There are a number of stories about the Porsche Crest. However, the most pervasive is the one about a meeting between Ferry Porsche and US importer Max Hoffman back in 1952. As the story goes, Hoffman suggested a crest to Ferry as a way to help sell the cars in the US. Ferry said, "If all you need is a badge, we can give you one too!" Legend has it that he then proceeded to sketch a design on a napkin right there at lunch (depending on who you ask it could have also been the back of a business card, pack of cigarettes, etc.). Porsche's official accounting of the story follows the napkin theory and they even sell a replica of it in the gift shop at the museum.
The crest first appeared on the steering wheel of a 356 in 1952. Since then, it has undergone a few small revisions with three (we always thought it was five) official versions being produced. In contrast to the current crest, the Porsche logo on the original crest was embossed and not black. In addition, the red elements of the crest were actually more orange in color to reflect the Württemberg-Hohenzollern state colors. At the center of the golden shield, the horse from the official coat of arms of Stuttgart is depicted along with the name of the city. This is then surrounded by the red and black state colors and the stylized antlers from the crest of Württemberg-Hohenzollern.
The video below explores just what the craftsman at Porche Classic do in order to recreate the badges from yesteryear for your classic Porsche. Using special tools based on original drawings, each badge is hand enameled and finished. If you're having trouble seeing the video simply click on Manufacturing of the Porsche Crest to watch in on our site.
[Napkin Picture via PelicanPart.com. Porsche logos via Porsche AG]