When you think of the first Porsche, you probably have in mind the 1948 Porsche 356/1 also known as the “Porsche No. 1”. Indeed, that was the first car to wear the Porsche badge, but you’d have to go back almost a decade to find the first Porsche-named car, and that is the streamlined vehicle that stands before your eyes now. It’s called the Type 64, and three were built precisely 80 years ago of which two survive now, and only this one has the original sheet metal on it. Mechanically, it is a strengthened and tuned Beetle but, as far as looks are concerned, it has the 356’s DNA written all over it. Now, it’s up for auction, and if somebody other than the Porsche Museum buys it, I’ll be shocked.
Porsche’s crazy about its history. The German company has built its reputation via winning races – much like Ferrari has – and it can’t stop reminding everyone about its landmark moments. There are multiple events dedicated to the history of Ferdinand Porsche’s company, such us Luftghekult or the Rennsport Reunion. If you arrive in Stuttgart, the first thing you stumble across is the Porsche Platz, and there, on one side of the roundabout at the entrance of the city, there’s a futuristic-looking building. That’s Porsche’s own museum that’s filled to the brim with everything Porsche both new and old. But Porsche doesn’t currently own this car, the Type 64 chassis #38/41. It was designed by Ferdinand Porsche as a marketing ploy to showcase that you can extract genuine performance from the unassuming platform of the Beetle. If Porsche wants it back, it’ll have to join the crowd at the RM/Sotheby’s auction in Monterey, California, that’s scheduled for August 15th through to the 17th.