Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the designer of the original Porsche 911, has passed away in Austria at 76 years old. Known to colleagues as F.A. and nicknamed “Butzi,” he last held the position of Honorary President of the Supervisory Board at Porsche.
The grandson of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche was born in Stuttgart, Germany on December 11, 1935. He joined the engineering office of Porsche in 1958, reportedly wowing colleagues with his clay sculpture of the Porsche 356 successor, the Porsche 901. In 1962 F.A. took over the Porsche design studio, and one year later, he helped unveil the 901 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. After a name change to 911 the car and its successors have become legendary.
Aside from the 911, F.A. also designed the Porsche Type 804 Formula 1 racecar and the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS. He later founded the Porsche Design Studio, where he’d remain for the rest of his career. The Porsche Design Studio is responsible for designing all of the “Porsche Design” watches, pens, glasses, and more you can buy at your local Porsche dealership.
Even though Ferdinand Alexander’s main focus was on his Porsche Design brand, he still contributed to the automaker as a member of the Supervisory Board. From 1990 to 1993, F.A. helped the company navigate through an economic downturn. In 2005 F.A. stepped down from his position on the Supervisory Board, passing it on to his son Oliver, and taking the title of Honorary President of the Supervisory Board.
Upon news of F.A. Porsche’s death, Porsche president and CEO Matthias Müller said in an official statement, “We mourn the death of our partner, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. As the creator of the Porsche 911, he established a design culture in our company that has shaped our sports cars to this very day. His philosophy of good design is a legacy to us that we will honor for all time.”
Ferdinand Alexander Porsche will be buried in a private ceremony in his family grave in Stuttgart. Porsche will hold an official funeral at a later date.