Automotive

History in the making: The original Porsche heads to auction

History in the making: The ori...
"This is the most historically significant of all Porsche cars and it is simply incredible to find the very first Porsche in this original condition."
"This is the most historically significant of all Porsche cars and it is simply incredible to find the very first Porsche in this original condition."
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Otto Mathé purchased it directly from Porsche in 1948 and became the only person to race a Type 64 in period, winning countless races in the late 40s and early 50s
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Otto Mathé purchased it directly from Porsche in 1948 and became the only person to race a Type 64 in period, winning countless races in the late 40s and early 50s
The above image taken in 1984 at Mathé's home in Innsbruck, Austria shows Herr Mathé with the "Ahnherr" (German for ancestor). Mathé kept the car for 46 years until his death in 1995.
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The above image taken in 1984 at Mathé's home in Innsbruck, Austria shows Herr Mathé with the "Ahnherr" (German for ancestor). Mathé kept the car for 46 years until his death in 1995.
Otto Mathé purchased it directly from Porsche in 1948 and became the only person to race a Type 64 in period, winning countless races in the late 40s and early 50s
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Otto Mathé purchased it directly from Porsche in 1948 and became the only person to race a Type 64 in period, winning countless races in the late 40s and early 50s
The auction car was the first car to compete under the Porsche name
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The auction car was the first car to compete under the Porsche name
The auction car was the first car to compete under the Porsche name
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The auction car was the first car to compete under the Porsche name
Only two of the original three Type 64s are extant
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Only two of the original three Type 64s are extant
The Porsche Type 64
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The Porsche Type 64
Only two of the original three Type 64s are extant
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Only two of the original three Type 64s are extant
Even the raised letters spelling out "PORSCHE" on the nose cone of this car were applied by Ferry Porsche himself
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Even the raised letters spelling out "PORSCHE" on the nose cone of this car were applied by Ferry Porsche himself
The Type 64 was designed by the same engineers who subsequently create Porsche's first production car, the 356
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The Type 64 was designed by the same engineers who subsequently create Porsche's first production car, the 356
The Porsche Type 64
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The Porsche Type 64
The Porsche Type 64
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The Porsche Type 64
The Porsche Type 64
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The Porsche Type 64
The Porsche Type 64
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The Porsche Type 64
The Porsche Type 64 engine was a tuned Volkswagen boxer four from the KdF 
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The Porsche Type 64 engine was a tuned Volkswagen boxer four from the KdF 
"This is the most historically significant of all Porsche cars and it is simply incredible to find the very first Porsche in this original condition."
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"This is the most historically significant of all Porsche cars and it is simply incredible to find the very first Porsche in this original condition."
The Porsche Type 64
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The Porsche Type 64
This is the fully restored Porsche Type 64 which now resides in the Petersen Automotive Museum - one of the original three cars that was partially destroyed during WW2.
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This is the fully restored Porsche Type 64 which now resides in the Petersen Automotive Museum - one of the original three cars that was partially destroyed during WW2.
This is the fully restored Porsche Type 64 which now resides in the Petersen Automotive Museum - one of the original three cars that was partially destroyed during WW2.
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This is the fully restored Porsche Type 64 which now resides in the Petersen Automotive Museum - one of the original three cars that was partially destroyed during WW2.
This is the fully restored Porsche Type 64 which now resides in the Petersen Automotive Museum - one of the original three cars that was partially destroyed during WW2.
