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1937 - 1938 Porsche 64 Review

The Porsche 64, also known as the VW Aerocoupe, Type 64 and Type 64K10, is considered by many to be the first automobile from Porsche. The model number comes from the fact that it was built mainly from parts from the Model 64 VW Beetle.

History

Since the introduction of the Porsche 356 in 1948, Porsche has enjoyed a proud tradition of quality production and a reputation for high performance, as well as lasting reliability. In addition to its continued financial success, Porsche plays a leading role in the automotive industry by offering consulting services to other auto manufacturers. Its amazing performance in various races such as the Carrera Panamerica and Targa Florio, has certainly helped create and maintain the reputation that Porsche now enjoys!

Because of the continued popularity of the Porsche, parts and accessories are made by a number of aftermarket and OEM parts suppliers. Whats more is that these aftermarket and OEM products tend to have a certain level of quality akin to that of Porsche. Wheels, car covers, and floor mats for Porsche come from a number of quality aftermarket part and accessory manufacturers like Wheelskins, Coverking, and Lloyd. Floor mats come in different shapes and sizes and can be custom ordered to include the Porsche emblem. Coverking, known for its fine crafted car covers, offers Porsche owners a variety of customization options.

The broad range of aftermarket performance parts available to Porsche owners is also rather impressive. Many suspension options from racing standards such as Bilstein and H&R allow for better handling, increased tire performance and longer intervals between tire swapouts. Technological advances in chip design from Powerchip and Unichip provide increased horsepower range with increased fuel economy. Freer exhaust flow from companies such as Danske, Borla, and Billy Boat Exhaust supplements chip design and increase the power range while maintaining legal ranges of emitted exhaust.

Whats more, is that this line of quality parts and accessories are available for your Porsche, whether you own a Porsche 911, Boxster, Cayenne, and of course, the highly anticipated Porsche Cayman. In fact, parts and accessories are already available for the newly introduced Cayman from companies like Performance Products.

Some consider the first Porsche to be the Porsche 64, created in 1938, while others believe that the Porsche 64 was in fact a VW, and that the 356 was the first true Porsche.

The Porsche 64

The body design was made by the Porsche Büro after wind tunnel tests for a planned V10 sports car that never came into existence, the Type 114. Dr. Porsche promoted the idea to enter the car into the 1939 Berlin-Rome race as a public relations ploy.

Because of official distress at the production and delivery delays in the KdF-Wagen production, Dr. Porsche was able to sell the authorities on the idea of running KdF-based high-performance cars in the 1939 Berlin-Rome race as a public relations ploy. The first 375 miles of the race were to be run on the new autobahnen.

Three of them were built in hand-hammered aluminum by the custom coachwork firm Reutter. Sporting full wheel skirts front and back, these remarkably slippery little wind-cheaters managed to squeeze 90 mph out of their 985 cc flat-four engines, which had been bumped to 50 hp (from 24) by various means, including the addition of dual carburation and a higher compression ration.

One of the cars was crashed and destroyed by a Kraft durch Freude bureaucrat in the early years of World War II, but the other two were frequently used by the Porsche family to commute between Stuttgart and the Porsche farm in Zell Am See, Austria. Finally, one of them continued in daily use by the Porsches, while the other was stored at the Zell Am See Flying School. Both remaining Aerocoupes survived the War, but in May, 1945 American troops "liberated" the tiny coupe stored at the Flying School, chopped the top off, and in a few weeks totalled it by joy-riding until the engine seized. The car was scrapped - what a loss!

The last 64K10 remained in the hands of Ferry Porsche, who actually had the car restored by Pinin Farina in 1947. It was sold to Austrian motorcycle racer Otto Matte in 1949 (a year after the first Gmund Porsche 356 Porsche 356 was introduced). Matte’s Aerocoupe gave Porsche their first international win in the 1950 Alpine Rally - by this time its Volkswagen origin was forgotten, and it had been fully embraced as a Porsche car. Matte drove the 64K10 in competition for the last time in 1982 at the Monterey Historic Races in Monterey, California, 32 years after its first race.




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