1939 Porsche Type 64, the precursor to the 356, is going to auction

14 May 2019 - Autoblog

1939 Porsche Type 64, the precursor to the 356, is going to auction

The only one to survive World War II

If you're a die-hard Porsche fan of some means, you may want to start liquidating some assets, because one of the most significant cars in the brand's history is going up for auction. It's the 1939 Porsche Type 64, and that year is not a typo. This is a Porsche sports car from before the end of World War II and before the official formation of the Porsche car company after the war 70 years ago and the production of the 356.

The car has a truly fascinating history. According to RM Sotheby's, Ferdinand Porsche and Volkswagen planned to build and race three Type 64s in a 1,500-kilometer race from Berlin to Rome in September 1939. It was based on the KdF-Wagen, the early version of the postwar Beetle, and used the same drivetrain, but the engine output was increased to 32 horsepower, and an aerodynamic, riveted aluminum body was fitted. Only one was built before the race was canceled because of the war, with the other two being spearheaded by Ferdinand's son Ferry Porsche a little bit later. One of those was used as a personal car by the Porsches, and it was the only one to survive the war.

After the war, Ferry Porsche brought it with him to Austria when he started his eponymous sports car company, and he had it restored by Pinin Farina, the founder of the Pininfarina design house. The Type 64 was later sold to an Austrian racing driver who held onto it until his death in 1995. The car then went on to its third owner in 1997, and is now being offered for auction. It will cross the block at the Monterey, Calif., auction Aug. 15-17.

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