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This is the fully restored Porsche Type 64 which now resides in the Petersen Automotive Museum - one of the original three cars that was partially destroyed during WW2.
The Type 64 was designed by the same engineers who subsequently create Porsche's first production car, the 356
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The Type 64 was designed by the same engineers who subsequently create Porsche's first production car, the 356
Volkswagen commissioned the three Volkswagen long-distance racing versions of the KdF-Wagen in preparation for the 1,500-kilometer (932-mile) Berlin-Rome race set for September 1939, with a view to promoting the launch of the KdF-Wagen production car (now known as the Volkswagen Beetle or Bug)
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Volkswagen commissioned the three Volkswagen long-distance racing versions of the KdF-Wagen in preparation for the 1,500-kilometer (932-mile) Berlin-Rome race set for September 1939, with a view to promoting the launch of the KdF-Wagen production car (now known as the Volkswagen Beetle or Bug)
The Porsche Type 64 replica at the Porsche Museum
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The Porsche Type 64 replica at the Porsche Museum
The Porsche Type 64 replica at the Porsche Museum
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The Porsche Type 64 replica at the Porsche Museum
Porsche Museum exhibit of the Porsche Type 64
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Porsche Museum exhibit of the Porsche Type 64
The Porsche Type 64 replica at the Porsche Museum
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The Porsche Type 64 replica at the Porsche Museum
The Porsche Type 64 replica at the Porsche Museum
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The Porsche Type 64 replica at the Porsche Museum
The Porsche Type 64 replica at the Porsche Museum
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The Porsche Type 64 replica at the Porsche Museum
The Porsche Type 64
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The Porsche Type 64
In 2017, a 1914 Peugeot L45 Grand Prix car (Chassis no. 1 Engine no. 1) sold for just $7,260,000 - the car is arguably the most important automobile to go to auction this century or last, having been the common ancestor to every modern sportscar in history with its DOHC four-valve engine configuration surviving to this day.
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In 2017, a 1914 Peugeot L45 Grand Prix car (Chassis no. 1 Engine no. 1) sold for just $7,260,000 - the car is arguably the most important automobile to go to auction this century or last, having been the common ancestor to every modern sportscar in history with its DOHC four-valve engine configuration surviving to this day.
The previous record price for a Porsche of $10,120,000 was also achieved by Gooding & Company when a Le-Mans-winning 1982 Porsche 956 sold at Pebble Beach in 2015. The advert (above right) which that car helped write the copy for is testimony to the monumental heritage which the Type 64 began.
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The previous record price for a Porsche of $10,120,000 was also achieved by Gooding & Company when a Le-Mans-winning 1982 Porsche 956 sold at Pebble Beach in 2015. The advert (above right) which that car helped write the copy for is testimony to the monumental heritage which the Type 64 began.
 The record price paid for a Porsche at auction is the $14,080,000 paid for a 1970 Porsche 917K at Gooding & Company's 2017Pebble Beach auction.
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 The record price paid for a Porsche at auction is the $14,080,000 paid for a 1970 Porsche 917K at Gooding & Company's 2017Pebble Beach auction.
The Porsche 356 upon which the Porsche marque's stellar sporting heritage was built. The Porsche Type 64 was designed prior to WW2 by the same engineers responsible for the 356. The rest is history, and it began with the Porsche Type 64.
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The Porsche 356 upon which the Porsche marque's stellar sporting heritage was built. The Porsche Type 64 was designed prior to WW2 by the same engineers responsible for the 356. The rest is history, and it began with the Porsche Type 64.
The Porsche 356 upon which the Porsche marque's stellar sporting heritage was built. The Porsche Type 64 was designed prior to WW2 by the same engineers responsible for the 356. The rest is history, and it began with the Porsche Type 64.
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The Porsche 356 upon which the Porsche marque's stellar sporting heritage was built. The Porsche Type 64 was designed prior to WW2 by the same engineers responsible for the 356. The rest is history, and it began with the Porsche Type 64.

