1909 September 19 Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche is born in Wiener Neustadt (50 km south of Vienna), Austria-Hungary, as the second child of Ferdinand and Aloisia Johanna Porsche (born Kaes). The day Ferry Porsche was born, his father was competing with his Austro-Daimler Maja race car at Semmering (40 km from home). He found out about his son"s birth by telegram. At that time Ferry"s father was employed as a Technical Manager at Austro-Daimler in Wiener Neustadt.
Ferdinand Anton Ernst got his name from his father Ferdinand, his grandfather Anton and his uncle Ernst.
1923 the family moved to Stuttgart, Germany.
1925/26 The authorities issued a special driving license for the 16 year old Ferry.
1928 Ferry completed a 1-year industrial placement at Bosch in Stuttgart.
1931 April 25, Ferry’s father set up his own independent design office. It was recorded in the Commercial Register as “Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH, Konstruktionen und Beratung für Motoren und Fahrzeuge”. Ferry was one of the first employees there.
1932 At his father’s design bureau Ferry was assigned test control, the coordination of design engineers and the maintenance of good client relationships (e.g. with Auto Union).
1934 When Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche GmbH was commissioned by the Imperial Federation of the Automobile Industry (Reichsverband der Automobilindustrie - RDA) to create the Volkswagen, Ferry Porsche was placed in charge of the test drives very soon afterwards.
1935 January 10 Ferry marries Dorothea Reitz. December 11, son Ferdinand Alexander Porsche is born.
1937 Ferry joins his father on his second US visit. They travel to USA on the SS "Bremen" (June 22-26). The first goal was a visit to the Vanderbilt Cup race at the Roosevelt Raceway on Long Island, New York on July 5. Bernd Rosemeyer and Ernst von Delius took part in this race in Auto Union 16-cyclinder “P” racing cars (Porsche Type 22). Bernd Rosemeyer finished in first place ahead of Dick Seaman in a Mercedes-Benz. Ernst von Delius was fourth. It was the first time since 1918 that German cars had raced in North America. Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche were also accompanied by Jakob Werlin of Daimler-Benz, Otto Dieckhoff, an expert in production techniques, Dr. Bodo Lafferentz of the German Workers Front and Ghislaine Kaes, Dr.Porsche’s private secretary. After the race, the group studied the modern production methods of major American motor manufacturers, in order to gain ideas for the proposed Volkswagen plant.
1938 As more and more of his father’s time was being taken up with concerns relating to the establishment of the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Ferry Porsche was appointed Deputy Manager of the entire business.
Son Gerhard Anton Porsche is born.
1940 October 29 son Hans-Peter Porsche is born.
1943 May 10 son Wolfgang Porsche is born. Ferry moves his family to Zell am See, Austria, to avoid bombing.
1944 Because of the increasing threat of air attacks on Stuttgart in autumn Ferry oversaw the relocation of essential divisions of the design engineering office to Gmünd in Carinthia, Austria. The headquarters and Ferry himself remained in Stuttgart.
1945 After the war the French government requested Porsche to build a French version of the compact Volkswagen, but some French nationalist sectors, led by Jean Pierre Peugeot, resisted this. Surprisingly, on December 15, during an official appointment at Wolfsburg, Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche as well as Anton Piëch, a Viennese attorney who was the husband of Ferry’s sister, were arrested together as criminals of war. Without any trial, a bail of 500,000 francs was officially asked for each of the Porsche’s.
1946 Ferry returned to Gmünd in July after several month’s imprisonment. Gmünd was the sole location of the company since the end of the war. Ferry took over the management of the business because his father was still in French captivity. Ferry was actually released from prison in order to collect ransom to buy out his father. Luckily Italian Piero Dusio of Cisitalia racing car company ordered a racing car from Ferry.
Ferry sees Cisitalia building small sports cars using Fiat engines and realizes he should do the same with Volkswagen parts. After all, Porsche had done it already before the war with the Porsche 64/VW 60K10 Berlin-Rome car.
1947 July, design work began on the Type 356 under the direction of Ferry Porsche and head of construction Karl Rabe. The car's shape was the work of car-body constructor Erwin Komenda, who had also created the shape of the Volkswagen (Porsche type 60).
In September, upon his return from prison, Ferry's father examined the design of the Cisitalia racing car, which was constructed under the management of Ferry. After close observation, he came to the conclusion: “I would have built it exactly the same, right down to the last screw”.
French court later found F.Porsche not quilty in war crimes but the money wasn't returned.
1948 The 356 design concepts became reality in the first half of the year. The chassis had completed its maiden drive in February and on June 8, first Porsche 356 prototype is road registered. It gained a "single approval" from the Kärnten regional government's construction control office in Klagenfurt. In July, this mid-engined tubular steel framework roadster with lightweight aerodynamic aluminium body scores its first class victory at the Innsbruck Stadtrennen.
