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1960 Porsche 218 Tractor
Registration no. not registered
Chassis no. 3158

Following spells at the Austro-Daimler, Mercedes-Benz and Steyr companies, all of which benefited greatly from his monumental engineering prowess, Dr Ferdinand Porsche set up his own design consultancy in Stuttgart on 25th April 1931. Dr Ing hc F Porsche KG's most celebrated of product of the 1930s was, of course, the Volkswagen - but the company was also active in other fields, literally so in the case of its tractor project. A handful of prototypes was constructed prior to WW2, the first of which were powered by petrol engines, before Dr Porsche turned to diesel power, eventually developing a series of one-, two-, three- and four-cylinder air-cooled engines ranging in output from 14 to 55bhp. An unusual feature of Porsche's tractor system (fitted to all models right up to the end of production) was its hydraulic coupling between engine and gearbox, which permitted smooth clutch-less gear changes and thus reduced wear on the transmission components.

After the war's end Porsche was barred from producing its own tractors (only companies that had been making tractors prior to and during the war were permitted to do so) and thus was forced to license its designs to other manufacturers. Agreements were concluded with two companies - Allgaier GmbH in Germany and Hofherr Schrantz in Austria - and then in 1954 Mannesmann AG diversified into tractor manufacture by acquiring the rights to Porsche's engine and Allgaier's tractor design, setting up Porsche-Diesel Motorenbau GmbH. In 1956 Mannesmann built a new manufacturing facility at the old Zeppelin factory in Friedrichshafen-Manzell, where Porsche tractors continued to be built until production ceased. Porsche-Diesel Motorenbau manufactured over 125,000 tractors between 1956 and 1963, many of which were exported, its products gaining the same reputation for sound engineering and superb build quality as their road-car relatives.

This Porsche 218 tractor is powered by a twin-cylinder air-cooled diesel engine of 1,644cc producing 25bhp. The vehicle comes fresh from a 'last nut and bolt' rebuild carried out in Slovakia and completed earlier this year. Presented in outstanding condition, it is offered with NOVA acknowledgement and a selection of restoration photographs.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
United Kingdom
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department