Porsche hall of fame man Peter Schutz dies, aged 87 image

He’s the man that was credited by history for saving the legendary Porsche 911 for its moment of impending demise in the 1980s – he ruled over Porsche at the time and went against the current.

Back in the day, due to major losses and faltering sales, the company was contemplating the idea of ending its most iconic lineup – the 911 – instead aiming to focus on modern front-engined 944 and 928 alternatives. But Schutz took control of the company back in 1980 and instead of doing what everybody expected he tackled the company’s low morale with expanded production of the 911 – he was adamant in the creation of new versions such as the cabrio and Turbo, while he also pushed for the development of Porsche’s all-wheel drive system and the incredible 959 model. And during his reign the company also rekindled its known motorsport dominance.

“Everywhere I went, I listened to people who asked, ‘Why discontinue the 911? It’s a great car,'” Schutz explained his decision in the past. “And ‘Why aren’t you in racing?”‘ While at the helm, he also made the controversial move of introducing Porsche Cars North America – the franchise dealers were replaced by a new network of Porsche dealers under the subsidiary Porsche Centers Inc. He remained in position until the next crisis, the financial crash of 1987, leaving the company in 1988. His legacy is still lasting – not counting limited edition there’s a choice of 23 different 911 versions, and in motorsport since then the brand has racked seven World Sports Car and World Endurance Championship wins, as well as 14 Le Mans 24 Hours wins.