The second generation gets to work
During the Second World War the Porsche design company relocated to Gmünd in Kärnten where, after war's end, Ferry Porsche worked with his team (also at the workshops at Zell am See) on winches and tractors, but also on repairing decommissioned military vehicles.
Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH is founded
In order to protect his father's lifetime achievement from confiscation by the occupying forces while his father was interned in France, Ferry Porsche and his sister Louise (who had married the lawyer, Dr. Anton Piëch, in 1928) quickly established the Austrian-based Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH in Gmünd on 1 April 1947, with themselves serving as directors. During this period the now Austrian-headquartered company retained a contract with the Italian industrialist, Dusio, to build a Formula 1 race car with all-wheel drive. For financial reasons, the "Cisitalia" ultimately never took part in a race, however the proceeds from this contract were enough for the siblings to post bail for their detained father and secure his return home.
A brand is born.
Ferry Porsche subsequently went on to fulfil a dream of his own. On the basis of the Beetle design, the first sports car to bear the Porsche name was created in Austria, in the Malta Valley in Carinthia. In 1948 Ferry presented a car, bearing the design number 356, that was later to become the foundation for Porsche's legendary reputation. Vehicle No. 1 still used a mid-mounted engine, whereas subsequent coupés built by hand in Gmünd incorporated a rear engine. A good dozen 356 cabriolets were built in the Salzburg workshops on Alpentraße.
Ground-breaking contract with Volkswagen
The most momentous decision in company history, however, was made 1000 km further north when the Allies decided to begin manufacturing Volkswagens at the newly reconstructed Volkswagen factory. Porsche engineers were in great demand to support the start-up. Concurrently, Ferry Porsche was entering into contractual negotiations with the newly appointed general director of VW, Nordhoff. The most important parts of the contract were licence fees for every Beetle manufactured, approval to build a sports car based on the Beetle (the Porsche 356) and sales via what would later be the world-wide VW network, agreements for the Porsche design company's technical services, and, lastly, authorization to act as VW general importer in Austria. This wide-ranging contract was signed in Bad Reichenhall by Ferdinand Porsche, Ferry Porsche, Louise Piëch and Anton Piëch and by VW's general director, Nordhoff. This allowed the patriarch's design, the Beetle, to become the basis for the great success Porsche later enjoyed in Salzburg and in Stuttgart.
On 7 September 1948 a trade licence was issued for "trade in commercial vehicles and parts, limited to products manufactured at the engine factory in Wolfsburg (later the Volkswagen factory)" in the name of Ferdinand Porsche, engineer, by the district administration in Spittal an der Drau.