Autoworld Brussels FERDINAND PORSCHE Exhibition from December 6, 2013 to January 19, 2014

Porsche 917-021 & Porsche 906 Carrera 6

Porsche 917-021 & Porsche 906 Carrera 6


The whole experience is rounded off by a champagne bar, ‘Cocktail Ferdinand Porsche’ and an exclusive gift shop to ensure that this exhibition is remembered by every visitor as a truly unique event.

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From one Ferdinand to another… 

Taking pride of place side by side at the very heart of the exhibition are Prof. Ferdinand Porsche’s first Lohner Porsche hybrid and the present-day Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid.

Surrounding these two vehicles, four zones – one per Ferdinand – form a horseshoe, and use vehicles, documents and contemporary films to describe how each man contributed to the Porsche heritage. 

The cars are on loan from a number of international museums (the Porsche and Mercedes museums in Stuttgart, Ernst Piëch’s Fahr(T)raum museum near Salzburg, the Audi Tradition museum in Ingolstadt and the D’Ieteren Gallery) and private collectors.  

Zone 1 - Professor Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951): the creative genius 

Ferdinand Porsche, who was fascinated by electricity buff, became head of manufacturing at Lohner by the time he was 24 years old and created his first Elektromobil or electric car, in which each front wheel was driven by an electric motor. Not long afterwards he created a mixed propulsion (hybrid) car, the Lohner-Porsche. For 25 years, Ferdinand Porsche followed a professional career that took him to Austro-Daimler in Vienna, where among other things he produced the Sascha, and to Daimler-Benz in Stuttgart, where he contributed to the development of compression engines as well as of the famous S, SS and SSK models which created an absolute sensation in competition.

From 1930, it was at his own design and engineering firm in Stuttgart that Ferdinand Porsche was able to express his genius to the full. Among other things, he designed the six-cylinder engine for Wanderer and the V16 rear-wheel drive, mid-engined racing cars known as Silver Arrows for Auto Union, as well as the Volkswagen and the prototype of the ‘Berlin-Rome’. In 1936 he perfected a totally innovative record-breaking car, the Mercedes T-80, the development of which had to be stopped when war broke out. Ferdinand Porsche contributed to the creation of the 356 with his son Ferry.  

Cars exhibited in this zone: 

-          Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid (1900)

One of the first cars built by Ferdinand Porsche for Lohner.

-          Austro Daimler ADM Prinz Heinrich (1910)

These cars took the first three places in the 1910 motor race under the patronage of Prince Henry of Prussia, one of them being driven by Porsche himself.

-          Austro Daimler ADS R Sascha (1922)

This little racing car was the first car designed by the Professor with brakes on all four wheels. Created to compete in the Targa Florio, the Saschas took the first two places in their category.

-          Austro Daimler ADR Bergmeister Cabriolet (1934)

This car was built when Ferdinand Porsche was at Austro Daimler, where they decided to focus their output on luxury and prestige cars that were direct descendants of the Prinz-Heinrich.

-          Daimler-Benz Monza 2L (1924)

This aerodynamic racing car won the Targa Florio in 1924.

-          Austro Daimler Hill Climb Racing Car (1929)

This unique racing car was built on the chassis of an ADM III Sport specially for Hans Stuck Sr, who gained 46 hill climb victories in an Austrian Steyr and a Mercedes-Benz.

-          Mercedes-Benz 720 SSK (1928)

This SSK (Super Sport Kurz) is a shorter version of the SS and was built by Ferdinand Porsche with engineer Hans Nibel.  

-          Auto Union Grand Prix Typ A Single Seater (1933-34)

One of the first big orders received by the new Porsche design firm was for a single-seater for the company Auto Union. The Professor developed a car with a revolutionary supercharged 4,360 cc V16 mid-engine, a tubular chassis and four independent wheels. This single-seater then underwent considerable development. The Auto Union Grand Prix vehicles mainly battled it out against Mercedes (especially on the new AVUS circuit) in epic duels which have gone down in the annals of racing history.

-          Audi Front Cabriolet with Wanderer engine (1934) & Wanderer W25K Roadster (1936)

In 1932, it was decided to bring together the Horch, Wanderer, DKW and Audi brands in a consortium named Auto Union. Ferdinand Porsche’s firm designed an air-cooled six-cylinder 1,963 cc engine developing 40 hp, made entirely of aluminium. Intended originally for a Wanderer, it was also used in the Audi.

