Freeman Thomas, an American automobile and industrial designer, who has worked for Porsche, Volkswagen Group, DaimlerChrysler and Ford. Designer of New Beetle and Audi TT.
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.
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.
1934 - 2011:
Could there really be a 911 without a 356, a 356 without Auto Union Racing Car or VW Beetle?
1934: Erwin Komenda: Auto-Union-Sportwagen, Porsche Typ 52
2000: Porsche Typ 52: Audi Rosemeyer Concept Car
2011: 911 PORSCHE TARGA