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Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!
This week’s question: Reutter Carrosserie Werke once built bodies and interiors for Porsche, to what did they eventually change their name, and what are the famous products they make today?
If you think you know the answer, make the jump and see if you’re right.People often like to think that the products of their favorite brands are actually made by, well, those brands. That’s not often the case, as while a company might have the resources to engineer a product they sometimes lack the resources—or the specific expertise—to actually construct them. That’s the case with beloved products like the iPhone which is actually assembled by a company called Foxconn out of parts sourced from a number of other brands, including Apple’s arch rival, Samsung.
Porsche builds a lot of their cars in-house, but they shop out certain elements, and haven’t always held their manufacturing cards so close to their chest. In fact, at the sports car maker’s inception they commissioned bodies and interiors from another company, Reutter Carrosserie Werke.
Reutter started out building custom limousine bodies in the 1920s, expanding in the ’30s to coachwork bodies for the Volkswagen Type 1. In 1949 they began a close relationship with Porsche, building bodies and interiors for the nascent sports car company. That relationship would become even closer seeing Porsche absorb the body building business, while the remaining parts of Reutter becoming something else that we all love today.
When operations moved to Stuttgart, it marked the beginning of a close working relationship with the nearby Reutter coachworks – to become the main supplier of Porsche bodies for nearly two decades, before being annexed into the Porsche organization.
It didn’t take discerning auto enthusiasts very long to realize that these Reutter-bodied Porsches were built to a higher standard than could be found on vehicles from most competing nameplates. Reutter’s exemplary workmanship was evident in the quality of components and in overall fit-and-finish.
In 1963 Porsche acquired the Reutter Stuttgart Coach Builder car body factory. What remained was renamed Recaro GmbH & Co, changing its focus to high-end seats.
The foundation for the present company was laid in 1963, as RECARO was formed as a play on words — Reutter and CAROsserien (coaches). The first RECARO sport seat was introduced in 1965, and in motor racing, the company quickly became a recognized brand name.
The company began producing both production seats for Porsche and a separate line of aftermarket seats. In 1969, The Reutter family sold their ownership to three companies, Keiper, Huber & Wagner and Metzeler due to economic problems. In 1983, Keiper purchased all shares in Recaro and established Keiper Recaro GmbH & Co in Kirchheim (Teck) near Esslingen am Neckar.
Today, Recaro makes some of the best seats in the world, and can be found in everything from the Ford Fiesta to, well… Ken Block’s Monster Rally Fiesta. Now however, you’ll always know that putting a set of Recaro seats in a Porsche isn’t just an upgrade, it’s a reunion.