There are only a handful of places where truly landmark automobiles are auctioned: New York, London, Paris during Retromobile, the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the world's largest and most important gathering of ultra high net worth automotive enthusiasts, Monterey Car Week.

Monterey is traditionally the place where automotive auction records get smashed, and this year the star of the show will be the original Porsche. It is one of three original Porsche Type 64 (also known as Type 60K10) cars that built, the only one to remain intact from new, and it is the very first car to wear the now revered Porsche nameplate.

The Porsche Type 64
The Porsche Type 64

Only two of the original three Type 64s are extant, with one fully restored after being badly damaged and the other (the car going to auction in Monterey in August) having been freshened in 1947. Pictured above, it is original, authentic and has been unmolested in every respect since then.

This is the fully restored Porsche Type 64 which now resides in the Petersen Automotive Museum - one of the original three cars that was partially destroyed during WW2.
This is the fully restored Porsche Type 64 which now resides in the Petersen Automotive Museum - one of the original three cars that was partially destroyed during WW2.

The fully restored Porsche Type 64 now resides in the Petersen Automotive Museum – it was partially destroyed during WW2, but the beauty of the design can be seen in all its glory above.

Porsche Museum exhibit of the Porsche Type 64
Porsche Museum exhibit of the Porsche Type 64

Testimony to the gravitas of this automobile is that the world-famous Porsche Museum created a replica of the car for display, using the original production methodologies, and the replica has been the star of the museum for the best part of the last decade.

The Porsche Type 64 replica at the Porsche Museum
The Porsche Type 64 replica at the Porsche Museum

The auction car's story is extraordinary, because it is indeed, the "missing link" between Volkswagen and Porsche, between two distinct automotive families that both had a profound effect on the world's mobility.

The auction car was the first car to compete under the Porsche name
The auction car was the first car to compete under the Porsche name

Volkswagen commissioned the three Volkswagen long-distance racing versions of the KdF-Wagen in preparation for the 1,500-kilometer (932-mile) Berlin-Rome race set for September 1939, with a view to promoting the launch of the KdF-Wagen production car (now known as the Volkswagen Beetle or Bug).

Volkswagen commissioned the three Volkswagen long-distance racing versions of the KdF-Wagen in preparation for the 1,500-kilometer (932-mile) Berlin-Rome race set for September 1939, with a view to promoting the launch of the KdF-Wagen production car (now known as the Volkswagen Beetle or Bug)
Volkswagen commissioned the three Volkswagen long-distance racing versions of the KdF-Wagen in preparation for the 1,500-kilometer (932-mile) Berlin-Rome race set for September 1939, with a view to promoting the launch of the KdF-Wagen production car (now known as the Volkswagen Beetle or Bug)

The race for which the Type 64 was built and the KdF-Wagen launch were both postponed. Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, and World War II began.

Otto Mathé purchased it directly from Porsche in 1948 and became the only person to race a Type 64 in period, winning countless races in the late 40s and early 50s
Otto Mathé purchased it directly from Porsche in 1948 and became the only person to race a Type 64 in period, winning countless races in the late 40s and early 50s

The Type 64 was designed by the same engineers who subsequently create Porsche's first production car, the 356. The Type 64 was built for speed, and embodies all the hallmarks of the Porsche ethos – aerodynamic efficiency, enough power for the job, superb handling, and light weight. The body of the Type 64 was crafted in aluminum by Reutter.

The Porsche Type 64
The Porsche Type 64

As the only surviving Type 64, this was the first automobile in the world to be registered as a Porsche, in Austria under the new company name in 1946.

Even the raised letters spelling out "PORSCHE" on the nose cone of this car were applied by Ferry Porsche himself
Even the raised letters spelling out "PORSCHE" on the nose cone of this car were applied by Ferry Porsche himself

Even the raised letters spelling out "PORSCHE" on the nose cone of this car were applied by Ferry Porsche himself.

The Porsche 356 upon which the Porsche marque's stellar sporting heritage was built. The Porsche Type 64 was designed prior to WW2 by the same engineers responsible for the 356. The rest is history, and it began with the Porsche Type 64.
The Porsche 356 upon which the Porsche marque's stellar sporting heritage was built. The Porsche Type 64 was designed prior to WW2 by the same engineers responsible for the 356. The rest is history, and it began with the Porsche Type 64.

In 1947 the car was sent to Italy for restoration, where young designer Battista "Pinin" Farina administered his magic. One year later, Porsche demonstrated the Type 356 roadster on public roads in Innsbruck, with this Type 64 by its side.

The auction car was the first car to compete under the Porsche name
The auction car was the first car to compete under the Porsche name

Austrian racing driver Otto Mathé performed demonstration laps of the Type 64 at the time, and he was so taken with the car that he purchased it directly from Porsche in 1948 and became the only person to race a Type 64 in period, winning countless races in the late 40s and early 50s.

Otto Mathé purchased it directly from Porsche in 1948 and became the only person to race a Type 64 in period, winning countless races in the late 40s and early 50s
Otto Mathé purchased it directly from Porsche in 1948 and became the only person to race a Type 64 in period, winning countless races in the late 40s and early 50s

This car was hence the first of many cars wearing a Porsche badge to win races – a tradition upon which the marque was built.

