The Porsche 911 is inarguably one of the most famous – and therefore, well-documented and well-known – sportscars on the planet. So who could have imagined that lurking outside a body shop in Zuffenhausen, Germany would be a 911 variant without a single Google entry, nor a place in the history books?
The Porsche 911 HLS is this unheard-of 911 variant. Fabricated by the body department of the University of Aachen in 1966, the goal with this 1964 model year car was to create a retractable roof racing coupe. While clearly successful to that end, Classic Driver reports that – perhaps because Zuffenhausen brass were less than enthused with the result – the Porsche 911 HLS slipped into obscurity, and was all but forgotten.
Forty or so years later, the Porsche 911 HLS was essentially “rediscovered,” and 911 expert Manfred Hering was offered the chance to restore the car for 30,000 Euros. He declined, but later attempted to buy the one-off Porsche 911 HLS for himself. He told Classic Driver: “After three years of discussions and negotiations I stood in front of the handsome wreck that had been left exposed to the weather for the last four decades. The original engine, and a spare engine, were dismantled but came with it – and had already served as a home for several families of mice.”
Now, Hering has plans to restore the unique Porsche 911 HLS, keeping as much of the car original as possible. That may prove difficult given the extent to which 40 years of nature have taken their toll, not to mention the car’s singular uniqueness, but we can hardly wait to see the finished product.