As Germany underwent a revolution in 1918, the Kingdom of Württemberg was transformed from a monarchy to a democratic republic and called Free People’s State of Württemberg. Its capital was Stuttgart. In 1922, a new coat of arms was introduced that would later have its place in Porsche’s history. Words and photos courtesy of James Herne and Porsche AG.
The word “Stuttgart” is a development of the Old High German word “Stuotengarten”, where “stouten” means “stud”, referring to the breeding of horses. “Garten” naturally translates as “garden”. The coat of arms of Stuttgart has had horses on it since 1286, but the current format was taken into use in 1938.
COAT OF ARMS
After Germany’s defeat in World War II in 1945, the Soviet Union, USA, Britain and France divided Germany into four administrative zones. One part of the new French-administered Germany is to be called Württemberg-Hohenzollern and they used a simplified version of the former coat of arms of the Free People’s State of Württemberg.
Note that this crest is not anymore associated with the state where Stuttgart is the capital. The capital of the state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern is Tübingen. Stuttgart became the capital of the new state of Württemberg-Baden that belongs to the American-administered Germany.
FERRY PORSCHE’S DRAFT
In May 1949, the American, British and French-administered parts of Germany are formed into a new country called West Germany. After a referendum held in December 1951, states of Württemberg- Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Baden voted in favor of a merger and a new state of Baden-Württemberg was officially established on April 25, 1952. This meant the end of use of the coat of arms now so familiar to every Porsche driver.
Coincidentally, on the very same day of April 25, 1952, Ferry Porsche sketched the first draft of the possible Porsche crest. He sketched it on a serviette in a New York restaurant where he was with Max Hoffman, the Porsche importer for United States. It is said that Hoffman had his share in the establishment of a Porsche crest.
FROM SKETCH TO BADGE
After Ferry returned to Europe, Franz Xaver Reimspress sketched the Porsche crest that was accepted by Ferry. The Porsche crest first appeared in late 1952 in the centre of the 356 Pre-A’s steering wheel. In late 1954, the badge was integrated into the front bonnet handle of the 356 Pre-A. From 1958, the wheel hub caps with Porsche badge were optionally available for 356 A.
A new larger bonnet logo of the 901/911 prototype was introduced in 1963 while versions of the bonnet crest were used until ‘90s. The main difference is how the Porsche script was written.