-          Auto Union V16 Stromlinienwagen (1937)

After being forced off the circuits by a change in the rules in 1938, the Auto-Union Type C cars continued to be used for record-breaking purposes. To this end, they were equipped with superb aerodynamic bodywork designed by the Porsche engineer Erwin Komenda.

-          Volkswagen Beetle Prototype V 30 – 2nd generation (1937)

Before initiating the mass production of the VWs, Daimler-Benz built 30 cars with modified bodywork. The exhibited car is a reconstruction: for completely unknown reasons, all the W30s were destroyed after the tests.

-          Volkswagen Typ 64 - Berlin-Rome (1938)

Commissioned to compete in a 1,500-km Berlin-Rome race (which was cancelled when war broke out), this racing version of the VW is lightweight and extremely aerodynamic. This ‘Berlin-Rome’ prefigures all Porsches with a rear swingarm-mounted engine, starting with the 356.

-          Volkswagen Schwimmwagen (1944)

Amphibious version of the VW Beetle.


Zone 2: Ferdinand ‘Ferry’ Porsche (1909-1998): the entrepreneur 

The second child of Professor Ferdinand Porsche, Ferry was the true soul of the brand. Continuing his father’s work, he developed the very first car to bear the Porsche name, the ‘356’ No 1, a 35 HP, rear-wheel drive, mid-engined roadster, in workshops installed in an old sawmill in Gmünd, Austria. This was immediately followed by a small series of rear-engined 356s, direct descendants of the pre-war ‘Berlin-Rome’ project. A year later, Ferry founded the Porsche company in Stuttgart, which he developed into one of the world’s most renowned sports car manufacturers. Thanks to Ferry, numerous new models were added to the range from the 1960s to the 1980s (911, 911 Targa, 959 and others), and the sporting success of models such as the 911, 917 and 962 gave rise to the ‘Porsche legend’. 

Cars exhibited in this zone: 

-          Volkswagen Beetle (split window) (1949)

Designed in 1933 by Prof. Porsche as a people’s vehicle, the civilian Beetle only went into production after the war. Its finishing is indicative of the shortages that characterised the immediate post-war period. The Beetle met with huge success, and sales of this legendary model exceeded 21 million units, a record unrivalled in automotive history.

-          Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio (1950)

The exhibited version dates from 1950 and is still very close to the 1938 prototype.

-          Porsche Typ 360 Cisitalia (1947)

Ordered by a wealthy Italian entrepreneur named Piero Dusio from the Porsche team in Gmünd, this car, called the Cisitalia GP after Dusio’s factory, never had the chance to show off its qualities, because the Cisitalia company went bankrupt.

-          Porsche 356 SL Coupé (1951)

This 356 was on the starting-line of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1951, driven by the French duo of Veuillet and Mouche. This bold car – the first German car to appear at La Sarthe after the war – was rewarded with a victory in its category which was also Porsche’s first victory at Le Mans.

-          Porsche 356 America Roadster (1953)

This new roadster built exclusively for the North American market was much lighter than the series 356 models produced at the time. It was the precursor to the 356 Speedster specifically intended for racing.

-          Porsche-Diesel Volksschlepper A 111 (1954)

Between 1949 and 1957, nearly 25,000 Porsche tractors were produced, most of which were equipped with air-cooled diesel engines.

-          Porsche 356A Speedster (1958)

In 1953, Porsche’s importer in the USA asked for a simplified and less costly version of the Cabriolet 356 to be created. The engineer Erwin Komenda designed this “Speedster’, which soon became a true automotive icon with which James Dean’s name is still associated.  

-          Porsche 718/2 Formula 2 (1960)

A version derived from the Spyder 718. This remarkable car was technically very close to the 356s, using a Carrera four-cylinder boxer engine.

-          Porsche 356B Roadster (1961)

This model succeeded the 356A and was easily identifiable from its raised bumpers. Following the destruction of the Drauz carriage works by fire, the production of this model was entrusted to the D'Ieteren works in Forest, Belgium, which produced 724 units in 1961 and 1962. Most were destined for the American market. The example on display is a so-called ‘Normal’ model, whose 1,582 cc four-cylinder boxer engine develops 75 hp.

