Porsche Museum restores one of the first 911s ever built

One of the few original cars built under the 901 nomenclature, Porsche has fully-restored one of its first 911 customer cars

Porsche has put one of the earliest 911s on show at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart after an exhaustive ground-up restoration. The Signal Red 1964 ‘901’ coupe is distinct from its later 911 siblings thanks to that 901 nomenclature, Porsche’s initial name for the 356 replacement until a trademark issue forced Porsche to instead call the now iconic coupe the 911.

Purchased by Porsche in 2014, this specific 901-build car is the only one Porsche has in its possession, representing an uncharacteristic gap in the marque’s past. Found lurking in a rural barn in Germany, ‘Number 57’ as it was nicknamed by its restoration crew, was in a very poor state of repair upon its discovery.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

> Click here for our review of the Porsche 911 GT3

Having spent the best part of three years under reconstruction, Porsche’s restoration team had to tear the car right back to its raw steel chassis, spending over 12 months remanufacturing the basic shell which had been eaten away by 50 years of rust and dry rot. Large structural sections of the body were found to be completely unusable. Despite its condition, upon closer inspection by the team the body was found to be completely original, with around 50 per cent of the original bodywork able to be preserved.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Porsche Classic took on the task of reviving the engine, which aside from seized pistons, proved to be a relatively straightforward operation. The right hand camshaft was reconditioned and re-installed, meanwhile the left hand unit needed to be replaced with a new part.

Thanks to the remanufacturing capability of Porsche Classic, many powertrain, chassis and aesthetic components could be reproduced to exact period specification, including a variety of interior finishes. The cabin’s rooflining was of particular interest, as the original square perforation on the lining was only in production for a very short period of time. Despite this very specific component, Porsche was able to source the original stamping tool to re-create the patterned roof, giving you some idea of the level of detail Porsche went to in order to complete the restoration.

This same level of attention to detail was laboured on the entire restoration, with elements like the screws holding in the front indicator housings needing to be custom fabricated to period specification. Now on display at the Porsche Museum, 901 ‘Number 57’ is an exceptionally important part of the Porsche 911 story, now finally restored to its former glory.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/porsche/201606/porsche-718-cayman-gts-vs-996-rpm-technik-911-csr-evo
Porsche

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS vs 996 RPM Technik 911 CSR Evo

13 Aug 2019
Visit/porsche/22888/porsche-718-spyder-review-the-drop-top-gt4-weve-been-waiting-for
Porsche

Porsche 718 Spyder review

12 Aug 2019
Visit/porsche/22967/updated-porsche-panamera-turbo-spied-undergoing-testing
Porsche

Updated Porsche Panamera Turbo spied undergoing testing

2 Aug 2019
Visit/porsche/22861/2019-porsche-911-rsr-revealed-with-new-42-litre-engine
Porsche

2019 Porsche 911 RSR revealed with new 4.2-litre engine

8 Jul 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/hyundai/201867/400bhp-hyundai-imax-n-revealed-as-eight-seater-drift-monster
Hyundai

400bhp Hyundai iMax N revealed as eight-seater drift monster

Hyundai takes its rear-wheel drive people carrier to the Nth degree, but with a catch
21 Oct 2019
Visit/porsche/911/201865/porsche-919-hybrid-review-driving-one-of-stuttgarts-most-successful-racers
Porsche 911

Porsche 919 Hybrid review - driving one of Stuttgart's most successful racers

Porsche’s 919 Hybrid is one of the most successful endurance racers of modern times. But what’s it like to drive – properly? We get the once-in-a-life…
18 Oct 2019
Visit/volvo/21612/400bhp-polestar-engineered-volvo-models-priced-from-ps56105
Volvo

400bhp Polestar Engineered Volvo models priced from £56,105

Volvo turns to its performance division to provide its hybrids with range-topping performance
21 Oct 2019
Visit/features/22872/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-the-toughest-test-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport (advertisement feature)

We went to Bedford Autodrome to find out what evo readers think of Goodyear’s new Eagle F1 SuperSport Ultra Ultra High Performance tyres
10 Jul 2019