Car Designer Ferdinand Porsche Dies Yes, that Porsche By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Apr 5, 2012 5:34 PM CDT 20 comments Comments Car designer Ferdinand Alexander Porsche is photographed 1963 with a Porsche 901 (t8) in this file photo. (AP Photo/ho/Porsche AG) (Newser) – The man who designed the first Porsche died today at age 76 in Salzburg, Austria. Ferdinand "Butzi" Porsche was born into the auto business; his grandfather designed the original Volkswagen Beetle, according to the LA Times' obituary. But it was Ferdinand Porsche who designed the 911 sports car, and the eponymous company that produced it. He also helped guide the automaker through its economic turnaround from 1990 to 1993, and served as honorary president of its supervisory board until his death. "There has not been a single individual whose contribution to the Porsche brand over the decades since the '60's has been greater than that of Ferdinand 'Butzi' Porsche," said a Porsche dealership owner. "His iconic design of the original 911 has elevated Porsche to the top of the automotive world."