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Roots of Recaro: Automotive seat firm traces to authentic Porsches

Just while you suppose you realize one thing about automotive historical past, one thing is available in over the transom that makes you understand you don’t know as a lot as you suppose.

In the present day’s instance: A information launch from Recaro Automotive Seating celebrating its 70-year historical past as a provider to Porsche.

OK, that was no shock. We knew Recaro was well-known for its automotive seats, and never just for these it provides to Porsche, however to varied automakers and particularly to racing groups.

Reutter craftsmen work in 1938 on a prototype for the Volkswagen Kind 1

However what we didn’t know was that the connection between Porsche and Recaro’s predecessor went again a lot farther than simply the final 70 years. What we didn’t know was that Recaro traces its household historical past again to Reutter, the karosseriebau based in Stuttgart in 1906 by Wilhelm Reutter, who quickly was joined within the enterprise by his brother, Albert, who took over after Wilhelm retired in 1918.

Amongst different issues, Reutter was early to discover the usage of aluminum to make motorcars lighter, and developed a folding roof system, “the constructional precursor to right this moment’s cabriolet,” in response to the information launch.

Along with being a provider to German automakers Daimler, Benz, Opel, Adler, BMW and Horch, in 1932 Reutter did a one-off Wanderer for Ferdinand Porsche and, in secret at its new facility in Zuffenhausen, constructed the prototypes for a brand new Folks’s Automotive, or Volkswagen.

Reutter did 40 automobiles for testing and growth of the brand new automobile, and constructed the hardtop and convertible variations that have been displayed on the groundbreaking ceremony for the brand new Volkswagen meeting plant in 1938 at Fallersleben (now a part of Wolfsburg). One of many Reutter prototypes additionally appeared on the 1939 Berlin motor present.

The 10,000 Reutter-produced Porsche 356 body was built in 1956

The 10,000 Reutter-produced Porsche 356 physique was in-built 1956

Within the fall of 1949, Porsche’s son, Ferry Porsche, commissioned Reutter to provide 500 our bodies and frames for his new Porsche 356 mannequin. Porsche additionally known as on Reutter for seats and inside trim, and to put in the autos’ heating and electrical programs, and to do closing automobile inspections earlier than the automobiles have been provided on the market.

“Regardless of the initially deliberate manufacturing run of 500 automobiles, some 78,000 Porsche 356s ended up being offered by late 1965 – most of them constructed by Reutter,” the information launch reviews. “Each Porsche 356 manufactured by Reutter is recognized by two physique quantity plates that includes the phrase ‘Karosserie’ and the Reutter phrase mark, one on the internal aspect of the A-pillar and on the outer proper aspect between the wheel arch and the door.”

Recaro seat production in 1960

Recaro seat manufacturing in 1960

Recaro seat production in 1980

Recaro seat manufacturing in 1980

Late in 1961, Porsche went to Reutter to provide coupe and cabriolet variations of a brand new automotive physique, a successor to the 356. Codenamed T8, the automotive emerged because the Kind 901, which was nicknamed “Sturmvogel” (Storm Chook) as a result of the primary prototype prepared for testing had a snow-white end. The T8/901 would go into manufacturing as the brand new Porsche 911.

Within the run-up to manufacturing, Porsche purchased Stuttgarter Karosseriewerk Reutter & Co. GmbH, buying not solely the manufacturing amenities in Zuffenhausen however 950 staff and their car-building know-how.

In the meantime, the opposite 250 Reutter staff continued to provide seats and set fittings and that effort was reorganized as Recaro, a reputation derived from REutter CAROsserie).

Recaro Automotive Seats is a part of automotive seating provider Adient and produces automotive seating options at seven places in six international locations, together with the USA, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Mexico and Japan.

This text, written by Larry Edsall, was initially printed on, an editorial associate of Motor Authority.

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