In autumn 1955 Komenda’s bodywork variations for the Porsche 356A superseded the 356. Similarly, under Komenda’s overall control, the 356B emerged and was presented in a new and unusual way at the 1959 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Preliminary work for the Porsche 911 was already underway in the successive technical programmes T7 (1959) and T8 (started at the end of year 1961).


1966: FA Porsche and 911 Design Patent

On June 28, 1966 Alexander "Butzi" Porsche announced his invention, the design of the Porsche 911 Targa, for patent. 

Komenda claimed, he worked out the basket handle and removable roof of Porsche Targa, an invention Porsche called "save convertible". 


It is remarkable that F.A. Porsche's patent includes no technical description: "Figure 1 is a perspective view of embodying my new design, viewing the automobile from the left side thereof.....I claim: The ornamental design for an automobile, as shown and described".

Ferdinand Piëch: Komenda and Porsche 911

Ferdinand Piëch, a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, Austrian engineer and business magnate, who is currently the chairman of the supervisory board of Volkswagen Gruop.


TIME: Each is measured by his ancestors?


Piech: A little bit. My grandfather I think is a genius. Less in inventing - I too am no great inventor - but rather in finding the right people. I have known him even too less. In the time, in which I could capture his person, he and my father stayed in French custody for three-quarter years.


But I knew his core staff. These were Erwin Komenda, who designed the car body of the Beetle, the 356 and the 911 Porsche, Karl Rabe, the engine designer, he built the Auto Union 16-cylinder and also worked on the beetle engine; Josef Mickl, who built airplane and aircraft engines during the First World War, he was the theoretician of my grandfather; Finally, Franz Xaver Reimspieß who has worked conceptually for my grandfather and invented the Volkswagen logo.


Interview with Freeman Thomas, an American automobile and industrial designer, who has worked for Porsche, Volkswagen Group, DaimlerChrysler and Ford.


INHABITAT: Are there any vehicles that have had a particular impact on you or influenced your design style?

Thomas: VW Beetle and the early Porsches.

INHABITAT: Are there any designers you look up to in the auto industry or in other design disciplines? Who is your favorite architect and why?


Thomas: For me it was Erwin Komenda as a designer and engineer.