The car should be the highlight of the Monterey Car Week (August 15 to 17) in California find a new owner at auction. The T yp 64 based on the Beetle is also known as the Berlin-Rome car: It was intended for the 1,500 kilometer race from Berlin to Rome. The race never took place, however, because World War II began weeks before the planned start.
Porsche's first sports car?
With the type 64 wanted Professor Ferdinand Porsche show what was in the base of the Beetle - and also realized his dream of the sports car. So he tuned the four-stroke boxer engine to 32 hp and had three streamlined aluminum bodies pounded at Reutter. The wheels were fully covered. There wasn't much space in the narrow pulpit, but the top speed is said to have been 160 km /h. As soon as the first car was finished, Germany invaded Poland, the war began and nothing came of the Berlin-Rome race.
Type 64 - designed by Porsche, but without lettering
A second Berlin-Rome car was built in December 1939, and a third was built in June 1940 - from the chassis of the first Type 64, which has since had an accident. Ferry and Ferdinand Porsche used this car as a family and test car. It also came to Gmünd. A year later, the Type 64 was restored there and perhaps Ferdinand or Ferry Porsche gave it the Porsche logo. Somehow, legitimately. After all, the Type 64 clearly goes back to Porsche. But it is not a vehicle from the car manufacturer Porsche, but from the designer Porsche, which accordingly did not have the logo when it was created - it simply did not exist back then.
The 356 Roadster No. 1 is the first Porsche
The first real Porsche sports car is the 356 Roadster No. 1 with a mid-engine, which bears the additional designation No. 1 for a reason and is now in the Porsche Museum. The legendary quote from Ferry Porsche refers to him: “At first I looked around, but couldn't find the car I was dreaming of. So I decided to build it myself ”.
In 1948, Porsche bought the 356 Roadster No. 1 presented at the Innsbruck city race. The Type 64 was also there. Probably more for reasons of self-portrayal - as a car manufacturer you probably didn't want to appear with just one car. At this point at the latest, the new Porsche logo was publicly visible on the Type 64 - on a nine-year-old car. That should also have prompted the auction house to initially auction the Type 64 as the first Porsche, after all it is significantly older than the 356.
Porsche did not agree with this. Because, according to Porsche, the first car to receive the Porsche logo is the 356 'No. 1 “Roadster. When the general operating license was obtained on 8 June 1948, the Porsche logo on the 356 'No. 1 “Roadster noted. The Type 64 has only been wearing the lettering on the front hood since the “Innsbruck City Race” on July 11, 1948 - so only a month later.
During this presentation in Innsbruck, the racing driver and entrepreneur Otto Mathé drove the Type 64. He liked it so much that he bought it a year later, used it in a few races and kept it until his death in 1995.
Not only Porsche is not increasing
Two years later, Porsche specialist Thomas Gruber took over the car. Now the auction attempt for lot number 362. In the run-up the waves hit high, some speculation was based on a price of over 20 million dollars. Experienced auction visitors wereagain skeptical whether the Type 64 can achieve this high value. The auctioneer tried everything: First, he fooled the amazed audience into a starting price of $ 30 million, which allegedly increased through bids in ten million dollar steps. More and more auction guests were amazed; at $ 70 million, doubts were omnipresent. The auctioneer broke up his joke and opened the real auction with a starting bid of $ 17 million. Perhaps the previous joke was just a depth psychological trick that should make the 17 million now called up appear comparatively tiny compared to the imaginary 70 million.
If it was a trick, it didn't work: nobody wanted to called for 17 million. The front rows of guests, from whom most of the million bids so far came, looked petrified. The auctioneer, who had previously played off bidders against each other over and over again in order to get higher prices, mentioned the 17 million over and over again. “To the first” and “to the second” he also shouted several times - but nobody wanted to shell out the money for the single item, not a single bid came off the lips of the otherwise enthusiastic audience. The Porsche Type 64 Paris- Rom-Wagen did not change hands, at least that evening. In view of the speculation about a 20 million price, the auction ensures the first realistic price limits - 17 million and more, the initial Porsche is apparently not worth to anyone at the moment. The Porsche Museum had previously announced that it would not take part in the auction.