A vintage air-cooled Porsche 911 is one of the best old cars to drive, one of the easiest old cars to own, which is why everyone has already bought one and they are over. This is why I lit up today upon seeing this 1966 one-off Bertone roadster, a 911 that’s not, a 911 that’s good.

The 911 has become such an iconic shape, it’s kind of difficult to imagine how you’d mess with one now. Things were a little different back in 1966, when Bertone redesigned one following its basic design language that it put out in the wonderful and oft-overlooked Fiat 850 Spider, as CarStyling.ru points out:

It was created for the sake of the American market.

Bertone was given a challenging brief: to fit out a Porsche chassis, notoriously atypical in size and shape. It was also very important to deliver a high level of technical and design quality to the highest quality of the basic product and the prestige of the marque.

The driving idea behind the design of the prototype was safety. The cockpit was completely separated from the rest of the vehicle, with the use of a rather deep swage. This solution is also for the type of car. The styling of the dashboard also contributes to this, with the main instruments laid out vertically down the center, and the tiny fascia tucked in behind the steering wheel.

The Porsche 911 Roadster is a fusion of some of the best ideas to appear on the Fiat 850 Spider in 1965, and many styling elements of proven success.

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The car itself was something of a design proposal for Porsche to use as a convertible, but the company ended up going with the much more conservative Targa instead, as Autoblog points out. The Targa was something of a pre-response fearing convertible-killing roof-crush regulations that never came, which is fine, but nowhere near as cool and weird as this Bertone.

It’s up for auction later this month at Gooding and Company, the super fancy car auction of Pebble Beach/Monterey Car Week.

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The car has the more desirable ‘S’ spec engine and Gooding and Company expects it to fetch between $700,000 and $1 million.

Find the full listing here for some more wonderful photos.