Porsche 911 50th Exhibition at Hamburg Prototyp Museum

There’s a month left to see the Porsche 911 50th Anniversary exhibition at the Hamburg Prototyp Museum.

Until March 16th, the museum will be sharing cars from the Stuttgart Porsche Museum and private collectors, to showcase the 911’s varied history. In keeping with Hamburg’s raison d’etre, most 911s on show are prototype machines. The pics here are courtesy of the museum.

Hamburg Prototyp Museum Porsche 911 Exhibition (2)

Exhibits include the 1959 Porsche 754 T7 prototype, 1965 Porsche 911 Targa prototype, a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR, 1986 Porsche Paris-Dakar 959 and a 1998 Porsche 911 GT1.

I’ve been meaning to visit the Prototyp Museum for years. The museum is famously home to much of ‘one-armed’ racer Otto Mathe’s collection of Porsche racing cars and assorted paraphernalia, including the adorable Porsche/Volkswagen mongrel “Fletzenflieger” racer (scrap racer).

Otto Mathe Hamburg Prototyp Museum Porsche 1

Legend has it that, when Otto arrived at the gates of Stuttgart to donate his unique Type 64 Berlin-Rome Porsche racer – sole surviving first true Porsche from a handbuilt run of three cars – back to the factory museum, a security guard told him to “move his old wreck” from in front of the gates. So it ended up at Hamburg.

Would be a very bad day at work for someone if that was true. In fact, Otto (mostly) owned the car from 1949 until he died in 1995. The plot has a few twists, but Otto’s wonderful T64 (below, centre) is now owned by another private collector and often shown at Hamburg, alongside the museum’s own recreation.

Otto Mathe VW Porsche Collection

Hamburg’s replica consists largely of mechanical parts from one of the two other T64s manufactured under the direction of Ferry and Ferdinand Porsche. The parts were found buried amongst Otto’s spares collection, which was bought by the Prototyp Museum after his death. The Prototyp Museum painstakingly replicated the aluminium bodywork over a wooden buck formed by laser scanning the original.

The aluminium body now sitting in the Porsche museum is another beautiful T64 replica. I seem to remember the shell being presented as original when we visited, but no doubt I was caught up in the moment. The drama of that shape is unbeatable.

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