1904, April 6, Erwin Komenda was born in Jauern/Semmering. His father, Franz Komenda, was the technical conductor of the first electricity plant of the Semmering region and Weyer. 1913 the family moved to Weyer, a little village in Austria near Steyr.
1916-1920: four year technical college for iron processing in Steyr.
From 1920-1926: Komenda worked as engineer in the „Wiener Karosserie-Fabrik“ at that time he met Josef Feldwabel, visit his famous Car construction course.
From 1926 to 1929 he worked as a car-body designer in the Steyr factories. There he met Ferdinand Porsche in 1929 when Porsche joined Steyr as technical director.
From 1929 – 1931 Komenda was Chief Engineer for test and development department at Daimler-Benz in Sindelfingen (Germany), a position he held until 1931. At that time Mercedes developed Mannheim 370 cars with remarkable weight reduction carbody. The car was built with the technology of the Steyr XXX: "steel body on frame construction method, oscillating axle, individual wheel suspension, new brake systems". At the same time Mercedes developed a streamlined car with monocoque construction and rear engine.
In October 1931, Komenda joined Ferdinand Porsche's new company. From 1931 to his death in 1966, Komenda was chief engineer and leader of the Porsche car-body construction department.
Komenda developed the car-body construction of the VW Beetle, the most built car-body of the last century. He designed, with his co-worker Josef Mickl, the famous Auto Union Grand Prix car and the Cisitalia Grand Prix car.
In November 1946 Komenda signed ideas for the first Porsche sports car. He developed Porsche 356 and variations including the 356 Porsche speedster.
Komenda was responsible for the design of the Porsche 550 Spyder.
As a top Porsche engineering executive, Komenda guided the Stuttgart firm into its next generation, supervising body fabrication for the Type 901, which ultimately became the 911 and supplanted the 356.
One of his final projects was the development of the light-weight fibreglass car body of 904 sports racer. The car body was mounted to a box frame for a semi-monocoque structure.
The final years of Komenda’s life were marked by conflicts with members of the Porsche family within the company over the development of the Porsche 911.
Komenda was an active worker up to his early death on Aug. 22nd, 1966 from lung cancer. His life's work ended with the development of the great Porsche 911.
Erwin Komenda (April 6, 1904 - August 22, 1966) was a Porsche employee, and a lead contributor to the design of the bodies for the VW Beetle and various ...