The Grandaddy To The Porsche Cayenne Is Going Up For Auction

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Be honest: how many of you knew beforehand that Porsche made a car like this?

Porsche may now be a carmaker that predominantly sells SUVs, but this isn't the first time the company has had ambitions of selling off-roader-style vehicles. Way before Porsche even considering things like rallying 911s or conquering the Dakar Rally in the 959 supercar, the firm was eyeing up a marketplace it wouldn't properly return to again for another four decades with this unusual contraption: the 597 Jagdwagen.

It may look a lot like the bigger brother of the VW Kubelwagen (come to think of it, a lot of post-war lightweight German off-roaders resembled the Kubelwagen!), but the Porsche 597 'Hunting Vehicle' was a more advanced vehicle under the angular skin. The engine, for instance, was directly ported over from the 356 sports car - complete with a mighty output of around 50 hp - and the driver could on the fly swap the drivetrain configuration from FWD to AWD and vice versa. Perhaps most interestingly, the huge side sills that made it a pain for passengers to get into the 597 allowed this curious Porsche to have some capacity as an amphibious vehicle.

Despite the amphibious capability and the ability to climb gradients as steep as 65 percent, the Porsche Jagdwagen was never built in sizeable numbers - which was mostly due to Porsche losing out on the bid to build a mass-produced army vehicle for West Germany. Despite this, 22 were made for military service, with another 49 - of which the featured 597 is one of - being sold for civilian use. Better still, whoever places the winning bid for it at Bonhams' upcoming Goodwood Revival auction will have a good condition example of this extremely rare Porsche that's in full working order. For any classic Porsche enthusiast with a penchant for greenlaning, the 597 Jagdwagen should be an enticing prospect. Images courtesy of Bonhams.

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