The Austrian village of Gmünd is more than just difficult to pronounce; it’s also the birthplace of the Porsche brand. Before the company ever started building sports cars at its current home base near Stuttgart, the fledgling business completed several vehicles in the tiny town in Southern Austria. In this video, former Pikes Peak International Hill Climb champion Jeff Zwart takes a look at a 1949 Gmünd coupe to see how the company has evolved since its earliest days.
The thing to note about the Gmünd-built Porsches is their absolute design simplicity. The phrase «form follows function» gets bandied around a lot, but it really means something when you look at these early cars. However, the minimalism was partially out of necessity. The vehicles were meant to be sporty but certainly weren’t rockets. Power came courtesy of a modified Volkswagen Beetle engine, and anything extraneous would have slowed the models down. Scroll down to watch Zwart go back in time to Porsche’s beginnings.