-          Porsche 356 Carrera Abarth GTL (1961)

In 1959, Ferry Porsche asked the engineer Carlo Abarth, a former Porsche employee, to design lighter, more streamlined bodywork for twenty 356B 1600 GS chassis. In 1960, the first Abarth GTL saved Porsche’s honour at the 24 Hours of Le Mans by finishing tenth in the overall ranking and first in the Sport category.

-          Porsche 550 Spyder (1955)

A lightweight racing car added to the range of competitive 356s. It was entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953, where it was the first mid-engine car to compete. The example on display was part of the series of 90 to which James Dean’s ‘Little Bastard’ also belonged.

-          Porsche Spyder 718W RS60 ‘Grossmutter’ (1960)

The ancestor of the Boxster met with many successes in endurance trials between 1960 and 1964. Because of its exceptionally long career for a racing car, the Porsche 718W was nicknamed ‘Grossmutter’ (grandmother).

Zone 3: Ferdinand ‘Butzi’ Porsche (1935-2012): the designer 

The eldest son of Ferry Porsche, Butzi was fascinated by aerodynamics. He contributed to the design of the Formula 2 Porsche single-seater and became the head of the firm’s design studio. Among other things, he designed the 904. At the request of Ferry, he created a successor to the 356: the 911 was presented at the Frankfurt motor show in 1963. It was characterised by several master strokes, such as the backward tilt of the central upright, lending the model that incomparable appearance of a fast car. In 1964, he created a version with a fixed roll bar, called the Targa. The Porsche 911, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013, has become the symbol of the make. It is acknowledged as one of the most illustrious cars in history, and Porsche’s most famous model.

In 1972 Butzi founded his own company, Porsche Design, in Zell am See.

Cars exhibited in this zone: 

-          Porsche 911 (1964-1967)

To succeed the 356s, Porsche produced a larger, more powerful car that was to attain legendary status. Initially known as the 901, it was later renamed the 911. Its bodywork was designed by Butzi, and the engineering was by Ferdinand Piëch. The 911 has been so successful that it is still produced fifty years later, although it has of course undergone numerous developments.

-          Porsche 912 Coupé (1966)

Fearing that the price of the 911 might put off some of its customers, the company brought out a simplified version, the 912, whose four-cylinder engine was derived from that of the 356. This car was an outstanding product which did extremely well in the USA and Belgium.

-          Porsche 904 Carrera GTS (1964)

To succeed the Carrera Abarth and the Spyder, in top secret conditions Butzi Porsche designed a GT with very light fibreglass bodywork bolted and bonded to a steel chassis. The engine was mounted in the middle, with the five-speed gearbox designed for the 911 behind it. In the engine compartment, a four-cylinder Carrera was installed. When production of this model stopped, a number of vehicles, such as the one on display, were equipped with a six-cylinder or even eight-cylinder engine.

-          Porsche 912 Targa (1967)

When American legislation cast doubt on the safety of convertibles in the event of a rollover, Butzi Porsche came up with a remarkable open bodywork design featuring a fixed roll bar and a removable roof with a flexible rear window. This innovative concept was named the Targa, and underwent numerous refinements. It is still associated today with this kind of bodywork and with the firm Porsche. The model on display is a four-cylinder 912.  

Zone 4: Ferdinand Piëch (1937): the competitor 

He is the second son of Louise Porsche, Ferry’s elder sister, and of Anton Piëch. Upon joining the family business in the technical department in 1963, Ferdinand Piëch immediately replaced the 904 with a more modern vehicle, the 906 or Carrera 6, the forerunner of the 917, the first Porsche to triumph at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1970. He was also behind the mechanical elements of the 911. Ferdinand Piëch constantly set himself new challenges and brought the make racing triumphs around the world. This is why the section of the exhibition devoted to Ferdinand Piëch primarily consists of sports cars.

Ferdinand Piëch was appointed head of the Volkswagen group in 1993, and became Chairman of the group’s Supervisory Board in 2002.



