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December 3, 2022

Porsche Seen About Town Defies the Odds

Company Began as a Design Consultancy in Germany

Dang. What in the barnyard-livin’, truck-drivin’, T-shirt-wearin’, country-croonin’, cuzzin-cussin’, doggone tarnation is this? Photo of the week? Could be photo of the year, don’t you think? Maybe photo of a lifetime? 

Seriously! Has anyone seen a Porsche like this? Porsches are strutted out polished to within an inch of their lives, fawned on, fancy-flashed, valet-parked six feet from the drop-off sign, self-parked diagonally in two spaces, garaged and pampered. 

And, while we’re on it: Is it Porsche like borscht? Or, is it Portia, like the young lady in Shakespeare’s play? Porsche’s manual answers that question on the first page: The car is pronounced Portia. That is the pronunciation of the inventor’s name, Ferdinand Porsche.   

Fun facts: Porsche’s manufacturing company is not named Porsche. The company name is: Dr. Ing. H.c. F. Porsche GmbH. Ferdinand Porsche started it in Stuttgart, Germany in 1931 with Adolf Rosenberger, a Jewish businessperson and race car driver. The company has the same name today, but GmbH is AG, denoting a change from limited partnership to public company. 

The firm consulted on car designs. It did not manufacture cars. Its big assignment was designing a car for the people. Hence, the Volkswagen and the famous Beetle design were born. After World War II, while Ferdinand Porsche was in prison, his son, Ferry, manufactured Porsche’s first car, the 356. The 356 is that cute, rounded-body sports car immediately recognizable to enthusiasts. 

Today, Porsche is a 100% owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, which also owns Audi, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley, Ducati, Skoda and SEAT, among others. Porsche also builds tractors—see them at Trattore winery in nearby Dry Creek. 

Back to the homophone Portia. Shakespeare’s character disguised as a lawyer delivers a memorable and famous line:  “the quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth like the gentle rain from heaven. … It is twice blest: it blesseth him that gives and him that takes. ’Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes the throned monarch better than his crown.”

Ya see the darndest things in H’burg. Photo of the year. License blurred to protect the innocent.

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