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Alois Ruf’s 1964 Porsche 901 Arrives at EX56

Export 56 are delighted to share with you our latest arrival. A beautifully presented, fully matching numbers 901 coupe, recently restored by Ruf Automobiles GmbH, even more exciting is this particular car, chassis number 300078 was owned by Alois Ruf himself!

BACKGROUND TO THE 901

Porsche unveiled the 901 as its 356 replacement at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show, but when the production 901 made its debut at the Paris Auto Salon in October 1964, Peugeot promptly protested its ownership of the rights to any three number designation with a ‘0’ in the middle. The Porsche engineers’ approach was very straightforward because 901 was their project number, and the last thing on their minds would have been the infringement of another car company’s patented naming system.

Porsche built a run of pre-series cars before customer cars began to roll off the assembly line on September 14th, 1964. By November 16th, the factory had made 82 pre-series cars with ‘901’ stamped on their chassis plates. Porsche’s solution was to change the ‘0’ to a ‘1’, and the rest, as they say, is history. The remaining 150 pre-production cars were badged 911.

 

901 prototype 5, chassis 13325, colour ivory, built by Karmann in August 1963. Licence plate  “Type 901”  and  “S-TC-1” Presentation at motor Show: from 12 september 1963 IAA Frankfurt

The 901 serial numbers began with 3000 and all 232 901/0 pre-series cars were assembled in Zuffenhausen in a building adjacent to the 356 production line. For those not familiar with Porsche nomenclature of the period, 356 and 901 were internal model designations used by the engineers, and before the 911 came along Porsche did not need any distinguishing name because they only made one model. If you were a Porsche owner back then, you said you had a 1500 or a 1600, which referred to the engine capacity, or an A, B, or C model. It was only in 1964 with the debut of Porsche’s second model line that the 356 and 911 tags came into use to distinguish them.

In fact, in the months leading up to the 1963 Frankfurt Show debut of the 901 rumors had started to circulate that a new 2.0-liter six-cylinder Porsche was in the offing. It was no surprise that the previous engine capacity number system led journalists reporting on sightings of the first prototypes to refer to it as the 2000!

These very early cars are known in Germany as the 901/0, “Null Serie” or “Zero Series.” Significantly, unlike today where pre-production cars remain on a manufacturers test fleet for long-term evaluation or are simply crushed, some of these period pre-series cars actually ended up in the hands of customers.

 

CHASSIS #300078

RUF has now restored six of the surviving 82 pre-series 901 cars made, which is believed to be more than anyone else.

Chassis: 300078

Engine Number: 900 175

Engine Type: 901/01

Transmission  Number: 100 075

Transimmsiom type Type 901/0

Only 82 901 pre- production prototypes were built between September 1964 and November 1964. Less then 5% were retain there matching numbers engine and transmission!

#78 Was delivered new to Switzerland via AMAG and was completed on 14th November 1964 and finished in the highly desirable colour combination of Signal red #6407 over black leatherette with Peptia cloth inserts.

In 1965 the 901 was displayed at the Geneva Motor-Show.

 

 

 

 

 

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