Here’s a rare bird we wish was parked inside our garage—a Signal Red 1964 Porsche 901/911. The Porsche 356 successor became the 911 because of a trademark dispute with Peugeot.
This particular 901 was built in October of 1964 as one of the first series-production models—number 57 to be exact. Because of the dispute, all of the 901s were renamed and later sold as 911s.
Number 57 was discovered nearly a half a century later in a Brandenburg, Germany barn by a TV crew in 2014. The Porsche Museum needed one for its collection and bought it for about $126,000. It spent the next three years bringing the rust bucket back to its original condition.
According to the museum, genuine body parts from a different vehicle were used to restore this classic coupe.
When it was discovered, its front wings were missing, the interior was in shambles, and its brakes and six-cylinder engine were seized.
“Many of the features only included in the very first models have been preserved in the car,” said Kuno Werner, Porsche Museum workshop head, in a statement.
For example, a leather sleeve around the shift lever was only installed in this form in the 901s. One of the hardest parts to replicate was the ashtray—sadly, the chrome-plated cigar holder had rusted away.
Parts and fragments from a 1965 911 donor vehicle were used instead of simply replacing them and over 50 percent of the original sheet metal was saved, which explains the three-year restoration progress. The results are stunning and the car looks incredible.
If you’d like to see the classic coupe in the flesh, it’s on display at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart now through April 18, 2018.