03/04/2016

The Porsche story 5

Every story is the sum of individual moments. Great stories are the sum of great moments. And the story of Porsche is no different. Key moment 5: 1963 – The middle zero moment.

1963: The middle zero moment

October 1963: A mood of optimism and excitement almost bordering on euphoria – a very special breeze wafts through Zuffenhausen. After 15 years of success, the follower to the 356 is poised in the starting blocks. It certainly makes a great impression and attracts admiring stares at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt. The sports car future has a name: the Porsche 901.

However, the euphoria is short-lived since the French manufacturer Peugeot raises an objection against the type name. The reason? The type name 901 violates French copyright and trademark protection laws. Nonetheless, the Porsche development department had rigorously researched the name in advance and a car model with the name 901 had not been found anywhere. But then Peugeot claims the principle of the middle zero: a three-digit number with a zero in the middle. In France they own the legal rights to all similar number sequences.

For Porsche this news comes at the worst possible moment. The design of the "901" logo has long been completed, the first posters and pamphlets have already been printed and the first metal letters for the badge on the vehicle rear has already been punched. Then chief designer Ferdinand Alexander Porsche makes virtue out of necessity and the moment of shock turns into triumph. He simply doubles the "1" in the name. What a symbolic gesture. The zero becomes a one. The 901 becomes the 911. And the 911 becomes a legend.

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