Porsche celebrates its 70th anniversary

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Porsche's original 1948 356 roadster | Porsche AG

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Porsche’s innovative sports car, the 356 No. 1 roadster, first registered on June 8, 1948. Named for its project design number, the 356 was the fulfillment of Professor Ferdinand Porsche’s pioneering designs, brought to reality by his son, Ferry Porsche.

Through 1949, the company hand-built the first run of 52 cars at its Gmund, Austria, facility before moving production to the Reutter factory near Stuttgart, Germany. The 356 went through a continuous  flow of improvements and updates through 1965, when it was discontinued in favor of the all-new  911, whose production continues through today, with a continuous flow of updates and improvements.

The unmistakable lines of the first Porsche 911, the 901 | Porsche AG

“Tradition is a commitment,” Oliver Blume, chairman of the executive board of Porsche AG, said in a news release. “Without our tradition and without our core values, we would not be where we are today.”

Porsche plans a yearlong series of events to celebrate its 70th birthday. Among the highlights is the opening on February 3 of “The Porsche Effect” at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Fifty of the marque’s most iconic sports and competition cars will be presented in the exhibit, which runs through January 27, 2019.

The Porsche 356 SL was the marque’s first Le Mans racer | Bob Golfen

On June 9, Porsche invites fans to its global “Sports Car Together Day” at many of its sites around the world, including the Porsche Experience Centers in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

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And from September 27-20, the Rennsport Reunion VI vintage races will host a wide array of Porsche cars on the track and in the paddock at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.

For more on the German marque’s 70 years of history, visit the Porsche website.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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