|100 Years of Ferry Porsche|
Working closely with Porsche’s top-notch engineers, Ferry Porsche had learned a lot, developing from a simple intern into the Junior Manager broadly acknowledged for his skills. Ferdinand Porsche consistently pushed and promoted his son, constantly raising him to a higher standard, until in 1935 Ferry was made responsible for the driving tests of the new Volkswagen.
The first prototypes of the V3 test model were built by autumn 1936 and then used for systematic driving tests. Acting as the Test Manager, Ferry Porsche took on the task to cover 50,000 test kilometres or over 30,000 miles by the end of the year – and driving all-out also on Sundays, the team succeeded in covering the distance required in all three cars by 22 December 1936.
This first test was not only a technical, but also a political challenge for Ferry Porsche, since, while he was Porsche’s Test Manager, the Association of the Automotive Industry of the German Reich had delegated their own staff members to keep a “critical eye” on the tests being conducted. And while different opinions on the test results soon arose, the 100-page report ultimately sent to the RDA arrived at a positive conclusion: “The car shows qualities that justify its ongoing development.”
Contrary to the first plan to have the Volkswagen built jointly by German car makers at their existing plants, the decision was taken on 4 July 1936 to build the new Volkswagenwerk, a special plant specifically for the new model. This led to the establishment on 28 May 1937 of the “Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH” or “Gezuvor” (Company for the Preparation of the German Volkswagen Limited). As one of the three Managing Directors of the new company, Ferdinand Porsche received the official assignment to take care of the technical requirements and planning of the future production plant. So to learn more about state-of-the-art mass production, Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche went to the USA in June 1937, studying the most advanced production processes in Detroit and receiving ex - pert advice from production specialists in the US automotive industry.