The First Sports Car - and It's By Porsche!... [PIC]
Literally, it's a sports car fit for a prince... Prince Heinrich von Preussen (Prussia), the Kaiser's brother. Prince Henry was a sports car/ touring car enthusiast - not a race car nut. His yearly "trial" or "Tour" contest for speed and performance stipulated that the entrants must have four seat capacity, fenders and lights. 34 year old Ferdinand Porsche was already chief designer for Vienna-Neustadt based Austro-Daimler and had been the creator of a series of rather pedestrian cars over the 4 years he was in charge. Austro-Daimler was eager to enter the prince's tour and gave Porsche carte blanche to develope a winning tourer. The engine he built was based on the Parsifal airship engine he had designed . At 5.7 liters, the OHC 4 cylinder produced a substantial 80 hp with power to the wheels via twin chain drives. The result was a car capable of 90 mph The resulting AD 27/80 design resulted in 8 cars built to enter the prince's 1910 and beating the likes of Mercedes-Benz, they finished in the top 3 spots. Porsche drove one of these cars in that tour. In 1914, brother "Willie" had production ramped up for the war effort with chassis converted to shaft drive. It wasn't long after the war that Mercedes grabbed Porsche to design their "5" series.
The model is of the only surviving AD 27/80 that was also commissioned by grandson Ernst Piëch as a stable mate for the MAJA posted below.
Another great history lesson, but this time I KNOW of the model. I almost bought this one a few years back just because of those beautifully done wheels. It's a show-stopper model for sure, top up or down.
@chris The hand stitched fabric top is also worth the price of admission.
Wow, another great photo essay Rich. Love the car and the history. Thanks once again.