One of the very first Porsche 911s has been rescued by Porsche, fully restored and put in the Porsche Museum as the earliest ‘901’ in Porsche’s possession.
When Porsche launched the successor to the 356, they called it the Porsche 901. But a trademark dispute forced Porsche to think again, and they simply replace the ‘0’ with a ‘1’, and in the process created the car which is the bedrock of Porsche’s success – the Porsche 911.
That was 1964, and just a small number of 901s remain and, until now, Porsche didn’t even own one.
But a find by a German TV crew filming and researching for a sort of Teutonic Antiques Road Trip found a 901 lurking in a barn, spoke to Porsche and Porsche quickly got their cheque book out and bought the 901 with chassis number 300.057, as well as a second, less rare, 911.
That was three years ago, since when Porsche has been working to restore the 901, taking it back to a raw shell, using parts from same period cars, and with the engine, gearbox, electrics and interior following a similar path of completely authentic restoration.
The 1964 Porsche 901 is now sitting in pride of place as the Genesis of the 911 in a special exhibition at the Porsche Museum – “911 (901 No. 57) – A legend takes off” – from yesterday (14 December 2017) through to 8 April 2018.