The darn Benz 8/38
The merger of Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie in 1926 marked the beginning of a difficult time in Ferdinand Porsches career. His position on the board could have been better and because of his laissez-faire management style and maybe a little because of his pride, clashes were inevitable.
Especially questions of financing never went friction free. It wasn’t any different with the Benz 8/38, which showed great promise from the start. Pictured we can see the Cabriolet version, which was still shown at the motor show in Berlin in 1928. But the 8/38 already went in series at the end of 1926. Too fast however, as it later turned out. The car was loaded with defects and Ferdinand Porsche had to answer for all of them in several board meetings. The controversy culminated when Alexander Kissel, who had campaigned particularly for the merger with Daimler a director of Benz & Cie, personally dropped by on the factory premises one winter morning. And right in front of the eyes of Ferdinand Porsche, he let fifteen 8/38 cars be brought out and demanded to start at least one of them without problems. It did not succeed and Porsche got so worked up over it that, out of sheer anger, he pulled his hat from his head, knocking it to the ground and trampling on it.
Although some of the defects of the 8/38 could be solved, the discussion of its shortcomings seemed nonetheless like a never-ending story. The board simply couldn’t reach an agreement on what was to be done with the car. Above all, the other board members didn’t trust themselves to ask for money from the shareholders. Money, that Porsche considered as much needed for further developments.
Daimler-Benz parted with Ferdinand Porsche at the end of the year 1928.
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