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‘Good design should be honest’

1 year ago

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Writer:

Peter Robinson | Journalist

Date:

14 October 2022

Nine months before the launch of the Porsche 996 – the first water-cooled 911 – I attempted to arrange an interview with Butzi Porsche, designer of the original air-cooled 911 and son of Ferry Porsche. That was February 1997.

However, my attempts to set up a meeting with him at Porsche Design, his independent consultancy based in Zell am See, Austria, elicited mere silence. It was only after Porsche PR chief Anton Hunger interceded and spoke in favour of my interview with Mr F.A. Porsche (as he was always known in Zuffenhausen), that we finally settled on a date in April.

But there were two provisions. I was to submit written questions beforehand ‘so F.A. can prepare himself’ and Michael Schimpke, Porsche’s foreign press boss, was to sit in. No bad thing, as I discovered. Butzi, an inherently shy man, preferred to have his native German translated into English, with Schimpke acting as simultaneous translator.

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