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Porsche's first fiberglass bodywork

The first fiberglass bodywork at Porsche weighed only 100 kilograms.

The 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS thus reached a total weight of 640 kilograms.

Although officially called Carrera GTS, it opened a new chapter in Porsche's sporting history under the internal designation 904 (Porsche will be forced to call only GTS since Peugeot had already filed the designations with 0 central). The 904, designed by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche (aka "Butzi"), technically anticipated many things that did not become the norm in racing car manufacturing until later: mixed steel / plastic construction , low weight, small front surface. It was the first Porsche with a fiberglass reinforced plastic body. 100 copies had to be built to qualify for the GT class. This was followed by 20 more vehicles, 16 of which were assembled. The rest provided the parts for the parts store.

The story continues in 1966, 67, 68 with the 906, 907 and 908 designed in the same way as the 904.

Porsche's history with fiberglass begins a few years ago when Ferdinand Porsche received a patent on November 26, 1957 for “self-supporting bodies of synthetic material for motor vehicles.” .

Porsche originally filed for a patent on this process / bodywork on April 1, 1954 - at the height of fiberglass body production in the early 1950s. Science and Mechanics Magazine published its first article on it in June 1958 .

Skeleton drawing of the proposed design and construction of the Porsche plastic body.

Dr Ferdinand Porsche, legendary automotive design genius who spawned Volkswagens as well as racing Porsches, would appear to steal another spin on the competition with his latest US patent - an all-plastic, unitized sports car body.

In the past, designers looking for the weight saving benefits of plastic faced issues such as the lack of expansion compatibility between the material and the metal, the need for edge reinforcement, and the plastic's tendency to sag. wear at the fixing points with vibrations.

Dr. Porsche responds to all this by leaving the metal entirely except for the mechanical parts of the car, reinforcing the outer shell with an inner core, glued on the outside with self-stressed stiffening elements of the same material.


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