A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £15,525
Following spells at the Austro-Daimler, Mercedes-Benz, and Steyr companies, all of which benefited greatly from his monumental engineering prowess, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche set up his own design consultancy in Stuttgart on 25th April 1931. Dr Ing. F Porsche's most celebrated product of the 1930s was, of course, Hitler's 'People's Car - the Volkswagen - but the company was also active in other fields, literally so in the case of its tractor project. Several prototypes were constructed prior to WW2, the earliest of which were powered by petrol engines, before Dr. Porsche turned to diesel power, eventually developing a series of one, two, three and four-cylinder air-cooled engines ranging in output from 14 to 55bhp. As with all things from Dr. Porsche's fertile imagination, the tractors owed little to convention and much to creativity and efficiency and imagination. An unusual feature of Porsche's drive system was its hydraulic coupling between the engine and the gearbox, which permitted smooth, clutchless gear changes, reducing wear on the transmission components and was simple to use and maintain by unsophisticated farmers. After the end of the war, Porsche was barred from producing its own tractors and only companies that had been making tractors prior to and during the war were permitted to carry on, forcing Porsche to license its designs to other manufacturers. Agreements were concluded with two companies, Allgaier GmbH in Germany and Hofherr Schrantz in Austria, and then in 1954 Mannesmann AG diversified into tractor manufacture by acquiring the rights to Porsche's engine and Allgaier's tractor design, setting up Porsche-Diesel Motorenbau GmbH. Offered here is a fully restored Porsche 'Standard J' tractor produced in 1962 and now superbly finished in Red and Cream. Its first owner was Ludwig Obermann and the original German log book shows him as the first registered keeper from 26/10/1962 until, many years later, ownership was transferred to his son Johann in May 1978. The tractor's current owner acquired it in Germany in 1988 and imported it into England. Unusually, it's accompanied by its original German documentation together with period colour brochures. The inventory also includes spares and ancillaries, a pasture topper, a parts book, and the relevant handbooks. It has recently been serviced, and a new battery fitted, so it now starts on the button with that characteristic three-cylinder soundtrack. This rare, post-war, German tractor is eminently suitable for working a small holding or market garden, however, we suspect it is more likely to occupy a corner of an eclectic Porsche collection. In the memorabilia auction prior to the Porsche car sale, there are various tractor related items including a very rare illuminated dealer Porsche sign, an enamel sign, and other relevant period items. This is a wonderful piece of Porsche history, and extremely desirable.