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Remembering Portugal’s Porsche 356 Rally Hero

by | Feb 23, 2014 | Classic Porsche Blog

The name Ferdinand comes from an old Spanish conjuncture of  faro, meaning journey and nano, meaning brave. Brought to Austria by the Habsburg dynasty, it spread from there to France, but the origins of Ferdinand are rooted in Iberia, as a traditional name in the house of Castile. In Spain and Portugal, the name is Fernando.

Fernando Stock Porsche 356 1953 Monte 1

Of course we always have Ferdinand in mind, but we remember a different Fernando today. He is Adolf Ferdinand (Fernando) Roy Stock (above, in the shades): Portugal’s first ever rally champion, finished third in the Tour of Europe and was an Iberian champion in Porsche and Mercedes. Born February 23, 1914, Fernando was celebrated by his family today. Brother Jose sent me a note for his anniversary, and so we remember him too.

Seen here on the 1953 Monte Carlo Rally, Fernando was given the number one plate as lead car on the event. One of 112 participants to depart for Monaco from Lisbon, Fernando and co-driver Pinto Basto drove their early 356 1500 Coupe as one of a record 404 total starters and a highly appropriate 356 finishers.

For all the appropriateness of the finishing tally, Monte Carlo ’53 was not kind to the Porsches. Several of the 356s entered were excluded for being 2cm too low overall, the subsequent furore compounds the mockery earned by Monte organisers over the years. Remember the Mini Coopers.

So many people confuse great Porsches with pristine, ultimate speed machines. But real Porsche is here in these pictures. It is hope and ambition, struggle and risk, joy and pain. Motorsport teaches us highs and lows: don’t forget that all Porsches are born of racing.

Obrigado Fernando, and all those Porsche pioneers. Still a big part of our family!


  1. Paulo Rebordao

    Surprising ! Here in Portugal i had never heard of him. Curious to have a Portuguese driver associated with Porsche in such early times.

    • John

      Yes, it is a great story. Another Ferdinand hero!

  2. José Luis Stock

    Thank you for the kind post on my brother.

    • John

      Thanks José! I will keep an eye out for more information 😉

  3. Eduardo Stock

    Thank you só much for your kind coment. about my father.He was the first Portuguese Rally champion as well as the the only ever Iberian Chapion.
    Celebrating his centenury the last 23th we truly apreciated your very Nice resume.
    Eduardo Stock

    • John

      No problem Eduardo – glad to share a great story. Many thanks, John G

  4. Martim Stock

    Fernando was my First Cousin, I really appreciated this review.
    Thank you.


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