Chassis #: 356/2-040
This vehicle, chassis number 356/2-040, was built in the spring of 1949, and is the oldest original condition Porsche in the world. It is one of less than 50 hand built all aluminum cars produced in Porsche's first 'factory' - a converted sawmill in Gmund, Austria (hence its name). Subsequently, manufacturing was transferred to Stuttgart, Germany, where it remains to this day.
Immediately, chassis #040 was put into service by Porsche as a highly documented development car, and was used as a rolling 'testbed' for factory experiments with aerodynamics and mechanical components, many of which were later used in the very successful 356 SL racecars at LeMans. Special racing features incorporated into this vehicle as a stronger aluminum engine (the standard cars used magnesium), raised shift linkage, and the first use of hydraulic brakes in a Porsche.
Sold in 1953 by Louisa Piech (Ferdinand Porsche's daughter and the sister of Ferry Porsche) to Otto Mathe, the well known 'one-armed' racer from Innsbruck, Austria. In 1996, after Mr. Mathe's passing, it was sold to Austrian enthusiast, Franz Rathkolb. It was purchased by Jerry Seinfeld in 2003.
Since Mr. Seinfeld became the owner of #0040, the services of Paul Russell and Company were retained to return the car to the perfect mechanical and running condition without disturbing any of its stunning originality. The car is now regularly driven on all the best sports car roads of California and New York, as was intended by its manufacturer.