1955 Porsche Type 597

'Jagdwagen' Prototype
A bold move for RM Sotheby's paid off with $228M in Monterey
Thursday, 18 August - Saturday, 20 August
Sale Price
$725,000 - $775,000
Est. Range
20 August 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Recent restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis no. 5970005. Green with a green canvas top over green interior. 1582/50hp flat-4 (356 engine) and 4-speed gearbox, selectable 4-wheel drive, steel wheels.

Evaluation: One of 71 built and reportedly retained by the factory retained by the factory in period for demonstrations for the German armed forces and other foreign militaries. Restored to essentially truck quality standards. It’s fresh, but there are flaws in the paint, top and brightwork, and the bodywork isn’t exactly laser straight. An obscure but super rare and interesting piece of early Porsche history. Looks the part of an army runabout with short overhangs and a sparse utilitarian interior, but there are plenty of 356 bits underneath, including the detuned engine and transmission.

Bottom Line: The Type 597 Jagdwagen (“hunting car”) is a rare product of Porsche’s brief (postwar) flirtation with military vehicles. The company built it for the German army in a bid for light duty vehicles, but rival DKW ultimately won out with its cheaper, simpler Munga. Then, Porsche sold a few dozen to the public and moved on. The Jagdwagen is a somewhat obscure piece of Porsche history but an interesting one. And apparently a valuable one. The last one to come to auction sold out of Jerry Seinfeld’s collection in 2016 for $330,000. This one was much more ambitiously estimated, and sold right up there with all but the most valuable 356s. 

by Andrew Newton
28 August 2022
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.