Apparently unsatisfied with the rarity of his Honda Coupe 9, Junkman also keeps a pair of Porsche 597 Jagdwagens. With only 71 made, Porsche's off-road military machine is a rare site indeed. Make the jump for Junkman's description.
Some pics (maybe in a couple emails) of our Porsche 597 Jagdwagens. As you probably know, a grand total of 71 were made between 1955 and 1958. All were handbuilt in the race shop right next to the 550 Spyders (I've got picstures) as prototypes, so no two were exactly alike. They were originally developed as a proposal for a light utility, Jeep-type vehicle for the German Army when it was reorganized ten years after WW II. Unfortunately, the DKW Munga was chosen instead of the 597. Some people say it was politics but it was probably economics. The Munga was a very basic, throw-away vehicle with a simple three cylinder, two-stroke engine. The 597 was typical of all Porsches; technologically advanced for its time (five forward gears, amphibious, the ability to climb a 65 degree grade, shift-on-the-fly 4wd, etc.) and, as a result, much more expensive.
When they didn't get the German Army contract, Porsche tried to market the vehicle to NATO countries. Finally, as a last ditch effort, it was marketed to consumers as a personal hunting vehicle for sportsmen. Hence the name "Jagdwagen" which roughly translates to "hunting car". OK, so it wasn't one of their greatest marketing successes but the people who griped about Porsche building the Cayenne when it came out sure didn't know the corporate history very well.
The green project 597 you see is the oldest existing model and was the one used for promotional brochures and press testing. We have all of the original parts. The restored green 597 is representative of what the majority looked like when new. Notice the Spyder seats and the 24v dynamo. It is also a matching numbers vehicle. The Speed Yellow Jagdwagen has been modified for modern day street use (lowered, 911 seats and dash, roll bar and 110 hp 912 engine). We have run a 1500 mile rally in it and it really upsets the Porsche purists. It is one of the very last ones made and we have all of the original parts so that it can be restored to its original configuration.