Porsche celebrated its 70th-anniversary last year with a series of bespoke production cars, unique events, and retro race liveries. However, perhaps the greatest undertaking from Porsche's birthday festivities remains the marque's global tour – a full 12-month road trip across various countries.
This feat wasn't attempted with a new vehicle, however. Instead of employing a factory fresh 911 for the remarkable brand recognition exercise, the very first Porsche travelled the world with a replica counterpart, travelling over 62,500 miles between them.
Mission accomplished, Porsche No.1 is now back on German soil where it started its journey a year ago. The 70-year-old pride of the Porsche Museum began festivities in Berlin, Germany at the ’70 Years of Porsche Sports Car’ exhibition. From there the rare Porsche visited the Czech Republic, Poland, and even attended the ‘Sportscar Together Day’ in South Africa.
Returning to Europe, the Porsche headed to France for the Le Mans Classic and to England for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Switzerland and Austria were next on the list for the roadsters, that was before heading to America for the famed Monterey Car Week and the Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca. Two final stamps in the historic Porsche’s passport came from a trip to Canada and a stint on display in China for the replica.
Ferdinand Porsche was the mastermind of the 356, a car he decided to build after failing to find a sports car that impressed him. He wanted a car that was lightweight and focused on the enjoyment of driving, as opposed to outright power.
A mid-engined Type 356 prototype was created with a 35bhp flat-four at its heart. This prototype car was preordered by a few German car dealers which sparked Ferry and his sister Louise to establish Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH. Work quickly began on the first aluminium body for car 356/1 – designed by Erwin Komenda.
Porsche No.1 was sold and altered several times in its life, but the Porsche Museum eventually managed to obtain it. Experts within Porsche then set about building a replica of the historically significant car in a bid to recreate the 356/1 in its original specification.
First, Porsche No.1 was laser scanned into a computer, while Porsche historians got to work researching the modifications that had been made over the years. Using paint samples found behind the dashboard and period photography, they managed to replicate the original colours and fabricate accurate bodywork.
Tour complete, the original Porsche is now back on display at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.
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