It may surprise some of you that up until now, the Porsche Museum has never had an original 901 in its collection. But now, after three painstaking years of restoration, that wrong has been righted and a red coupe that was built in October 1964 will get a special place in that special building.
Porsche originally developed and built the successor to the 356 as the 901, before a trademark dispute with Peugeot meant that Porsche had to change the name to 911 only a few weeks after starting production. As such, the 901 is an extremely rare beast and not an easy thing to track down.
So imagine Porsche’s relief when a German TV crew stumbled across two 911s in a barn. Subsequent investigations revealed one of them to be a rare 901, chassis number 300.057, so Porsche bought both cars and set about restoring them.
The good news was that the red coupe was an extremely original car (albeit a tad rusty), which allowed the Museum to accurately rebuild it to match those early 901s. Porsche has used genuine body parts taken from a different car, and the engine, transmission, electrics and interior were all repaired with the same principle. Hence the protracted three-year timeline to get it back into showroom condition.
And now you can come and view it. An exhibition called ‘911 (901 No. 57) – A legend takes off’ is running in the Museum from today (December 14) until April 8, 2018.