It is a milestone in Porsche’s history this Type 64 which will be auctioned in California this summer. RM Sotheby’s auction manager Augustin Sabatie-Garat expects it to exceed $20 million. A car conceived in 1938 during a meeting between Ferdinand Porsche, and Major Adolf Hühnlein, head of the ONS (Oberste Nationale Sportbehörde), the organization responsible for motorsport events in Germany: the idea was that of an endurance race of 1500 km from Berlin to Rome to be held in September 1939.
It would have served to promote the technological superiority and the excellent German motorways and to launch the production of the KdF-Wagen, the “car of the people” demanded by Hitler. In preparation for the race, it was decided to build three special cars, set up for long distances.
Sporting aluminum body and wheels and covered in light alloy panels, it was designed by the same engineers than later created the 356.
“Without the Type 64 there would not have been a Porsche 356, a 550 or even a 911,” explains Marcus Görig of RM Sotheby’s.
Since it had to compete (and win) a 1500km race, Karl Fröhlich designed a form that could contain two spare wheels in the front, with the petrol tank being positioned in the rear. Looking at the roof structure from the outside, you can clearly see how the small, narrow dome-shaped cockpit made the interior particularly uncomfortable.
The engine used was the classic 985cc standard motor of the KDF-Wagen but upgraded to 32hp and with better and lighter aerodynamics. Production began in August 1939, one month before the race. Only one Type 64 was completed before the war since the government shifted its interests to the manufacture of military vehicles.
The Berlin-Rome race was never disputed. Two more cars were created, one in December of that year and the third in June 1940: this was the only one to survive the war, and was driven by Ferdinand Porsche. For the young Ferry Porsche, these three cars served as a test bench for a whole range of technological solutions, making the Type 64 the link between Volkswagen and the Porsche 356.
In 1947 Ferry Porsche commissioned the car’s restoration to a young Pinin Farina, and one year later the new Type 356 roadster paraded on the roads of Innsbruck next to the Type 64. Now after more than sixty years arrives at an auction in Monterey:
considering the reach history behind this car “we think it can reach over twenty million dollars” explains the RM Sotheby’s Auction manager, Augustin Sabatié-Garat.