The above image taken in 1984 at Mathé's home in Innsbruck, Austria shows Herr Mathé with the "Ahnherr" (German for ancestor). Mathé kept the car for 46 years until his death in 1995.
The above image taken in 1984 at Mathé's home in Innsbruck, Austria shows Herr Mathé with the "Ahnherr" (German for ancestor). Mathé kept the car for 46 years until his death in 1995.

The above image taken in 1984 at Mathé's home in Innsbruck, Austria shows Herr Mathé with the "Ahnherr" (German for ancestor). Mathé kept the car for 46 years until his death in 1995.

The Porsche Type 64
The Porsche Type 64

As far as prices that we can expect for this milestone vehicle, well-respected marque specialist Andy Prill said of this car, "I've seen countless special Porsches in my career, but nothing like this. I was very careful in examining the authenticity of the Type 64, no. 3 and its chassis. After spending many days with the car, I have found evidence that all key components of the cars are original as built in 1939/1940. This is the most historically significant of all Porsche cars and it is simply incredible to find the very first Porsche in this original condition."

Whether the marketplace will adjudge the Type 64 to be the most significant of all Porsche vehicles in monetary terms has yet to be determined. Indeed, given the Porsche history, its place in historical context will also be adjudged by the price it fetches.

In 2017, a 1914 Peugeot L45 Grand Prix car (Chassis no. 1 Engine no. 1) sold for just $7,260,000 - the car is arguably the most important automobile to go to auction this century or last, having been the common ancestor to every modern sportscar in history with its DOHC four-valve engine configuration surviving to this day.
In 2017, a 1914 Peugeot L45 Grand Prix car (Chassis no. 1 Engine no. 1) sold for just $7,260,000 - the car is arguably the most important automobile to go to auction this century or last, having been the common ancestor to every modern sportscar in history with its DOHC four-valve engine configuration surviving to this day.

In 2017, a 1914 Peugeot L45 Grand Prix car (Chassis no. 1 Engine no. 1) sold for just US$7,260,000 – the car is arguably the most important automobile to go to auction this century or last, having been the common ancestor to every modern sportscar in history with its DOHC four-valve engine configuration surviving to this day.

The Porsche Type 64 is unlikely to sell for so little, and is expected to fetch more than $20 million when it goes to auction with RM-Sotheby's in August.

 The record price paid for a Porsche at auction is the $14,080,000 paid for a 1970 Porsche 917K at Gooding & Company's 2017Pebble Beach auction.
 The record price paid for a Porsche at auction is the $14,080,000 paid for a 1970 Porsche 917K at Gooding & Company's 2017Pebble Beach auction.

The record price paid for a Porsche at auction is the $14,080,000 paid for a 1970 Porsche 917K at Gooding & Company's 2017Pebble Beach auction.

The previous record price for a Porsche of $10,120,000 was also achieved by Gooding & Company when a Le-Mans-winning 1982 Porsche 956 sold at Pebble Beach in 2015. The advert (above right) which that car helped write the copy for is testimony to the monumental heritage which the Type 64 began.
The previous record price for a Porsche of $10,120,000 was also achieved by Gooding & Company when a Le-Mans-winning 1982 Porsche 956 sold at Pebble Beach in 2015. The advert (above right) which that car helped write the copy for is testimony to the monumental heritage which the Type 64 began.

The previous record price for a Porsche of $10,120,000 was also achieved by Gooding & Company when a Le-Mans-winning 1982 Porsche 956 sold at Pebble Beach in 2015. The advert (above right), which that car helped write the copy for is testimony to the monumental heritage which the Type 64 began.

Auction page: RM Sotheby's

4 comments
guzmanchinky
I visited the Porsche museum last summer, amazing to see the beginnings all the way through to the new Taycan electric. This car belongs in that museum as well.
Porsche911
Why is it that this car is pictured with the steering wheel on both the right, and the left sides? When and for what reason was it changed? It was originally raced with the wheel on the right.
Kpar
From the article: "Even the raised letters spelling out "PORSCHE" on the nose cone of this car were applied by Ferry Porsche himself." Was that Ferdinand or Ferry? Ferry was Ferdinand's son.
jerryd
Such a beautiful car and so ahead of it's time and would be very viable today as an all composite body, chassis EV. As an EV it is likely to get 200 mile range on just 20kwh. And with Vs massive torque, low CG and it being so light, it'd be hard to beat on a race course.