Ferdinand Porsche is lauded as an incredible engineer, the creator with his sons of the
famous eponymous car company and the father of the Peoples' Car; the Volkswagen Beetle.
However, a new book cast doubts on this last claim.
(Josef Ganz behind the wheel of his 1930 Ardie-Ganz, the very first Volkswagen prototype.)
The conventional history is that Porsche was given the assignment by Hitler to build a low cost
mass produced vehicle to help mobilize the German people. As a result, Porsche came up with an aircooled,
rear engine car dubbed the Volkswagen Beetle. It has been long assumes that
the idea for such a novel approach was Porsche's alone.
(Ganz's proposed People's car)
The new book "The True Story of the Beetle" by Paul Schilperoord published in Dutch and soon
to be released in English chronicles the long forgotten story of Josef Ganz. Ganz was
quite the automotive pioneer who through his role as editor-in-chief of the German car magazine
Motor-Kritik argued for and proposed many new automotive designs including the design ideas for the Beetle.
(Ad for Ganz's Standard Volkswagen)
Ganz who was able to get his idea into production had to flee Germany in June 1934 prior to WW2 due
his Jewish ethnicity and had to abandon his project of the low cost family car. Ganz's ideas and the
project for the People's car was later co-opted by Hitler and assigned to Porsche in the same month of
Ganz's departure. The rest is history.