This is the Porsche you probably didn’t even know exists.
Believe it or not, this is a Porsche. Like the Willys Jeep, Land Rover, and many others before it, the 597 Jagdawagen 4x4 was a vehicle developed by the German marque specifically for military use. Unfortunately, the 597 would never see a battlefield, but it will see an auction block at the upcoming Goodwood Revival.
Influenced in design by the Volkswagen Kubelwagen - built by none other than Ferdinand Porsche - the 597 improved on looks and performance, utilizing things like higher side sills, torsion-bar stabilizers, and an air-cooled four-cylinder engine located in the rear.
A mere 50 horsepower (37 kilowatt) came from under the hood, and top speed was around 62 mph (100 kmh). Still, the vehicle served its purpose all the same. The 597 had the ability to climb gradients as steep at 65 percent, was semi-amphibious, and the vinyl top and weather-proof interior allowed it to be used virtually anywhere.
Due to Porsche’s infancy, and inability to produce the vast amount of vehicles the military required, only 71 examples were made between 1955 and 1958, 49 of which were designated for the civilian market. This one was sold new in Germany for private use, and has remained in a Japanese collection since 2012.
In September, it will hit the Bonhams auction block with an early estimate of between £170,000 and £200,000 ($223,975 and $263,500).