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Professor Ferdinand Porsche initially started the company called "Dr. ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH" in 1931, with main offices at Konigstrasse in the center of Stuttgart. The company offered motor vehicle development work and consulting, and did not initially build any cars under its own name. One of the first assignments the new company received was from the German government to design a car for the people, a "Volkswagen" in German.
The first Porsche, the Porsche 64, was developed in 1939 using many components from the Volkswagen Beetle. Ferdinand Porsche's son, Ferry Porsche, decided to build his own car because he could not find an existing one that he would buy. The first models of what was to become the 356 were built in a small workshop in Gmund, Austria and had aluminum bodywork. The prototype car was shown to German auto dealers, and when pre-orders reached a set threshold, production was begun. Many regard the 356 as the first Porsche simply because it was the first model sold by the fledgling company. Porsche commissioned Zuffenhausen-based company Reutter Carosseri, which had previously collaborated with Porsche on Volkswagen Beetle prototypes, to produce the 356's steel body. Porsche constructed an assembly plant across the street from Reutter Carosseri; that assembly plant is now known as Porschestrasse. The 356 was road certified in 1948.
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