Ferdinand Porsche, the genius responsible for the legendary 911 sports car has died, the German car maker confirmed today.
Professor Porsche was the creative brain behind the one of the world’s most iconic sports cars which went on sale in 1963.
Despite being nearly 50 years old, the 911’s design has only ever evolved and is still unmistakable from the original model.
A statement from the German company confirmed Professor Porsche, grandson of company founder Ferdinand Porsche, had passed away in Salzburg on Thursday aged 76.
The German designer, nicknamed Butzi, joined the family company in 1956 where he worked in the technical design department.
In 1962 he was made the manager of the Porsche design studios and the following year he showed off the Porsche 901, which was later renamed the 911.
The Porsche, which had a rear-mounted engine, could accelerate from 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 131mph.
It went on to be a classic and continues to be built today – with the likes of David Beckham, Jenson Button and Richard Hammond known admirers of the unmistakable design.
The company unveiled the seventh generation Porsche 911 last year, with the model well-known for its legendary variants including the RS Carrera and Turbo model.
Matthias Mueller, CEO of Porsche AG, said: “We mourn the death of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche.
“As creator of the Porsche 911 he founded a design company in our culture that shapes our sports cars today.
“His philosophy of good design is for us a legacy that we will continue to do with honour.”
Professor Porsche left the company in 1972 and started up the Porsche Design Group, which built a variety of high quality products from kitchens to mobile phones.
Phil Raby, Porsche dealer and specialist from Chichester, said: “When people talk about Porsche, they talk about the 911 and he was responsible for that iconic shape.
“It is one of the few car designs which everyone recognises. I’ve always admired Porsches and it is the 911 which attracted me to the company.”