Grandfather of the Kombi Rediscovered

8 03 2014

Interesting story going through the media in Germany at the moment: The very first Porsche was rediscovered, after it was assumed lost for about a 110 years. And as Ferdinand Porsche was the father of the Volkswagen beetle, and the beetle is just a smaller and less practical version of the kombi, the resurfaced car is somehow also the godfather of the kombi.
The very first Porsche was built in 1898 by Porsche, working for the Vienna-based electro company “Béla Egger & Co.“ which got the contract to build the drive train for an electro car by coach maker Lohner Werke. So the car was called the Egger-Lohner electro-vehicle. But Ferdinand Porsche apparently had stamped every major part with a “P1” to mark it as his first car creation.
It still looks very much like a horse carriage. The story is that it was put aside and then forgotten in a carriage museum somewhere in Austria. It was rediscovered 110 years after its disappearance, bought back by Wolfgang Porsche, the grandson of Porsche senior, and given as a permanent loan to the Porsche museum in Stuttgart. Where it has now been put on display and will welcome future visitors in the entrance hall. Here is the link to a video on tagesschau.de, the internet portal of the German main evening news, from January 28.
True to the image of the Porsche company, this very first Porsche already won a race: The car magazine “Auto, Motor und Sport” reports that with Ferdinand Porsche himself in the driver’s seat it won the “Race for Electric Vehicles” on September 28, 1899, in Berlin, between the suburbs of Steglitz and Zehlendorf.
The latest turn in this story: Their now seem to be doubts as the “P1” stamps may have been not yet in place when the vehicle was evaluated by an expert in 2009 (see this paper in the German newspaper “Die Welt” from Feb 23). This car would then still be an Egger-Lohner, and one with the drive train develloped by Ferdinand Porsche, but not the very first copy of this model.

Screenshot from Tagesschau news feature from Jan 28, 2014.

Screenshot from Tagesschau news feature from Jan 28, 2014.


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