HomeThe MarketRevered 1939 Porsche Type 64 explored in new pre-auction film

Revered 1939 Porsche Type 64 explored in new pre-auction film


The mythic power of the earliest car to wear Porsche lettering on its nose, the 1939 Type 64 competition coupe, is examined in a new film released by RM Sotheby’s, which will auction the historic car during its three-day sale in Monterey, California.

The film, produced by Porch House Pictures, is gorgeously photographed and stars two of today’s most-acclaimed Porsche personalities – Jeff Zwart, author, filmmaker, Pikes Peak Hill Climb champion and lifelong Porsche fanatic, and Patrick Long, Porsche factory team driver and co-founder of the Luftgekühlt extravaganza – who speak of the significance of the car and actually drive it on a California race course.

Jeff Zwart (left) and Patrick Long discuss the Type 64 in the film | RM Sotheby’s photos

“This car, I can’t imagine walking around anything in the automotive world that could tell as many stories,” Zwart says in the film as he reverentially pores over the Type 64’s details.

For enthusiasts, this sole remaining example of the first three aerodynamic coupes – built for a Rome-to-Berlin auto race that never took place – is the seminal expression of the automotive lineage that runs through every 356, 550, 911 and all the other sports and racing cars from the German automaker.

Ferry Porsche had the iconic block lettering applied in 1946

“The car is extremely original, and its resemblance to the marque’s evolution through the years, right up to today’s 911 model range, is easily discernable,” according to an auction news release. “This is the first car to ever wear Porsche’s iconic wide-font script name and is without a doubt the most historically important Porsche ever offered for public sale.”

RM Sotheby’s caused a stir when it announced in May that the revered Type 64 would be among the offerings at its annual Monterey Conference Center auction to be held August 15-17 during Monterey Car Week, which culminates in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The Porsche Type 64 was driven on a race track for the film |

The auction company presents no pre-auction estimated value for the unique racer, although there has been conjecture that the Type 64 could become the highest-priced Porsche ever sold at auction; RM Sotheby’s says it could bring in excess of $20 million when it crosses the block Saturday evening, August 17.

The coupe has had just three owners in its 70 years, including serving after the war as a personal car for the Porsche family.  It subsequently was owned and raced by private racer Otto Mathé, who had it in his possession for 46 years.

For more information about the Porsche Type 64 and RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale, visit the auction website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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