Have you ever wanted to learn something so much that you sneaked into a class? That is how much Ferdinand Porsche wanted to learn engineering. His passion paid off. He designed such incredible cars that he was named the Car Engineer of the Century.
Ferdinand Porsche was born on September 3, 1875, in Bohemia, what is now a part of the Czech Republic. His father had a mechanical shop. Ferdinand had mechanical ability, too. He began to work in an electrical company in Vienna, Austria, when he was 18. Unable to afford college but wanting to learn more about engineering, he would sneak into evening classes at a nearby college. Those few classes were the only formal engineering education that Ferdinand ever had.
Ferdinand then went to work for a factory that made coaches for the rulers of Europe. His first car design came out in 1898. That car was driven by two electric motors that fit on its front wheels. It was powered by lead batteries. It could only travel short trips because the batteries lost power quickly. Its big problem was that the batteries were so heavy that the car could hardly climb any hills!