From time to time cars are found hidden away in barns or garages where they have been forgotten for years or even decades. But, very seldom are significant cars found anymore that are truly historically significant that have been hidden away from the world in a barn located in some of the most farfetched places.
The Porsche 911 is a car that has become one of the most beloved models from Porsche and one of the most popular sports cars in automotive history. Introduced in 1963 at the Frankfurt motor show the 911, actually first introduced as the 901, was conceived as a bigger four-seat 356, the 911 became an all-new car featuring a new chassis with MacPherson struts, semi-trailing arms and torsion bar springs, and a brand-new air-cooled, OHC flat-six, initially making 128 hp from 1,991cc. The styling was the work of Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche. It echoed the 356’s familiar fastback silhouette, but it turned out to be a timeless design.
Porsche labeled its cars as the “901”, but that model number had already been used by Peugeot which quickly resulted in a lawsuit in France which Peugeot ultimately won. Although Porsche could have still designated their new car as the “901” worldwide except for France, the company wanted to be consistent throughout the world including France so they chose to call their new car the 911. During the lawsuit, production of the new 6 cylinder Porsche had already begun and those cars were already badged as 901’s. So before changing to the 911 designation, Porsche produced 82 cars as 901’s and only 150 911’s which were 901’s rebadged as 911’s, in 1964 (the first year of production) making those select few cars produced in 1964 very special. Today, there are only about 62 existing cars built in 1964 (that number is including 901’s and 911’s) and many of them missing original parts that could never be replaced. 113 still retains all of its original parts making it that much more incredible.
This Car: #113
Porsche #113 was produced in November of 1964 and was just the 113th Porsche 911/901 ever produced. Originally delivered new to a German owner in 1964 and then shipped to New York City, USA in 1966. It was purchased by Bruce, its third owner in November of 1972 from Porsche/Audi of Manchester, New Hampshire and he drove the car until 1975 when he decided to put it away. Last year, a friend had contacted Dragone Classic Motorcars in Bridgeport, CT also friends, telling them about 113 and its condition only a short time ago and he then set up an appointment to meet Bruce, the owner, and to view 113. We, here at Driven, were fortunate enough to go along for the ride.
As we arrived we drove up a long dirt driveway into the woods where you would never think anything would be, but as we started to approach the large barn in front of us we started to notice many car parts and antique cars left in their final resting places giving the property a very gloomy feel but at the same time a very intriguing impression. Bruce was a very welcoming older gentleman wearing an old ripped Porsche T-shirt and having long white hair with a big old handlebar mustache. You could immediately tell that he really loved his cars and instantly sharing stories with us about his adventures of driving his beloved 911 at 130 mph and making it to Massachusetts in 25 minutes to see one of his girlfriend’s back in 1972. Whether that is true or not we will never know. He then told us to follow him and we walked through piles of car parts that seemed to be about 6 feet tall and higher and through long weeds and bushes until we got to the small door in the side of the barn where you could just make out the iconic headlight and fender of 113 where it had been in slumber for the past 40 years.
After clearing off parts and other things enough to really look at the car it was apparent that 113 had been neglected for quite some time, but it was 100% complete with all of its matching numbers, tags, original engine, transmission and it even retains its original upholstery and owner’s manual.
After really looking at 113, although in rough, but complete condition Dragone made a deal with Bruce on the spot which immediately brought tears to Bruce’s eyes to sell his old friend but knowing it would be fixed and enjoyed by someone else; something that he did not have the time or money to do. We left and made an appointment for the following Friday to extract 113 from the barn and take it home. Fast-forward to the following Friday, July 8 2016 we set out again with Alex Dragone early in the morning and finally arrived at Bruce’s property around noon time. We immediately began to dig 113 out of the back of the barn with about 4 other cars needed to be moved before even getting to 113. It was shoved in a corner sideways between another car and the wall so maneuvering it out of the corner was quite a task. When 113 finally hit day light it was quite a site as it was the first time in 40 years. The 1964 Porsche 911 #113 has been brought back to the world and was now ready to be a part of an important collection or to be restored by a true Porsche enthusiast who only wants the best and the rarest of Porsches. Some of the most well-known collections own one of the 62 existing early cars such as the Jerry Seinfeld collection and the Revs institute.
Since our adventure with Manny and Alex Dragone and #113 from Bruce, it’s third owner, Dragone had almost immediately sold #113 to Mark Wegh of Porsche Centrum Gelderland in the Netherlands. We are proud to have had the experience of helping extract #113 from its resting place and to share its significance and importance with the world as it is one of the earliest and most complete 911/901 Porsches that has been hidden from the world for the past 40 years. #113 is one of the many very significant cars that has been found and brought to the world by our friends at Dragone Classic Motorcars in Connecticut.
We are told the car sold for $250,000 and #113 is in very rough condition. The entire bottom of the car was rotted away, even the suspension was rotted. It must have sat outside and sunk in the dirt at one time. It needed almost everything, but again it was all original with all the correct parts and numbers which is what made its value.
So, what does that say about the direction of the Porsche market? Well, it obviously means it is still currently pretty strong and that they are well in demand. If you take a look at the Gooding & Company auction for Amelia Island 2017 you will find that auction is flooded with Porsches, most of which are 911’s (but no 901’s). We will be covering that sale soon so keep up with the Driven posts!