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Ferdinand Porsche, sports car designer, dies at 76

FRANKFURT, Germany — Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the design chief credited with the classic 911 sports car and grandson of the automaker’s founder, has died at age 76.

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche

Carmaker Porsche AG said Porsche died Thursday in Salzburg, Austria. No cause was provided.

Porsche, known as F.A. to his colleagues, was head of the Porsche design studio in the early 1960s when the company developed the sleek 911 model that remains its brand-defining product. The car is now in its seventh version, and its sloping roofline, long, low hood and prominent headlights have not changed much since then.

“The creator of the Porsche 911 has founded a culture of design in our company that distinguishes our sports cars even today,” Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller said.

Porsche was the son of former Porsche Chairman Ferry Porsche, who died in 1998, and the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, who started the company as a design and engineering firm in the 1930s.

Born in Stuttgart on Dec. 11, 1935, F.A. Porsche was initiated into the family business while still a boy, spending time in his grandfather’s workshops and design facilities. He studied at the Hochschule fuer Gestaltung in Ulm and joined the company in 1958, taking over the design studio in 1962.

F.A. Porsche later founded a design business, Porsche Design Studio, where he designed eyeglasses, watches and pens.

He was to be buried in a private ceremony in the chapel at Schuettgut, the Porsche family’s estate in Zell am See, Austria.