Against a magnificent Alpine panorama on the Klausen Pass in Switzerland, a silver-coloured Porsche 356 with red leather seats gleams in the spring sunshine; a young driver laces up her boots for a final ski tour in the late-season snow, her sticks leaning in expectation against a gnarled tree. The cover picture of the first Christophorus dating from 1952, captured by the Munich-based photographer Heinz Hering tells a story – of freedom, levity and joie de vivre. And of a very special aesthetic: the aesthetic of Porsche.

It is not only every model and every vehicle detail of the sports car maker from Zuffenhausen that is testimony to the expertise of some of the world’s best designers. The customer magazine Christophorus also conveys this special aesthetic to which the Porsche company has devoted itself since the outset: elegance and dynamics, character and sportiness emerge from the high-gloss pages of the volume. It is now 63 years since the first issue of the “magazine for the friends of the house of Porsche” appeared and thus founded one of the world’s very first high-quality customer magazines. The spirited elegance of the title lettering of that time distinctly underlined the pioneering role that Porsche had assumed; the imagery, the choice of topics and the style were soon to inspire a large readership. The beginnings of Christophorus can be traced back two years earlier to a shared vision. And to a good portion of chance.

Driving pleasure in magazine format – from vision to publication

In 1950, during a visit to the cinema in Stuttgart, the journalist and Porsche factory racing driver Richard von Frankenberg met the graphic designer Erich Strenger. While talking about Porsche, the two of them came up with a completely new idea: a magazine for Porsche drivers that should aim to be more than just advertising. A magazine to communicate the joy of driving in a vivid manner enabling the Porsche aesthetic to be experienced and delivering genuine value added through its content. The two creative minds were in agreement that every Porsche tells its very own story. Passing on these stories was soon to become their aim.

They swiftly devised a concept yet were missing a fitting title. After days of searching for names, von Frankenberg came up with the patron saint of car drivers – and Christophorus was born. At a price of one mark and fifty pfennigs, and with a print run of 4,500 copies, from now on Porsche fans were able to enjoy hot-off-the-press articles on the latest vehicle technology, high-speed motorsports, the most beautiful routes and an elegant way of life. Exclusive glimpses behind the scenes, such as at Porsche Development or the motorsports department, have also been on the agenda at Christophorus since the beginnings; loyal readers will no doubt remember the exclusive interview with Rolf Wütherich from 1960 as well: in issue 43 of Christophorus, the motorsports mechanic and co-driver in the silver 550 Spyder revealed for the first time the truth behind the tragic accident in which actor James Dean was involved.

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