Since Porsche’s humble beginnings in the 1960’s, it took nearly 20 years for the 911 Cabriolet to make its debut in 1982, the first proper Porsche convertible following the 911 Targa. The classic Cabriolet has since become a staple of the iconic 911 range over the last few decades, with many varieties to choose from, but back then it was a milestone moment for the German manufacturer. Porsche built a little-known prototype of the 911 Cabriolet in the 1960’s – and it’s going up for auction next year.
In fact, this isn’t technically a 911, it’s a 908 Cabriolet which was the original name for the 911 before Peugeot changed it. This 1964 example of the 908 produced by Karmann is especially rare. Just 13 prototype models were made, only two of which exist today. However, only one was built as a Cabriolet, making this the first of its kind to ever be built by Porsche. As the auction describes it, this 908 is "one of the most historically important Porsche ever offered on the open market." Its chassis is listed as #13360 and is believed to be the second-oldest 901/911 that exists today.
The 908 prototype paved the way for the iconic 911 Targa in 1967, but it would take 18 years before Porsche brought the prototype into fruition and release the first 911 Cabriolet due to fears of increasingly strict US safety legislation at the time. Admittedly, the specs aren’t quite as impressive as they probably were in 1967: the 901 is equipped with a 2.0-liter flat-six engine producing around 130 hp. Still, considering its age it looks to be in great condition apart from the interior which is showing some signs of wear. This rare breed of Porsche will be going under the hammer at RM Sotheby's auction in Paris on February 8, 2017.
Its historical significance will no doubt make it highly desirable to avid Porsche collectors, so expect the price to reflect that – the auction house estimates it will sell for around $900,000 - $1,060,000.