Cars exhibited in this zone:


-          Porsche 906 Carrera 6 (1966)

Designed by Ferdinand Piëch to replace the 904, the 906 is regarded today as the first Porsche specifically designed for competition. It forms the basis for all Porsche’s racing and endurance cars (908, 910) and underwent numerous developments leading to the legendary 917.

-          Porsche 910/8 Spyder (1970)

Designed for hill climbs, the six 910/8 models are substantially lighter. Their fuel tanks hold just 15 litres, their tubular structures are made of aluminium and they do not have generators.

-          Porsche 917-021K Psychedelic (1970)

The Porsche 917 was presented in 1969. It was a revolutionary and exceptional racing car which became legendary. It featured an aluminium chassis, fibreglass bodywork and a 12-cylinder boxer engine (4500 cc – 520 hp) consisting of two six-cylinder engines from a 911. It had numerous victories in endurance events. A 917K Gulf became a film star thanks to the Steve McQueen film Le Mans.

-          Porsche 914/6 (1971)

A sports car jointly produced by Volkswagen and Porsche, with a mid-mounted engine called the VW-Porsche Roadster Type 914. As well as the four-cylinder VW version, there is a Porsche version known as the 914/6 (1969-1971), powered by the six-cylinder, two-litre carburetted engine of the 911 T from 1968. Ferdinand Piëch had two examples built of a 914/8 (six cylinders – 310 hp), one of which was presented to Ferry Porsche for his 60th birthday.

-          Porsche 917/30 Turbo CAN-AM (1973)

This car is a version of the 917 intended for American racing. To compete with the ‘big blocks’ of the American cars, Piëch increased the capacity to five litres and fitted the twelve-cylinder engine with two turbocompressors. Its output was up to 1200 hp. 

-          Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 (1973)

This Carrera RS, 1,590 examples of which were produced in 1972 and 1973, combined a relatively lightweight structure with the raw power of a 210 hp, 2.7 litre flat-six engine with mechanical fuel injection, making it one of the most effective roadsters and racing cars of its day. Its superb sound and ducktail spoiler made it a classic.

-          Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 Henninger Alt (1975)

The 911 Carrera RSR dominated the European GT, American Trans-Am and Camel GT championships in the mid-70s.

-          Porsche 911 SC Martini Rally (1978)

In 1978, two three-litre 911SCs were prepared for the East African Safari. One of these cars finished in second place. This first entry in an African rally cleared the way for Porsche to triumph in the Paris-Dakar in 1984 with more specialised 911 SCs (four-wheel drive) and later with 959s.

-          Porsche 935/77 Martini (1977)

With this car, Porsche decided to push the 911 concept to its developmental extreme, taking full advantage of loopholes in the regulations. The profiling was improved spectacularly: the entire rear of the passenger compartment was covered by panelling consisting of polyurethane foam sandwiched between fibreglass, equipped with a redesigned aerofoil. Instead of a single large turbo, the six-cylinder engine had two small KKK turbos.

-          Porsche 956 (1982)

The 956 was designed to comply with Group C regulations aimed at restricting fuel consumption. It was Porsche’s first aluminium monocoque, designed to generate a ground effect. Thanks to the 956, which was a complete success from the start, Porsche dominated the 1982 Championship with its star driver Jacky Ickx, who showed true brilliance in all conditions. It was the endurance Porsche (956 and 962) that gained the most racing victories: six consecutive victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and five world titles (drivers and constructors) in the period 1982-1994.

-          Porsche 959 (1986)

At the time of its creation, the 959 was a revolutionary car, a marvel of concentrated technology. It took a long time to develop, and was only delivered in 1987. It was then presented as a showcase of the brand’s superb know-how. It was not used competitively until the Paris-Dakar rally, where it met with success. The 959 served as the starting-point for the 4x4 versions of the 911.

-          McLaren TAG MP4/2C  (1986)

The TAG-Porsche engine was created in Weissach to power the McLaren MP4 Formula 1. It is a V 6 1.5-litre engine tilted to 80° and featuring twin KKK turbochargers. Developing 700 hp at 11,500 rpm, it weighs just 150 kg. In 1984, the McLarens driven by Niki Lauda and Alain Prost won twelve out of sixteen races, while McLaren-TAG won the World Constructors’ Championship with 25 Grand Prix victories between 1983 and 1987, also taking the World Drivers’ Championship three times, with Niki Lauda in 1984 and Alain Prost in 1985 and 1986.

