I trust you will realize that there are no hidden motives behind my pointing out some inaccuracies in the story of the Porsche car in your issue of Oct. 18.
The introductory paragraph states: "Out of West Germany five years ago emerged a...German automobile which revolutionized all previous concepts of what could be expected of a short wheel base and a small, four-cylinder engine. Last creation of the old German master, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche...air-cooled and rear-engined, it also featured aerodynamic styling...which was years ahead of its contemporaries."
Actually the Porsche emerged out of southern Austria (Gmuend, in Carynthia Province) more than seven years ago. Only after struggling unsuccessfully against a chronic deficit, did the manufacturers sell the license of the car to Reutter of Stuttgart, Germany. This happened shortly before Porsche's death.
The car did not revolutionize concepts. In the early 1920s already, Porsche built the Austro-Daimler Sascha, a short-wheel-based automobile with a small four-cylinder engine, an outstanding performer. In the thirties, similar vehicles were produced in number. They included the sports version of the Italian Fiat 1100 ccm, the French Simca 8, the 750 ccm Morris of England, and the front-wheel-driven Adler of Frankfort, Germany....
Also, Ferdinand Porsche was not German. He was born in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, in the Bohemian town of Maffersdorf, where he attended primary school, the only institution of learning from which he ever graduated. (All his diplomas are honorary.) He served in the Austrian army, and spent about 60 of his 75 years in Austria. Porsche was 50, and a famous constructor, when he received his first job in Germany (a short-lived managerial position with Mercedes); and even though Austrian citizens became German subjects after the Anschluss in 1938, Porsche was an Austrian again when he went into business with his "last creation."
Finally, air-cooled, rear-engined cars featuring aerodynamic style have been produced by TATRA of Nesselsdorf, Czechoslovakia, since the early '30s, about 15 years ahead of the Porsche.
ERWIN C. LESSNER
?Many thanks to Old Master Lessner, a three-time winner of the Alpine Rally and victor in 48 major road races of the '20s and driver of Dr. Porsche's then experimental cars.?ED.
THE MAN NEXT DOOR
Your success in reaching weekly and appealing to the interest of everyone attached to sports makes your magazine a must in every he-man household.
Personally I'm a dry-fly trout fisherman addict?and so I like Gordon's Fly Box; my grandson is addicted to football, basketball and baseball?his room is plastered with pictures clipped from SI; the man next door would rather lose an arm than his bird dog; the chap across the street spends all his spare time bowling.
You are entertaining and enlightening all.