As with many legendary objects, the origins of the Porsche crest are both real facts and myths. In his case, the facts surrounding his creation are rather diffuse, and are the subject of three separate stories: the official version, a fictionalized variant of it and an increasingly popular third linked to a key figure for the brand. , Erwin Komenda.
The official version of the Porsche brand
Officially, the creation of the Porsche coat of arms would come from a request made by Max Hoffman, main importer and seller of vehicles from Zuffenhausen in the United States, to Ferry Porsche, son of the founder of the brand from Stuttgart, during a visit from that, in New York.
At the end of it, Ferry decided to enter a competition with German art schools in early 1951, with the reward of 1000 deutsche marks for the one who proposed the best logo. However, none of them will be satisfactory, so priority will be given to a project being carried out simultaneously by Porsche's in-house styling department. It was in particular the heraldic-inspired proposal by Franz Xaver Reinspiess, who had already created the Volkswagen logo in 1936, that would catch Ferry Porsche's attention. This will subsequently be registered with the German Patent Office and will hardly change in form.
The "poetic" version
The second version, more romanticized, is a variation of the official version.
This is clearly oriented towards the American market, of which Quebec City is one. It would have happened on April 25, 1952, during a dinner between Ferry Porsche and Max Hoffman in New York. The latter would have suggested to the former to create a logo almost akin to a coat of arms in order to consolidate the prestigious reputation of the young German manufacturer, all in the same spirit as that of the American brand Cadillac. Ferry then proceeded to make an initial sketch of the logo on a napkin, which he later passed on to the same Franz Xaver Reinspiess in the design office, then headed by Erwin Komenda. He will propose the final version to management, who will validate it.
The Komenda hypothesis
The third story is a theory gaining more and more traction and which concerns Erwin Komenda himself. The latter, responsible in particular for the overall design of the original Volkswagen Beetle and the design of the iconic Porsche 356, was awarded the paternity of the coat of arms by Ferry Porsche himself in his biography. Incidentally, more and more evidence points in this direction: Komenda's granddaughter is said to have a letter supporting this, and specialists in art and heraldry also attribute her creation to her. This track was long neglected, Komenda having had major differences with members of the Porsche family during the twilight of his life (Komenda died in August 1966 from lung cancer).
The Porsche logo: a crest containing all of the brand's DNA
A special historical context! While stories vary regarding the genesis of the logo, one thing does not change: the meaning of what it stands for! But to fully understand, you have to put yourself in the context of the time. The brand has always been historically based in Zuffenhausen near Stuttgart. However, the manufacturer was evacuated to Austria in 1944. It is in this same country that the Porsche 356 will see the light of day in 1948, more precisely in Gmünd in Kärnten. But after producing 49 copies, Porsche returned to Zuffenhausen, proving its attachment to this district of Stuttgart. At the same time, it was almost around the same time (May 1949) that the regions which had come under the control of France, England, and the United States united to form West Germany. Following a referendum in 1951, the merger of Württemberg-Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Baden took place to form the state of Baden-Württemberg in 1952. Use of the official coat of arms of the republic of the free people of Württemberg logically had to stop.
A coat of arms filled with references to the origins of the brand and its region
But that was without counting on the Porsche logo, through which it would survive. Regardless of the version of the story, the logo would be inspired by the coat of arms of the coat of arms above, with the coat of arms of Stuttgart as the shield at its center as Porsches were produced in this city. This will take place on Porsche vehicles from 1952 (including the legendary Porsche 356 pre-A) and is still visible today in the middle of the steering wheel, on the front cover, and on the wheels.
The horse in the center: it is a mare referring to Stuttgart
The equine at its center is not a stallion like Ferrari, but a mare, with a much deeper meaning. Indeed, this one represents the very origin of the name of the city of Stuttgart, since this one comes from Stute which means "mare" in Teutonic, and from Garten meaning "garden". So the horsepower driving Porsches all come from the "mare garden". And it is also thanks to the Porsche logo that the coat of arms of Württemberg continues to live on. Indeed, this is the last place where it is still officially used. So every Porsche in Quebec City carries a piece of German history with it!
You now know the origins of the Porsche crest, as well as its meaning, which is firmly anchored in the city where the brand was born in Germany, and thus proving Porsche's desire to always evolve in line with its origins. Do you want to know more about the world of the manufacturer from Stuttgart and its models? Come see us directly at Porsche Quebec, your reference Porsche dealership located in the eponymous town near Ste-Foy and serving Trois-Rivières. We will be delighted to share our passion for Porsche with you if you come to see us in Quebec.