The Porsche 918 Spyder: a Belgian preview at Autoworld!

Presented in September 2013 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Porsche 918 Spyder is probably the star of the exhibition, especially as this is the first time it has been displayed in Belgium. 

The engineers at Porsche, as a manufacturer of high-performance cars, have gone on to develop systems enabling internal combustion engines and electric motors to be used jointly. This 918 Spyder is powered by a V8 engine developing 608 hp which drives the rear wheels. In addition, two electric motors connected to the front wheels can temporarily supply 273 hp, making a total of 887 hp. This arrangement makes several operational modes possible: front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and even all-wheel drive.

The car’s performance is spectacular, with acceleration from 0 to 100 kph in 2.8 s, average fuel consumption of 3.3 l/100 km and a low CO2 emission rating of 79g per km. The lithium-ion batteries can be recharged from the mains (plug-in), making the road version of the 918 Spyder particularly practical.

The edition is limited to 918 examples. 

Paying tribute to the Porsche 911 

This anniversary deserves nothing less: the seven generations of the Porsche 911 – from the first, built in 1963, right through to today’s Porsche 911 – can be seen in the temporary exhibition zone, at the foot of the stairs leading to the exhibition.

Images ...  GG Racing Archive

Champagne bar

The champagne bar, set up at the edge of the exhibition on the mezzanine, invites visitors to unwind during their visit. As well as a glass of champagne, you can also enjoy wine or juice.

The champagne bar is also available for private evening receptions.

A ‘Cocktail Ferdinand Porsche’ has been specially created by the Pommery-accredited barman. It is a subtle blend of vodka, sweet tea and Pommery champagne – a surprising and refreshing drink that is definitely worth trying!

Gift shop  

Next to the champagne bar, the gift shop stocks the exhibition catalogue, containing notes on every model on display (€20 – in four languages), the exhibition polo shirt created by State of Art (€49), a special edition of the poster, DVDs and scale models. 

Autoworld Brussels - more than a museum!  

The Autoworld Museum has been housed in the South Hall of the Cinquantenaire building in Brussels for 25 years. This is a prestigious location built in 1880 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Kingdom of Belgium. The first car shows in Belgium were held here from 1902 to 1936; they are now held in the Heysel Exhibition Park. 

The 300 cars on display at Autoworld come mainly from the Ghislain Mahy collection (which has over 1,000 in total). They retrace the most important stages in automobile history in a spacious setting which enables the public to get close to the displayed vehicles. 

Pride of place for Belgian vehicles 

Above all, Autoworld is a unique location where models of over 150 prestigious Belgian brands can be seen, including Minerva, FN, Excelsior, Fondu, Vivinius and Imperia. 

The new management in place since January 2011 has injected fresh vigour and a sense of innovation into the museum.

New thematic areas have been created, bringing together, for example, public service vehicles (fire trucks, ambulances, etc.), ‘eco’ cars, vehicles that formerly belonged to the royal family. There are also spaces for the organisation of temporary exhibitions every month.  

Visitors can trace the evolution of car design as well as the most emblematic models from the 60s, 70s and 80s on the first floor.

‘Sport & Competition’ 

Also on the first floor of the museum, a space was opened in June 2012 retracing the main stages in the history of motor sport (rallies and races) since 1906. Over twenty racing cars are on display in an original, dynamic recreated setting featuring a banked corner, a starting grid, old paddocks, a space devoted to Michel Vaillant and numerous documents, photographs, contemporary films and information screens.

Practical information  


Esplanade du Parc du Cinquantenaire / Jubelpark 11 – 1000 Brussels (metro Merode)

Opening hours

Open every day from December 6, 2013 to January 19, 2014
(including Mondays, December 25 and January 1)
from 10am to 5pm

(Saturday & Sunday: from 10am to 6pm)

Late opening
Saturday, December 21 and Saturday, January 18 (to 10pm)

Entrance fee 

Adults €12 -
Groups  €9
(for 15 or more people & by reservation) /
Students/Seniors/Disabled People Children from 6 to 12 years  €6
Children < 6 years: free

Information for visitors