For Sale: 1939 Porsche Type 64  

1939 Porsche Type 64

RM | Sotheby’s – MONTEREY 15 – 17 AUGUST 2019

A strive for technological advancement in motor car performance drove the motorsport industry in the 1920s and 1930s, resulting in some of the most iconic race cars of the period, which served as great sources of national pride. The advent of World War II saw Professor Ferdinand Porsche forced to shift focus to a car for the masses—the KdF-Wagen:

Volkswagen Advertisement, 1930s. Caption: Der kdf Wagen [Kdf stands for Kraft durch Freude- Strength through Joy]. Name for large state-controlled leisure organization in Nazi Germany. 


However, he retained a vision to produce a lighter, faster version of the model that would showcase the nation’s technology and realize his sports car dreams.

It was a road race that never took place that would give birth to the Type 64. The 1,500-kilometer Berlin-Rome race was set for September 1939 and would be used to promote Germany’s autobahn system as well as celebrate the launch of the KdF-Wagen production car. In preparation for the race, the government-owned Volkswagen commissioned three special long-distance racing versions of the KdF-Wagen, known internally to Porsche and his engineers as the Type 64. Designed by the same engineers who would go on to create the 356, the cars were built at Reutter Works across the street from Zuffenhausen over 1939-1940, with lightweight aluminum bodies and the wheels fully covered in removable alloy panels.

While the Type 64 shares the same drivetrain and suspension as the Type 1 Volkswagen, it is otherwise very different. The chassis and riveted alloy body utilize WWII aircraft technology, while the original air-cooled flat-four engine was tuned to 32 bhp. Just as the first of the three cars was finished, and weeks before the Berlin-Rome race was set to start, war was officially declared and government interest turned to military vehicles, with the first Type 64 becoming property of the German labor front.

A young Ferry Porsche did not give up, and he moved forward with the two additional cars, which would serve as experimental test beds for Porsche as they developed their own production sports car, essentially making the Type 64 the missing link between Volkswagen and the Porsche 356. The second car was completed in December 1939 and the third, using the chassis of the first car, which had been damaged following an accident with the Managing Director of Volkswagen at the wheel, by June 1940.

The third Type 64 was retained as a personal family car and driven extensively by Ferry and Ferdinand Porsche. When the company was forced to relocate headquarters to Gmünd, Austria from 1944-1948, it was kept alongside the second Type 64 at the family estate in the picturesque lakeside town of Zell-am-See.

No. 3 was the only example to survive the war, and Ferry Porsche himself applied the raised letters spelling out “PORSCHE” on the nose of the car when he had in registered in Austria under the new company name in 1946.

In 1947, restoration work was commissioned by Porsche and completed by a young Pinin Farina in Turin, Italy. Nearly one year later, Porsche demonstrated the Type 356 roadster, no. 1, on public roads in Innsbruck, with the Type 64 by its side. Austrian privateer driver Otto Mathé completed demo laps in the Type 64 and fell in love, buying it from Porsche the following year. He enjoyed a successful racing career with the car in the 1950s—the very first to do so in a Porsche product—and kept it for 46 years until his death in 1995.

In 1997, the Type 64 changed hands for just the second time in six decades and appeared at a handful of vintage racing events with its third owner, Dr. Thomas Gruber of Vienna, including Goodwood and the Austrian Ennstal Classic. Dr. Gruber is the author of the renowned Carrera RS book and one of the most respected Porsche specialists worldwide.

“Without the Type 64, there would be no Porsche 356, no 550, no 911,” says Marcus Görig, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s.

“This is Porsche’s origin story, the car that birthed the company’s legend, and it offers collectors what is likely an unrepeatable opportunity to sit in the seat of Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche. With this car, the new owner will not only be invited to the first row of every Porsche event worldwide—they will be the first row!”

Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s, continues: “We’ve had the honor of presenting some of the most significant cars in the history of numerous top marques at Monterey, and the Type 64 now stands among them. The Type 64 helped define what a sports car is today, and it carries many of traits we’ve seen throughout seven decades of Porsche production and still see in some of the marque’s most sought-after contemporary models. We’re grateful to have been entrusted by the owner with this important piece of automotive, engineering, and world history and we look forward to sharing it with the collector car hobby this summer.”

