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The Type 64: Bridge Over Troubled Waters

The very first Porsche spanned the Second World War like a bridge over troubled waters, from peacetime to peacetime.

Engineer Herbert Kaes took this picture of his friend Schlicter within the Porsche factory’s central courtyard in 1941.

It was created by Dr. Ing. h.c. Ferdinand Porsche and a handful of his close associates in 1937-38 and, despite the hideous wartime destruction, is still alive and well today, a distinguished septuagenarian. Yet important though it is, not much has been seen or heard of the Type 64 or, to give it its official designation, the 60K 10 KdF, which is so clearly the 911’s ancestor.

Most people think the first Porsche was the one-off 356/1 or at least the subsequent 356/2s built in the famous converted sawmill in Gmünd in Dr. Porsche’s native Austria. Not a bit of it. The first of the line—there were actually three of them—was built for a 1939 endurance race that never happened. They became racing cars with nowhere to go.

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