Over the years, Porsche has boasted an impressive clientele, including numerous celebrities. However, Jolantha Tschudi’s life story, the first woman to purchase a Porsche, stands out among the rest. A Swiss amateur pilot, Tschudi commenced her solo flying journey when she was only 18.
Furthermore, Tschudi had a keen interest in ethnology. In December 1946, she embarked on the first of her many explorations to Africa, chronicling the cultures of indigenous peoples previously unknown to the European world. Accompanied by a museum curator, she traversed over 8,000 miles in a single-engine Stinson airplane, experiencing six emergency landings throughout her travels.
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While Tschudi repeatedly returned to Africa, she also expressed a passion for terrestrial vehicles. She etched her name in automotive history in 1948 when she became the inaugural woman to purchase a Porsche. Her acquisition, a dark blue 356/2 convertible, came from Bernhard Blank, a Zurich hotelier who was among the first Porsche dealers. Blank’s initial inventory consisted of two cars, the other being a white 356/2 coupe.
1948 marked the genesis of Porsche’s production, initially manufacturing cars in Gmünd, Austria, before transferring production to Germany. The early 356 models, unlike their successors, featured hand-crafted bodywork. The body of Tschudi’s car was fashioned by coachbuilder Gebrüder Beutler.
Jolantha Tschudi: A Pioneer in Porsche Ownership
At the 1948 Geneva auto show, Tschudi officially received her Porsche. She drove it to numerous gliding locations in the Alps, setting several altitude and distance records as part of the Swiss national gliding team. However, she didn’t retain ownership of the car for long. After an accident on the Julier Pass in the Swiss Canton of Grisons, she sold the damaged Porsche to her brother.
Tschudi later married and had two sons. Eventually, she relinquished her flying pursuits but continued her passion for hunting and ethnographic studies. She passed away in 2011, at the age of 86.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about First Woman to Buy a Porsche
Who was the first woman to buy a Porsche?
Jolantha Tschudi, a Swiss amateur pilot and an ethnologist, was the first woman to buy a Porsche.
What model of Porsche did Jolantha Tschudi buy?
Jolantha Tschudi bought a dark blue 356/2 convertible, one of Porsche’s first production models, in 1948.
When did Jolantha Tschudi buy her Porsche?
She bought her Porsche in 1948, the first year of Porsche’s production.
What were some of Jolantha Tschudi’s other interests?
Besides her interest in cars and flying, Jolantha Tschudi was also passionate about ethnology and hunting. She made several trips to Africa to study and document indigenous cultures unknown to Europeans.
What happened to the Porsche bought by Jolantha Tschudi?
After an accident on the Julier Pass in the Swiss Canton of Grisons, Tschudi sold her damaged Porsche to her brother.
More about First Woman to Buy a Porsche
- Porsche’s Official Website
- Jolantha Tschudi Biography
- History of Porsche 356
- Women in Automotive History
- Ethnology Studies