Remembering Ferdinand Alexander (Butzi) Porsche…

It was with great sadness that I read the news today announcing the passing of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. His passing is not only a terrible loss for the Porsche family, but a sad day for the global Automotive and Design community.

His automotive design and styling influences will be forever linked to the company  founded by his grandfather and father, and by two of his penned automotive masterpieces; the iconic Porsche 911, and shortly after, the fiberglass bodied 904 Carrera GTS as seen below.

Red 1966 Porsche 911_front view_Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV_ October 2011

A beautifully restored example of a 1966 Porsche 911…

Red 1966 Porsche 911_side view_Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV_ October 2011

Red 1966 Porsche 911_3/4 rear view_Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV_ October 2011

…And the historically significant 1964 Porsche 904 GTS (shown below), ironically with special ties to F.A. Porsche. This particular car is serial number 904-002, a pre production model possessing many one-off, custom features, and a car actually owned by its designer, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. Thus the “Butzi S” reference on its license plate…

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_Feb. 2012

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_Feb. 2012

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_Feb. 2012

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_headlight & fender detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_Feb. 2012

Then in 1972, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche shifted his design focus, and created the product design firm that came to be known as Porsche Design.  His innovative designs for the satin black, chronograph watch with a face inspired by the gauges found within the 911, and the satin black framed, aviator style sunglasses with interchangeable lenses, both went on to become instant classics, and established Porsche Design as a force to be reckoned with. As a testament to his sense of design and creative vision, the original Porsche Design chronograph has become a highly sought after collectible watch, and their aviator styled sunglasses are still being produced to this day.

So thank you Professor Porsche, for elevating the art of Automotive and Product Design, and for giving life to the Porsche 911 and 904.  Godspeed…

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