This “Ur-Käfer” was built by Porsche

Don’t be fooled by this Beetle’s bodywork — it’s a Porsche through and through. And it’s the very last of its kind. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Hamburg’s Automuseum Prototyp has acquired the car and will have it on display in its HafenCity headquarters…

With an undying passion for, and direct orders from above to produce, a ‘people’s car’, Ferdinand Porsche created Volkswagen in the early 1930s and, with it, the Beetle. While the company wasn’t officially founded until 1937 and construction of the factory didn’t occur until 1938, that didn’t stop Porsche from developing prototypes and pre-production models at its factory in Stuttgart. This 1939 VW 39 Beetle, chassis number 1-00003, was not only one of those cars, but it was actually designed by Ferdinand Porsche himself as a high-speed variant and used as a test vehicle by him and his son, Ferry Porsche. Maybe this is how it survived the war and its aftermath? Whatever the reasons, the car is now the only remaining VW 39 Beetle in the world, and after a recent restoration, it’s ready to be viewed by the public once more at the Automuseum Protoyp in Hamburg.

Photo: Staud Studios GmbH / Automuseum Prototyp 

For more information on the exhibition of the VW 39 Beetle, visit Automuseum Prototyp’s website. If you’re inspired by the ‘people’s car’, you can find classic and modern Volkswagen Beetles listed for sale in the Classic Driver Market.