Trivia Minute June 8, 2016

Porsche: Making Cars Since 1948

by Marcus Michelson
A 1948 Porsche 356 (Image via Wikimedia Commons)
A 1948 Porsche 356 (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

On June 8, 1948, Ferdinand Porsche completed the first prototype of his namesake sports car.

Here are some things you may not have known about Porsche and his cars.

First: Porsche was born to German-speaking parents in Mattersdorf, Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic, in 1875. In 1898, he designed his first automobile, an electric carriage called the Egger-Lohner. After being drafted into the military in 1902 he served as chauffeur for Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the assassination of whom would spark World War I in 1914.

Second: In 1934 at the direction of Adolf Hitler, Porsche began the design process on what would become the Volkswagen Beetle. Eventually Porsche joined the Nazi party and the SS, using SS members as security and drivers.

Third: Following World War II, Porsche was asked by the French to run the Volkswagen plant as a means to fund reparations by the Germans. This plan stalled and Porsche was jailed for more than a year as a war criminal. Following his release, his company produced its first eponymous sports car, known as the Porsche 356.

Our question: What city is the Porsche company’s headquarters located?

Today is World Oceans Day and World Brain Tumor Day.

It’s unofficially Best Friends Day and Jelly-Filled Doughnuts Day.

It’s the birthday of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who was born in 1867; comedian Joan Rivers, who was born in 1933; and musician Kanye West, who is 39 today.

Because our topic happened before 1960, we’ll spin the wheel to pick a year at random.

This week in 1960, the top song in the U.S. was “Cathy’s Clown” by The Everly Brothers.

The No. 1 movie was “Pollyanna,” while the novel “Advise and Consent” by Allen Drury topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.

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