last chapter features Porsche advertising posters and brochures, a rich hobby on their own. Its inclusion elevates the book and adds to the readers' appreciation of the Porsche story. The layout is also beautifully done, with page footers cribbing from the famous Porsche 'flash' script on the dash of the classic Speedster-Convertible D-Roadster series of 1954-1962. It's a pleasureable book to hold and leaf through, which counts for something in the age of the Internet.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Probably one of the best books written for both the avid porsche esthusiast as ... 10. September 2014
Von Bob gieser - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Probably one of the best books written for both the avid porsche esthusiast as well as the history buff. Dennis Adler did a wonderful job of portraying the history of the 356 speedster up to modern day models but the family business and the World War II history all wrapped up into one wonderful proud to own book. Thanks
5.0 von 5 Sternen PORSCHE; ES GIBT KEIN ERSATZ! 27. November 2010
Von David A. Novaez - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is a wonderful coffee table book. Its heavy weight glossy pages coupled with brilliant photography truly capture the eye. Most pictures are in full color but even those in black and white are compelling. While there is a considerable amount of Porsche history included in this book, it does not dive too deeply into minutia. In other words, the information provided is quite easy to read and digest. The bottom line; any Porsche enthusiast would appreciate this book.
5.0 von 5 Sternen He said it's the best! 21. Januar 2015
Von Dana B. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I gave this book to a Porsche fanatic for Xmas. He said it's the best!
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful book - but no info on "newer" models 28. November 2010
Von Annie Feng - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Beautiful pages - high quality
Descriptive Information
Big book
Great book material
Great history of founders, first models

No info on "present day" Porches - just a few pictures of the latest 911 Turbos

I got this for my boyfriend and I think he would be more interested in the newer models like the 911 Turbo then the first few models of Porsche. I expected the book to talk about everything! This book focuses on the founders, first model, how it was created and such. Not on the recent models.

Still a great book. Just wish it had more.
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