The Oldest Porsche

1939 Porsche Type 64

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Ferdinand Porsche’s fingerprints are all over the German automobile industry. He helped engineer the original VW Beetle in the 1930s as well as cars for Wanderer, Auto Union, and Zundapp. In 1937 he designed the Type 64 and it wore his name – and his alone – for the first time.

Three examples were built between 1939 and 1940 – all race cars. They have a speed record car kind of look to them and that’s because they were commissioned by the German government to compete in a race from Berlin to Rome. And partially to celebrate the launch of the Volkswagen.

They shared the VW Type 1’s running gear: a rear-mounted 32 horsepower flat-four. The body was construed by Reutter, who would go on to help build Porsche’s post-war 356. Only one example was built before the war began, and the German government took possession of that car.

The race being canceled due to hostilities didn’t deter Ferry Porsche from building two more cars, the third of which used the same chassis as the first, after it was damaged in an accident. The second car didn’t survive the war, supposedly thanks to some joy-riding American GIs, but that third car was retained by the Porsche family until 1949 when it was purchased by racing driver Otto Mathe, who kept the car until his death in 1995.

This car, which is nicely described in the catalog as the missing link between the VW Beetle and the Porsche 356, is the oldest Porsche automobile in existence and was the third car ever built by Porsche. With Porsches as hot as ever, it is likely to break the bank in Monterey. Stay tuned! Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

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