After three years of restoration, the Porsche Museum will finally present one of the newest additions to its collection – and the oldest 911 that it holds – at the special exhibition “911 (901 No. 57) – A legend takes off” from 14 December 2017 to 8 April 2018. The red coupé was built in October 1964 as one of the first series production models of the sports car known back then as the 901. Almost exactly 50 years later, the Porsche Museum happened to find this rare item and decided to buy it with a view to restoring it back to its original state.
Production of the Type 901 commenced on 14 September 1964 (model year 1965), and in October of that year the new sports car was shown at the Paris Motor Show. It was there that Peugeot spotted Porsche’s use of the three-digit model reference with a ‘0’ in the middle, and as Peugeot had trademarked this numerical sequence in the French market, Porsche was obliged to change the name of the 901. However, a total of 82 units of the model 901 had already been manufactured before the model name was changed to 911. The 901 was originally sold for a price of DM21,900 and all of the customer vehicles produced up to that point were manufactured as 901 vehicles, but sold as 911 vehicles. Frustratingly though, the Porsche Museum collection has lacked one of these rarities for 50 years.
In 2014, while valuing a collection of items long forgotten about in a barn, a German TV crew working on an antiques and memorabilia programme stumbled across two 911 models dating back to the 1960s. After making enquiries with the Porsche Museum, it emerged that one of the two sports cars with the chassis number 300.057 was one of the rare models built before the model line was renamed. The Porsche Museum decided to buy both 911 models at the estimated price determined by an independent expert, and in doing so closed a key gap in its collection of significant classic cars produced by the Porsche brand.
One of the crucial factors in favour of purchasing the vehicle was the fact that the old 911 had not been restored in any way, giving the specialists at the museum the opportunity to restore the sports car as authentically and as true to the original as possible. It took a total of three years to bring this very rusty sports car back to its original state, using genuine body parts from the time taken from a different vehicle. The engine, transmission, electrics and interior were all repaired following the same principle. The general rule was to retain parts and fragments where possible rather than replacing them. These intricate restoration methods used by the Porsche Museum as the standard approach are precisely the reason why it took so long to bring this highly historically significant sports car back to life.
And so, it is a significant milestone that the Porsche Museum can finally display this important model for the public to view, and with so few of these models in existence, it presents an ideal opportunity for enthusiasts to visit the Museum to view this car.
Edited by: Glen Smale
Images by: Porsche Werkfoto