Monterey Car Week is where the automotive auction records are broken every year. This year will prove to be no different primarily because the star of the show is an original Porsche. The car is one of the three original Porsche Type 64 also known as Type 60K10 and the only one that has remained intact and the very first car to have donned the Porsche nameplate.
Out of the three Porsche Type 64s, only two have survived. One has been completely restored after sustaining heavy damage and the other Type 64 – the one that is making its way to the auction in Monterey in August – had been freshened back in 1947. The restored Porsche Type 64 is at the Petersen Automotive Museum. It was partially destroyed during the WW2.
The famous Porsche Museum made a replica of Type 64 for display by employing the original production methodologies, and the said replica has been the star of the museum for the last ten years. The Porsche Type 64 headed for auction has an incredible story; it is the missing link between Volkswagen and Porsche.
Volkswagen commissioned the three Volkswagen long-distance racing iterations of the KdF-Wagen while preparing for the 1,500-kilometer Berlin-Rome race that was set for September 1939 with the goal of promoting the launch of the KdF-Wagen production car that came to be known as Volkswagen Beetle.
The race for which the KdF-Wagen and Type 64 were built was postponed. This didn’t seem out of the blue since Germany had invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, leading France and Great Britain to declare war on Germany on September 3, 1939, thus starting the World War II. The design of Type 64 was created by the same engineers who then created the Porsche’s first production car, the 356. The Type 64 had been created for the sake of speed and featured all of the Porsche’s attributes; sufficient power for carrying out the task, aerodynamic efficiency, superb handling, and lightweight. The body of Type 64 was made using aluminum by Reutter.
As the only surviving Type 64, this automobile was the first in the world to have been registered as a Porsche in Austria under the new company name in 1946. In fact, the raised letters that spell out ‘PORSCHE’ on the car’s nose have been applied by Ferry Porsche. It was sent to Italy in 1948 for restoration where Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina worked on the car. Only a year later, Porsche showed off the Type 356 roadster on public roads in Innsbruck with this very Type 64 at its side.
Otto Mathé, an Austrian racing driver, ran the demonstration laps with the Type 64 at that time and was so impressed with the car that he bought it directly from Porsche in 1948. He was the only person to race a Type 64 in the period while coming out on top in countless races during the late 40s and early 50s.
Andy Prill, a marque specialist, said, ‘I’ve seen countless special Porsches in my career, but nothing like this. I was very careful in examining the authenticity of 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.’
The Porsche Type 64 is likely to get more than $20 million during its auction in August.