Watch: Porsche reveal #57, the oldest 911 in their collection
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After three years of tireless restoration, Porsche has revealed the oldest 911 in its collection, a red 1964 901 coupe that details the birth of the brand's most famous nameplate.
In 1963 a 901 show car was presented during Germany's International Motor Show, with Porsche unveiling a production-ready vehicle one year later.
Porsche had already begun building and selling 901 models by the time the production car was shown, but within weeks of its launch a legal dispute with Peugeot over the use of '901' caused the name to be changed, resulting in the birth of the famous 911 nameplate.
However, up to that point all customer vehicles were leaving the Stuttgart factory as 901s.
The 901s that were delivered to customers prior to the legal case are among the rarest Porsche road cars in existence. So rare in fact that the 901 was also the only model missing in Porsche's very own factory collection, but that would change in August 2014.
Alexander Klein, Porsche Museum's Classic Car Collection manager received a call from a German antiques TV show claiming to have uncover two Porsche "barn finds."
Klein said when they mention the numbers 300 057, "the penny dropped," as that chassis number was one of the first 911 vehicles ever produced, built in autumn 1964 as a Porsche 901.
Eleven days later two experts from the Porsche Museum went to the barn to inspect the two vehicles. They found a gold-coloured 911 L from 1968 in a very poor state, but at the very back of the barn the two found the remains of a red 911.
Both of its front wings were missing and large sections of the vehicle had already been eaten away by rust. Apart from the instrument panel, most of the interior was made up of of 'mere fragments.'
The engine and brakes were seized, but the chassis number was pristine, and it proved that the vehicle was an original. The museum team’s had found what it was missing, a genuine 911 from 1964.
Once the find had been validated by two independent experts, Porsche paid 107,000 Euro for the red 911, and 14,500 Euro for the golden 911 L. The 911 L is destined to remain in exactly the same condition it was found.
The Red 901 was transported to back to Porsche Classic headquarters for a full rebuilt. Because Porsche had never restored a 901 before, some parts were sent to a network of specialists, suppliers, body engineers, saddlers and upholsterers. The remaining torso was put into a chemical bath for derusting and paint removal.
Porsche Museum also used genuine parts from doner cars inluding body pannels, engine, transmission, electronics and interior trim pieces.
Porsche wanted to retain parts and fragments where possible rather than replacing them, a main cause behind the build's three-year duration. The rebuild was meticulous, right down to sourcing the correct shape of the screws that were originally used to mount the indicators.
In late 2017, after some final fine-tuning, the oldest 911 in Porsche's possession was finished returned to its rightful place in the company's Museum.