How much are you willing to spend to get a new Porsche 911? Let’s admit it -- a Porsche 911 is not cheap, even if it is more than 50 years old already. Now one of the first 13 prototypes Porsche 911s is up for auction at the upcoming event by RM Sotheby’s in Paris, France on February 8, 2017.
Yes, this is not just any other Porsche 911. It is more than a classic; it is already an icon. Aside from being one of the original Porsche 911s, the classic car up for sale in February is also the first ever 911 Cabriolet. Built between 1963 and 1964, this 911 Cabriolet – with chassis #13360 -- is one of the two surviving originals. With an age of around 53 years old, the 911 #13360 is also the oldest 911 Cabriolet.
Let us dabble with some Porsche 911 history. Prior to 1963, Porsche determined that it was already time to replace the Porsche 356. So, it commissioned Karmann to produce 13 prototypes of the successor model. These prototypes were eventually named as Porsche 901, and one of them was this 911 Cabriolet in concern. Interestingly, this car and its hardtop siblings weren’t known as the 911 back then, but as 901. In fact, when the 356 successor was unveiled in the at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show, it was presented as the Porsche 901.
But there was a big problem: French carmaker Peugeot protested the naming sense applied for the model since it had already patented the naming designation for three digits with a zero in the middle. Yes, Peugeot had the exclusive rights to name vehicles with any three-digit number that has a zero in the middle, 901 including. To resolve the issue, Porsche opted to change the name of the 901 to 911. By the time the name was changed, Porsche had already built 82 production versions of the 901. As for the 911 Cabriolet, it was not until 1982 that Porsche built a production version from the 1963 prototype.
Now, the 911 Cabriolet #13360 set to be auctioned off in 2017 remains in good condition even after 53 years. It is still powered by a 2.0-liter flat-six engine that delivers 130 PS (129 bhp) and is mated to a five-speed Type 901 manual transmission. Its red paint finish is almost still original. This Porsche 911 Cabriolet features Fuchs alloy wheels and part-leather, part-houndstooth seats as well as wood-rimmd steering wheel. This car was actually nearing being scrapped until saved by German collector Manfred Freisinger, who took possession of the 911 Cabriolet until he sold it to Myron Vernis of Akron, Ohio. The car changed to the current owner in 2014. Now, the current owner has commissioned RM Sotheby’s to auction off the very first 911 Cabriolet.
The 911 Cabriolet #13360 is expected to be sold at a final bid of between €850,000 and €1 million, according to RM Sotheby’s.