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Mitja Borkert was 15 years old before he saw a Porsche.

In the 1980s, his East German hometown of Herzberg was full of Trabants and Wartburgs, which were not fast or well-built and did nothing to raise the pulse of a teenage boy. In 1989 the Wall came down and the parents of a friend of Borkert’s bought a 911. “He came and picked me up, and I was hooked immediately,” he remembers. “The acceleration, the sound. It really kicked me.”

It’s not an exaggeration to say that ride—and that swift little waterbug of a car—set the trajectory of Borkert’s life. Just eight years later, in 1997, he had an internship at Porsche and a year after that a job at the company’s design center in Huntington Beach, Calif.



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