Porsche has restored one of the first-ever 911s to display at its company museum in Stuttgart.
The 1964 car was found in a barn by a German TV channel, before being painstakingly restored by Porsche‘s mechanics, but eagle-eyed readers will notice a strange anomaly with the restoration. Although the car is clearly a 911, the identification plates bear the number 901.
That’s because the 911 was originally sold as the 901, but the name was changed after just a few weeks because of a trademark dispute.
Only a handful of 901-badged cars left Porsche’s factory, and this Signal Red example, which carries the chassis number 300 057, is one of them.
Porsche was alerted to the car’s existence in 2014, when a TV crew from German channel RTL2 happened across a long-lost collection of ‘barn finds’. The crew had the presence of mind to call the Porsche Museum, telling the manager of the classic car collection, Alexander Klein, the car’s chassis number.
“The penny dropped,” he said, and the museum took the car in for restoration.
The project began with complete disassembly of the vehicle, stripping it down to its components and trying to save as many as possible.
Kuno Werner, head of the Porsche Museum workshop, said the car’s unique nature made such conservation vital, and even parts that could not be repaired were saved as samples.
“Many of the features only included in the very first models have been preserved in the car,” he pointed out.
The bodywork had fared surprisingly well, with more than half of it being saved, while spares came from a 1965 donor car.
Under the skin, the engine is partly original, retaining its cylinder heads and one of its camshafts, but several new parts were made to restore it to full working order.
Now, the car has been rebuilt and returned to the road, before being placed in the Porsche Museum, Stuttgart, for visitors to see.