Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche, known as Ferry, grew up in atmosphere of car racing due to the fact that his father; Ferdinand Senior, was chief engineer of Austro-Daimler in Wienerneustadt, Austria. At the age of 12 he drove the Austro-Daimler ‘Sascha’ which had recently competed in the Targa Florio.
The family moved to Stuttgart in 1923 and 8 years later he began working in his father’s company Dr Ing h.c.F Porsche KG. In 1934, Porsche Sr became chief designer of the AutoUnion Grand Prix car and also established the new Volkswagen company. Ferry became Head of Testing and later, manager of the research department at Zuffenhausen. In 1940 he became his father’s deputy and when Ferdinand Sr was arrested by the French, he took over the company, moving it to Gmund and began working on the first Porsche car; the 356, based on the Volkswagen. In 1950 the company moved from Gmund to Stuttgart, where the new engine; the Carrera, was developed. The company entered the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1951, winning in its class. A long string of successes followed, including the World Championship title with the Porsche 908 in 1969. Success on the racetrack was reflected in production cars with the replacement of the 356 in 1964 by the Porsche 911. The family gave up active control of the company in 1972, though Ferry remained as Chairman of the Supervisory Board until his retirement in 1989 when he moved to Zell-am-Zee, dying there in 1989.