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Ferdinand Porsche. Portrait of Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1952), Austrian engineer and designer of the Volkswagen car. In 1899 Porsche joined the Jacob Lohner coachbuilding firm and began designing cars. They successfully competed in races and by 1923 he was the technical director at Daimler Benz. His Auto-Union car designs broke the world speed record in 1934 & 1936. In 1934 he began work on the Volkswagen ('people's car') project initi- ated by Adolf Hitler. This simple design went into production in 1935 and over 20 million have been made. Porsche also invented the synchronising gear box and torsion bar suspension. Photographed with the Mercedes Kompressor car of 1923.
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