Porsche remains one of the most prominent luxury car makers in the world today. Its sleek designs and incredible performance make their product lines so hard to ignore for any self-respecting car aficionado.
Porsche also takes part in the most prestigious races around the world. They’re responsible for modern classics like the Porsche Carrera GT and the Porsche 911 GT1.
Owning a Porsche has also become a status symbol for those who can afford them.
But do you know how all these prestige and glamour came to be? Do you know how this empire of modern automobile design became one of the most respected car brands in the world today? Do you know what the first Porsche vehicle was?
We’ll look into all of that and more talking about the Porsche 64.
The Porsche 64 is considered the first automobile that was created by the car company that would later become known around the world as Porsche. This car is also sometimes referred to as the Type 64 or the Type 60K10.
Although the car concept was officially known as the Type 60K10, the developers of the car called it the Type 64 internally. The number 64 came from how the car was mainly based on design drawings for the Type-64 ‘record car.’
Porsche and Volkswagen
In September 1938, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, who was later going to be known as the founder of the successful car company, was working as a consultant for VW. He then made a proposal to build a sports car based on the iconic VW Beetle or the KdF-Wagen. Its main difference then was the placement of the engine in the mid/rear area, just ahead of the rear axle.
However, Porsche’s design was rejected by the board because it was too far from the state-run VW’s idea of a car for the common man. But by then, it had already made an impression. Just two weeks later, VW also commissioned Porsche to come up with a solution for the Beetle’s narrow tires that have been poorly performing. This solution was to be similar with Porsche’s proposal two weeks before. This later became the Type 64.
Race to Rome
In the following year, a road race from Berlin to Rome was announced, and a lot of car manufacturers wanted to participate. It was then that Porsche was ordered three examples of Type 64.
Although the chassis of the car was based on the VW Beetle, the Type 64 was very different. It had a very narrow two-seat cockpit, front and rear wheel spats, and a split-windshield.
The project drew inspirations from aircraft technology to make sure the car stayed light and durable. Even the Beetle’s engine was rebuilt using larger valves and higher compression to significantly improve its performance from 23.5 hp to 32-40 horses.
The car was set to perform well on the race, but World War II broke out.
The Only Surviving Porsche 64
Today, only the third of three Type 64 cars survives. It has been used as a family car by generations of Porsches.
It was set to be auctioned off by RM Sotheby’s in 2019, but a bidding error resulted in a failed sale.
Still, the car remains an important piece of history for the company that went on to become a legend in the industry. Without the Porsche 64, there would not be a 356, 550, or a 911.
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