On September 17, 1948 Ferry concluded a contract with the Volkswagenwerk on the supply of VW parts and the use of VW's distribution network for selling Porsche cars. This clearly shows that Ferry was not only an outstanding engineer, but also a great entrepreneur.
52 units of the aluminiumbodied Porsche 356 were manually built in Gmünd between 1948-1950.
1950 Ferry Porsche returned the company to Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. He had concluded a contract with Heinz Nordhoff, the General Manager of Volkswagen. The contract stipulated that the Volkswagen plant would supply the parts required for the sports car series. Furthermore, it set forth that the cars produced by the company would be sold via the sales network of VW and be serviced by its service organisation. The Porsche company undertook to advise the Volkswagen factory on activities relating to design engineering.
April 6, the first Porsche 356 is produced in Stuttgart in the rented rooms of the car body company Reutter. 369 cars are made in 1950.
1951 January 30, at the age of 75 Ferry's father Professor Dr. Ing. h.c. Ferdinand Porsche dies in Stuttgart. He is laid to rest in chapel in family estate "Schüttgut" in Zell am See, Austria.
1959 The decision is taken to develop a new sports car, a successor to the 356.
1963 September 12, IAA Frankfurt. The Porsche 901 was shown to the public for the first time. The production started a year later and in November 1964, the 901 was renamed to 911.
1965 Production of 356 ceased with about 78.000 units made. Never before in the history of motoring had a sports car achieved sales success of this kind.
Ferry received Honorary Doctorate title from the Technical University of Vienna.
1969 Type 914 is introduced, sold in Europe as VW-Porsche 914 and in USA as Porsche 914. 914/4 had 4-cylinder VW engine and the car was produced at Volkswagen plant in Osnabrück, 914/6 had a 911 6-cylinder engine and assembly was done in Stuttgart.
1972 Porsche KG (Kommanditgesellschaft = limited partnership) is transformed into AG (Aktiengesellschaft = public limited company). This was done probably because Ferry and his sister Louise Piëch felt their offsprings did not team up well. Ferry Porsches offsprings probably were sure the company leader must bear "Porsche's" name, despite Louise Piëch's son Ferdinand Karl Piëch being an extraordinary engineer and the best candidate for the steering wheel of Porsche car company. This led to the foundation of an Executive Board whose members came from outside the Porsche family, and a Supervisory Board consisting mostly of family members.
1975 Ferry was awarded with the Grand Gold Medal (Großen Goldenen Ehrenzeichen) for the services to the Republic of Austria.
1976 As Porsche was converted into a public company in 1972 and the family members stepped down from their positions, Ferry Porsche also retires from direct leadership and continues as the Head of Supervisory Board. From 6.11.1976 Porsche is directed by Professor Ernst Fuhrmann.
1979 Awarded with the highest possible decoration for the service - the Great Federal Cross of Merit with star (Großen Bundesverdienstkreuz mit Stern) of the Federal Republic of Germany. Also received the Wilhelm Exner Medal for excellence in research and science (his father was awarded with the same medal in 1936 and his nephew Ferdinand Piëch in 2002).
1981 January 1, Ferry names new CEO: Peter W. Schutz. The same year Ferry is awarded honorary citizenship of town Zell am See.
1984 The federal state of Baden-Württemberg bestowed on him the title of Honorary Professor.
On September 19, 1984, Ferry's 75th birthday present is a special modification of the Porsche 928 S (sometimes referred to as 928-4 or 942) with extended wheelbase, higher roofline and 4 fullsize seats. It might have been CEO Peter Schutz's idea to push Ferry in the direction of expanding the Porsche product portfolio with products meant for people not so enthusiastic about pure sports cars. Ferry didn't like the fullsize 4-seater idea as he thought Porsche must be sporty and must look beautiful.
1985 Ferry's wife Dorothea Porsche dies (born 1911).
1988 Ferry names new CEO: Heinz Branitzki
1989 “Citizen's Medal” of Stuttgart.
1990 Ferry resigned as Chairman of the Supervisory Board and was named Honorary Chairman. Arno Bohn takes CEO's position over from Heinz Branitzki.
In 1991 Ferry stopped the Porsche 4-door car project, known as the type 989.
1994 Ferry received honorary citizenship of his birthtown, Wiener Neustadt.
1998 March 27 Ferry Porsche died in Zell am See, Austria, and was buried beside his parents and his wife Dorothea in the “Schüttgut” chapel on the family estate. Porsche enthusiasts still have his words recurring in their heads: "The last car ever made will be a sports car". After the true sportscar enthusiast had passed away, CEO Wendelin Wiedeking halted the Le Mans racing programme (despite the new 5.5V10 engine already being designed) and started the 4-door 2.2-ton SUV programme.
Porsche engineer and race director Peter Falk has said: "Ferry Porsche was always passionate about motor racing and was at Le Mans numerous times himself. In 1982, for instance, he was there when we swept the podium with the new 956, and he always supported us, even when money was at stake. He said, Porsche needs motor racing, Porsche grew up with motor racing, so keep it up."