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Cars Porsche Published by J. Doe

Déjà Vu – Making of "The Porsche Jump"

A historical snapshot taken between two imposing walls of snow is restaged. The legendary jump of a skier across a Porsche is reenacted with new participants.

This photo has somehow always been present in the brand history of Porsche, in the lives of the two men who created it, and in the memories of the countless people who have seen it over the decades. Taken in 1960 at the Flexen Pass near the Austrian village of Zürs, it spread around the world: a skier jumping over a Porsche 356 parked between two walls of snow as high as buildings. But it also distilled the essence of the Porsche brand and its attributes.

The athlete captured in flawless pose is the Austrian ski racer Egon Zimmermann. One of the greatest of his time, he won the giant slalom at the 1962 World Championships and took gold in the downhill competition at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. But “Egon will always be with us,” says his brother Karlheinz Zimmermann (71). Porsche and the Alpine republic—that connection too was there from the start. The ski season is drawing to a close but several meters of snow still lie on the Timmelsjoch, a pass at the border between Austria and Italy. Aksel Lund Svindal, one of the most successful ski racers today with two Olympic gold medals and five world championships, prepares for a run.

The Porsche Jump: the drive to keep pushing the boundaries

He starts downhill gently, not too fast, with his eyes on a launch pad made of snow a good one hundred meters away. “The last ten meters are the most important—you can’t make any mistakes,” says the thirty-eight-year-old Norwegian afterward. “And of course you’ve got to pick the right tenth of a second for the jump itself,” he adds with a smile. He then has to concentrate immediately on landing because the jump takes hardly more than a second. “I only have a vague idea of what’s going on down there beneath my skis.”

Info Text first published in the Porsche magazine Christophorus, No. 400.

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Sep 21, 2021 at 12:08

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