The world’s very first Porsche was uncovered in remarkably good condition — in a shed in Austria (via The Atlantic Cities).
The act of automotive archaeology took place in January.
The “Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model,” or P1 for short, was designed and built by Ferdinand Porsche himself, first hitting the streets of Vienna on June 26, 1898.
A little over a year later, in September 1899, Porsche demonstrated the power of his new model with a first-place finish at the International Motor Vehicle Exhibition in Berlin. His new car finished 18 minutes ahead of the second-best competitor, with half of the vehicles failing to complete the race due to technical difficulties.
According to USA Today, the P1 was stored in an old shed in 1902.
Though it may look a lot like a horse-drawn carriage, the P1 was an electric car. Its “octagon” motor could travel up to 50 miles at a time, hitting a maximum speed of about 22 miles per hour. According to Porsche, the engine could deliver 3 horsepower during usual performance with bursts of up to 5 horsepower as it reached its maximum speed.
The entire vehicle weighed some 3,000 pounds and relied on more than 1,000 pounds of battery.
The original wood and metal frame remains, which includes the steering wheel and a dashboard measuring voltage and amperage.
Porsche engraved “P1” (Porsche number 1) on all of the vehicle’s essential parts, subtly taking credit for the design and giving it its unofficial name. You can just make out a P1 in the center of the axle below.
The P1 is now be on display at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. Blue translucent plastic was inserted to give visitors a better idea of what the car’s original seating would have looked like, though the bright colour may be a bit deceiving.
[This is an edited version of an article that was posted earlier.]
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