4 Facts About the World’s Oldest-Surviving Porsche for Students in Automotive School
Porsche stands out as a continuing innovator in classic automotive design and performance. Although the company has been around for over 70 years, its cars look very different from when the company first began. This is especially true when it comes to the 1939 Type 64 Porsche, the automaker’s oldest-surviving model.
The emergence of the motorsports industry in the 1920s and 30s led to many rough drafts and road tests—some of which would lead to many iconic and classic cars, including the Porsche Type 64. Here’s a closer look at this car.
1. The Porsche Type 64 Is the Earliest Surviving Porsche Prototype
The 1939 Type 64 is currently on auction for $26.7 million ($20 million USD). One of the reasons for the high sticker price is due to its rarity, as well as its age. Students in automotive school might know that the Porsche Type 64 was originally designed for a 1,500 km race from Berlin to Rome in 1939. While three original Porsches were created for the Berlin-Rome race, there is only one left. The car that is now on auction–known as number 38/41—was kept in the family during and after the war before being sold to an Austrian racing driver.
2. The 1939 Type 64 Was the Personal Family Car of Porsche’s Founder
The creation of the first Porsche cars were, of course, a very personal matter to the Porsche family, as both father and son had a hand in their design. The family used the Porsche Type 64 extensively for personal use, and even took it to Austria when the company was relocated in 1944, parking it at the family estate in Zell-am-See. Ferry Porsche, Ferdinand Porsche’s son, even applied the raised ‘Porsche’ lettering on the hood himself after the new company was christened in 1946.
3. The Design of the Type 64 Was Based on Early Versions of the VW Beetle
Before founding Porsche as his own company, Ferdinand Porsche actually worked for Volkswagen. Due to his work with VW, Porsche designed his first car using the KdF-Wagen, prototype to the Beetle, as a source of inspiration. Porsche incorporated the same drivetrain into the Type 64, and outfitted it with a riveted aluminum body, which boosted its aerodynamic properties and gave it a more streamlined appearance.
4. Students in Automotive School May Be Surprised by What’s Under the Hood
Although the Porsche prototype may not seem as impressive as the ones students in automotive service technician training know today, it was still a marvel of engineering and automotive innovation when it was created. Porsche used much of the same technology present in the KdF-Wagen, but modified the engine to have a greater output of 32 horsepower, which boosted the earliest Porsche to a top speed of 173.5 km/h.
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