Five years later, in 1939, the Type 64 was introduced in Zuffenhausen. Engineered as a long-distance endurance racecar, the Berlin-Rom-Wagen is considered the forerunner of future Porsche sports car models.
As a side effect of World War II, the Porsche KG engineering office was forced to move to Gmünd, Austria in 1944.
The second generation of Porsche car builders is recognized in 1946. Ferry is credited with the design of an all-wheel drive Grand Prix racecar. It was owned by Italian industrialist Piero Dusio.
The year 1948 would prove to be the most significant yet for the Porsche brand. The Porsche 356 (construction number), a mid-engine powered roadster, used modified Volkswagen parts but looked sporty and fast. Despite its small engine, the 356 had an excellent power-to-weight ratio and low drag. It was a delight to drive and featured a relatively short braking distance. In keeping with Ferdinand’s racing tradition, the 356 was entered in the Innsbruck Stadtrennen. Driven by Herbert Kaes, the tiny sports car achieved a victory in its class. The 356 is the platform that would bring Porsche to America and introduce the automaker to the rest of the world.
Porsche has continued a rich racing tradition with (among other things) a win at the 24-Hours of Le Mans in 2017.