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Porsche Jagdwagen 1957 auction: Porsche hunting with a difference

Porsche Jagdwagen 1957 Bonhams auction
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N very few people know this Porsche. In fact, the Cayenne was not the brand's first off-road vehicle, but this hunting vehicle (even if, strictly speaking, the VW bucket and float vehicles were actually Porsche designs).

The Porsche hunting vehicle followed in the 1950s a tender of the still young Bundeswehr constructed. Here a small, light off-road vehicle with the required 250 kilo payload was to be introduced, Porsche participated as one of three German manufacturers in the bidding process.

Porsche hunting car with sports car engine

The Porsche hunting car, officially designated as the Type 597, it was a daring new design. Too daring, as it turned out in later driving tests by the German Armed Forces, in which the Porsche Jagdwagen with several defects and a tricky roadholding did not get top marks. Part of the responsibility for this was the 1.5-liter boxer (from the Porsche 356 sports car) used as a rear engine in the best Porsche style. This made the front of the Porsche Jagdwagen so light that steering problems arose at high speeds.

The Porsche Jagdwagen had 50 hp and ran around 100 kilometers, the curb weight was around 990 kilos. The front axle drive could be switched on for off-road use, and a differential lock was installed in the rear axle. The rear engine led to some curious design features. The tank is mounted exposed at the front, sticks out its tank cap and frames a reserve canister. The developers placed the spare wheel standing between the headlights. A design that would certainly make for a big hello under today's safety aspects.

Getting into the bathtub

The Porsche Jagdwagen has no doors, you climb it like a bathtub over the high ones Side skirts. Thin seat shells receive the crew, a narrow rear seat is built in at the back. The only light weather protection is a folding top. In the end, the Bundeswehr was not able to warm up to the Porsche Jagdwagen, instead the Audi predecessor Auto Union came into play with the DKW Munga, over 5,000 of the two-stroke cars were purchased over the years.

The Porsche Jagdwagen 597 did not achieve such good numbers. In addition to the 50 or so military models, another 50 or so civil versions were made for the private marketmanufactured. One of these civilian models owned by a Japanese collector is the hunting car that will be offered at a Bonhams auction in September and will go under the hammer at this year's Goodwood Revival Festival in England. The estimated price for the rare piece: around 240,000 euros.


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