I love cars.

While I am not a gear head, I can look at the insides of a car with basic understanding. Spending a day under the hood is simply not my idea of fun.

However, I do like a great car.

Ferdinand A. Porsche was a man after my own heart. He designed great cars starting at the tender of age of 23. During the mid-1950s, his father – Ferry Porsche – decided he wanted a new style of the classic company car. F.A. Porsche began working in the technical design department as an apprentice after studying at Ulm School of Design during this time.

Image of F.A. Porsche from Global Motors.net.

While many styles had been rejected, in late 1959 F.A. presented his design and it was accepted. He changed the 356 while keeping the sloping lines in back. The headlights retained that ‘face’ look.

The world responded by falling in love.

Some models were meant for us regular folk, others for the rich and then there are the race cars. Hearing the name Porsche still incites a thrill because this company exudes style and class, something it has done once WWII was over and it could build cars again.

F.A. once stated “Design must be functional and functionality must be translated into visual aesthetics , without any reliance gimmicks that have to be explained.”

Image by Alvimann

For those of us who know nothing of design, that means that back slope of the car allows the wind the pass over it quickly – and therefore move faster.  We can see that it will happen without someone telling us.

According to a poster on Treehugger.com, F.A. Porsche worked to make models for the regular guy that worked well. He helped to create the “20 year” model with the idea that a car could last for 20 years. Treehugger.com also had a picture of a current Porsche model that is electric. Global Motors.net credits F.A. with designing the type 803 racing car and the Porsche 904.

F.A. stayed with the company until 1972 when he created Porsche Design which created luggage, sunglasses, pens and all sorts of products related to Porsche.  He later came back as chairman of the board in the 1990s.

The car that he designed has been modernized over the years but it has never left behind the essential style of the original. And when you see one of the street, there is always a bit of a gasp of astonishment in the beautiful vision before you.

Today, the New York Times reported the death of F.A. Porsche at the age of 76 although a cause was not listed. With it goes another designer who wanted to make the world a more beautifully functioning place.

Image by Clarita