When Porsche released the Cayenne in 2002, the mid-size crossover SUV was the German automaker’s first off-roader put into production since its tractor line in the 1950s (as well as its first four-door model ever). The Cayenne is thought to have helped save the brand at a time when people were switching to SUVs at a drastic rate. Of course, there was a little-known prototype nicknamed the Jagdwagen (German for “hunting car”) made for the German Army after WWII.
Up for auction next month in Monterey is the fifth of 22 Jagdwagen military prototypes ever produced. At first glance, this Type 597 seems almost jarring. However, there’s a beauty to the build as well. Still a Porsche through and through with a lightweight, rear-engine build and objective power, the Jagdwagen looks strikingly different. Its taller build dons an olive green shell to match the green interior and the high-silled tub allows it to be amphibious; it can climb hills but is also capable of crossing bodies of water as needed.
This very example from 1955 was given a full professional restoration in Germany, where experts equipped it with a period-correct livery and fitted it with the canvas side curtains and convertible top, along with a spare wheel on the front. The car runs on a 1.5L flat-four cylinder engine based on the 356, with a four-speed transmission and selectable four-wheel drive.
If you’d like to own this extremely rare build, head over to RM Sotheby’s auction house, where this 1955 Porsche Type 597 Jagdwagen Prototype will cross the block in Monterey, California on August 18. An estimate hasn’t yet been given, but given its rarity and uniqueness, we expect to see a pretty high winning bid.