Drop what you are doing- The rarest and most Important Porsche is up for sale
There are rare cars and then there is this - 1939 Porsche Type 64- Sole surviving example of the very first Porsche badged car with the badge applied by Ferry Porsche himself.
Oh, you never heard of it? Well, let me introduce you. Type 64 was constructed for the not-to-be 1500km Berlin-Rome race, the race was meant to be a show of German strength promoting the Autobahn system and the KdF Wagen (Pre-War Beetle). Unfortunately, due to a certain prick with a weird moustache declaring war, the race planned for September 1939 never took place
Before then though state-owned VW commissioned Porsche to build three long-distance racing variants of the KdF Wagen, these became the Type 64. It shared it's underpinnings with the Beetle however its chassis was strengthen, suspension refined and engine tuned up to 32bhp (some sources claim as much as 40).
The body design naturally came courtesy of the Porsche Buro. Despite the shift in focus to military production once the war broke out -which saw the first Type 64 fall into German Labour front trades union ownership- young Ferry Porsche was determined and pressed on to complete all three cars. Eventually all the cars were built with their hand pressed aluminium bodies by the Reutter Works across the street from Zuffenhausen.
The first car was crashed in 1940 by VW's managing director, its chassis was later used to build the third car. Cars two and three remained in Porsche's ownership and were personally used by Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche when the company moved its HQ to Austria between 1944-1948.
Both cars were stationed and used at the Porsche family estate until car number two was put in storage. Reportedly it was discovered in 1945 by the American troops who saw fit to chop its roof off and drive it around until its engine gave out a few weeks later.
Third car and the birth of Porsche as we know it
The third car was the sole survivor of WW2. Ferry Porsche registered the Porsche company under the new name in Austria in 1946 and applied the now famous Porsche lettering on the nose of the car. In 1947 Ferry commissioned young Pinin Farina (Yes, THAT Pinin Farina) to restore the car to its former glory. In 1948 the car was present at the public launch of the 356 which borrowed more than a few design clues from the Type 64.
It was then that an Austrian racing driver Otto Mathé had a go in the Type 64 and fell in love, buying it from Porsche in 1949 and promptly winning numerous races including the 1950 Alpine Rally. Otto Mathe kept racing the car until the early '80s, it's believed that he last raced it at the 1982 Monterey Historic Automobile Races in California.
In 1997 it was purchased by Dr Thomas Gruber who took it to a couple of races such as Goodwood Classic. It's now available for sale for the 3rd time in history at RM Sotheby's Monterey auction in August.
In other words- It's a car that birthed a legendary company, was influenced by at least three automotive legends who shaped the industry over the 20th century and whose influence is still very much felt today, and has tangible racing pedigree thanks to Otto Mathe.
Or as Marcus Görig, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. said “This is Porsche’s origin story, the car that birthed the company’s legend, and it offers collectors what is likely an unrepeatable opportunity to sit in the seat of Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche. With this car, the new owner will not only be invited to the first row of every Porsche event worldwide—they will be the first row!”
If you would like to add this one of a kind piece of automotive history to your collection prepare to spend as much as $20,000,000 or more. What was the going rate for a kidney again? Willing to sell two for the right price...