The Grandaddy To The Porsche Cayenne Is Going Up For Auction


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.

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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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