Type 64 #3. To the uninitiated, this seems like a simple, somewhat meaningless combination of letters and numbers. However, to Porsche fanatics, Type 64 #3 is everything.
You see, Type 64 #3 is the oldest surviving car ever built by Porsche, and now it is for sale.
Auction house RM Sotheby describes Type 64 #03 as "the most significant surviving piece of Porsche engineering and design history”, and frankly, we aren’t going to disagree. This particular Porsche is so old that it actually predates the sports car manufacturer as a company by a decade.
Built by Ferdinand Porsche himself for a 1500-kilometer race between Berlin and Rome planned for September 1939, the Type 64 was based on the Volkswagen Beetle (which was also designed by Mr Porsche). To increase the performance of the Type 64, it was fitted with streamlined aluminium bodywork and a more powerful engine. However, the race never took place, with Nazi Germany invading Poland earlier in the month.
Ferdinand had built a single chassis by that point, which became the property of the German government. His son, Ferry, built two more Type 64 chassis, with the second completed in December 1939, and the third in June 1940.
Type 64 #3, the car which is now for sale, is actually built from the bones of the first chassis, which was crashed by the then managing director of Volkswagen.
With chassis #2 not surviving the war, #3 was left as the sole Type 64 in the world.
The Porsche family kept the car when they relocated to Austria, with Ferry putting the family and company name on the car in 1946. The next year he commissioned ‘Pinin’ Farina – the founder of the Pininfarina design house – to restore the car.
Type 64 #3 has had an illustrious life since then, and was even shown alongside the 356 when it was revealed.
RM Sotheby expects Type 64 #3 to fetch circa US$20 million (A$28.7 million) at auction, which would easily exceed the current record for the most expensive Porsche ever sold, currently held by the 917K used to film Le Mans which changed hands for US$14 million (A$20.1 million) in 2017.