Andy Prill, well-respected marque specialist who has recently inspected the Type 64, adds: “I’ve seen countless special Porsches in my career, but nothing like this. I was very careful in examining the authenticity of the Type 64, No. 3 and its chassis. After spending many days with the car, I have found evidence that all key components of the cars are original as built in 1939/1940. This is the most historically significant of all Porsche cars and it is simply incredible to find the very first Porsche in this original condition.”

Source: RM Sotheby’s – 1939 Porsche Type 64 | Monterey 2019

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Scored a Righteous T @ Haight Ashbury Today

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San Francisco MUNI in the 1970s 

When I moved here in 1976 I was dating a woman who lived on Russian Hill and after being fortunate enough to spend the night with her I would take the cable car to my job near Union Square. I usually hung out on the back deck with the conductor and smoked cigarettes.

When I spent the night at home in Noe Valley I took the J Church streetcar to work:

All of MUNI, the cable cars, the streetcars, and the buses cost 25 cents and came with a free transfer that was good for 2 ½ hours.

In a wide variety of livery, here is a small bit of the MUNI fleet in the 1970s:

Source: David Pirmann  Flickr

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This concrete parking strip on Haight Street near Masonic Ave was installed in 1968. As part of the new improvement plan the section with this graffiti was removed and tomorrow it will likely be demolished.
To take a few last pictures that show it off today, I outlined the words in chalk:

The Haight is now down to 5 things that we know the date of, were created in the 1960s, and are visible to the public. (one of which is in front of Hunter S. Thompson’s old place up on Parnassus near UCSF where it still says “FUCK NIXON” in the concrete)

I know of another LSD graffiti in the concrete in front of 1237 Masonic that I will be seeking to learn the date of.

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An Ex-Army Medic’s Collection

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Astronomers Make Massive Discovery on the Far Side of the Moon | Smithsonian

A 1,200-mile-wide crater on the far side of the moon was formed when a huge asteroid with a heavy metal core smashed into the lunar surface billions of years ago. When that happened, the asteroid drilled through layers of the moon’s crust while losing mass of its own. Molten rock partially refilled the impact area, melting chunks of the asteroid’s busted metal core along the way. Peter James, a planetary scientist at Baylor University explains that today, metal from the asteroid’s core could still be embedded in the lunar mantle, causing the extra mass.

The exact size of the asteroid and the date of impact have yet to be determined but one thing is certain: Had this rock missed the moon and smacked into Earth it would have been a very, very bad day for whatever critters were living here then.


Source: Astronomers Make Massive Discovery on the Far Side of the Moon | Smart News | Smithsonian

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Pageant of Pulchritude: 1927 

(click on photo to enlarge and zoom)

“Second International Pageant of Pulchritude and Eighth Annual Bathing Girl Revue — Galveston, Texas — May, 1927.”







Source: Shorpy Historic Picture Archive :: Pageant of Pulchritude: 1927 high-resolution photo

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GoLo or Go Homies

I found this Lowrider Magazine trophy on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in front of the Gap (which closed in 2007) and when David Gonzales’ ‘Homies’ first came out in the early Noughts I spent a small fortune collecting this full set of the 1st edition of them from vending machines in the Mission

The trophy’s original engraved plate had been removed so it was not identifiable.

I’ve wanted to put them together for a loooong time and only managed to do it right before I left for Peru at the end of Jan. 2019.

{It was one of several projects that I finished up before my departure, a hedge against the worst happening to me down there}



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Welding mask, about $8

Tempting but I’m afraid that it would be too big for my suitcase and I’m pretty sure they won’t let me take it as a carry-on.

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Huancayo, Peru

My destination, Huancayo, is 10,692ft/3,259m above sea level.

I live about 260ft/83m above it. I have altitude sickness meds and know about mata de coca but I’m still concerned. I had infantile asthma and even when I ran long distance have always breathed rather shallowly.

I think I’ll give it 2-3 weeks but if my body has not acclimated enough to work, I’ll move somewhere lower and consider the rest of my pre-paid room and board a donation.

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