This is the VW Porsche Kaiserslautern coupe, it’s the only one of this design that was made and it was created by the students at Meisterschule für Handwerker Kaiserslautern in Germany in 1960, using a Porsche 356 engine, a Karmann Ghia chassis, and a handmade body.
It was uncovered in the early 2000s, it then appeared on the show the Barn Find Hunter back in 2019 (see the episode in full below), and it’s now being sold from the collection of legendary antiques dealer Drew Pritchard, who is also the star of Salvage Hunters on the Discovery Channel.
Fast Facts – The VW Porsche Kaiserslautern Coupe
- The VW Porsche Kaiserslautern coupe is an entirely unique design that was built by hand by the students of the Meisterschule für Handwerker (MHK) technical college in Kaiserslautern, Germany in 1960.
- The car was based on a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia platform, a 1958 Porsche 356 engine was added, and a new body was fabricated by hand, largely from steel.
- The students at MHK built at least another three cars in this series, but all were unique with their own bespoke designs. The process of designing, engineering, and building the cars was used as training to send the students off to work in the automotive industry full time.
- This MHK-developed VW Porsche was lost to history for many decades before being unearthed on the “Barn Find Hunter” YouTube show, it was then sold on Bring a Trailer, and it later ended up in the hands of antiques dealer Drew Pritchard who is also the host of “Salvage Hunters” on the Discovery Channel.
Meisterschule für Handwerker Kaiserslautern
Meisterschule für Handwerker in Kaiserslautern is the largest tuition-free public vocational school in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of western Germany. Better known as MHK for the sake of brevity, the school offers world class training up to a professional level in everything from stone sculpture and goldsmithing to information technology and automotive engineering.
Above Video: This episode of the Barn Find Hunter shows the VW Porsche Kaiserslautern being unearthed and its early history being explained. The part of the show about this car begins at approximately the 22 minute mark.
MHK was founded in 1949 in Kaiserslautern, a city in southwest Germany. At this time Germany was beginning the long process of rebuilding itself after the devastation of World War II, and there was great demand for people trained in trades that could help rebuild both the country and its economy.
The automotive section of MHK became highly respected for the fact that it offered a wide ranging curriculum, one of the ways they did this was building entire cars from the sketch and concept stage right through to fabrication and mechanical completion.
At least four complete cars are known to have been built at the vocational school by its students, each unique, and largely based on German production car platforms and engines of the time with completely bespoke bodies. Interestingly MHK is still going strong today, 74 years after it was founded.
Drew Pritchard + Salvage Hunters
Drew Pritchard is a British television personality and antiques dealer. He’s best known for his role as the presenter of the popular television show, Salvage Hunters on the Discovery Channel network. Born in North Wales, he has always had a fascination with antiques and architectural salvage, which led him to open his first antique shop in 1993 after originally training as a stained glass restorer and designer.
His passion for antiques soon caught the attention of television producers, who were looking for an expert in the field to host a new show about finding and restoring vintage items. He was offered the role of the presenter of Salvage Hunters, a show that follows him as he travels around the UK and Europe, searching for unique and interesting pieces of architectural salvage, vintage cars, and antiques.
Drew quickly became a fan favorite, thanks to his encyclopedic knowledge of antiques and his eccentric personality. He’s known for his eye for detail and his ability to spot valuable items that others might overlook. He is also known for his negotiating skills, often haggling with sellers in a spirited fashion to get the best possible price for the items he wants to acquire.
Above Video: This is a clip from the TV series Salvage Hunters showing Drew buy a Porsche 914 – his second one.
Over the years Drew has become a celebrity in his own right, and has appeared on numerous television programs and documentaries. He has also become a sought-after public speaker, often giving talks about his experiences as an antiques dealer and his adventures on Salvage Hunters.
The VW Porsche Kaiserslautern Coupe
The VW Porsche Kaiserslautern coupe was designed, engineered, and hand-built by the students and teachers at Meisterschule für Handwerker Kaiserslautern in 1960. It’s the only one of its kind, and it has three known siblings, each with their own unique designs that were produced in the same era.
As you’ll remember from the introduction the car is based on the platform chassis of a 1958 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, and it keeps the suspension and brakes of the car in place for the sake of simplicity.
The original engine and gearbox were removed and replaced with a 1958 flat-four from a Porsche 356, sending power to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual gearbox. As both engines were closely related, air-cooled, and designed to be rear mounted the conversion was likely to have been relatively straightforward.
The interior of the car is an interesting mixture of Porsche and Volkswagen parts, likely what the students had access to as they were building it, and the design of the body does seem inspired by some period Porsche-based sports cars like the Porsche 356B Karmann notchback coupe and the Porsche Abarth Carrera GTL.
The car clearly needs a restoration if the new owner would like to drive and display it, interestingly the engine was running pretty well in the episode of the Barn Find Hunters, though of course a full rebuild would be highly recommended.
If you’d like to read more about the car or enquire about buying it you can find it listed for sale on Dylan Miles here with an asking price of £64,995, which works out to approximately $78,016 USD. The car is being offered for sale out of the United Kingdom with extensive period images, documentation relating to its build, and its UK taxes are paid.
Images courtesy of Dylan Miles
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