Ferdinand Porsche (3 September 1875 – 30 January 1951) was an automotive engineer and founder of the Porsche car company. He is best known for creating the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle (Lohner-Porsche), the Volkswagen Beetle, the Mercedes-Benz SS/SSK, several other important developments and Porsche automobiles. In addition, Porsche designed the 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen, which was the first racing car with a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. Porsche was an important contributor to the German war effort during World War II. He was involved in the production of advanced tanks such as the VK 4501, Tiger I, Tiger II, Elefant, and Panzer VIII Maus, as well as other weapon systems, including the V-1 flying bombs. Porsche was a member of the German Nazi party and allegedly the SS (see below). He was a recipient of the German National Prize for Art and Science, the SS-Ehrenring and the War Merit Cross. He was called the Great German Engineer by Nazi propaganda. In 1996 Porsche was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and in 1999 posthumously won the award of Car Engineer of the Century.