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Porsche's first vehicle found in shed after a century

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First vehicle was electric and made in 1898

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porsche p1 (porsche)
porsche p1 (porsche)

The first Porsche ever made has been recovered from a shed in Austria where it sat for over 100 years. The vehicle is called the "Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model" — nicknamed the "P1" for short — and was created by Ferdinand Porsche himself in 1898. The following year, Porsche raced the P1 at an electric vehicle exposition in Berlin and took home first place, completing the nearly 25-mile course 18 minutes faster than the next competitor. Not long thereafter, it seems the vehicle was abandoned. According to USA Today, it was placed in an Austrian shed back in 1902, where it sat until recently.

Up to a 50-mile range with a max speed of 22 miles per hour

The P1 has now been moved to Stuttgart, Germany, where it will debut at the Porsche Museum this Friday. What remains of the vehicle is its wood and metal frame and front, which holds its steering wheel and a century-old dashboard that measures voltage and amperage. As its full name states, the P1 is actually an electric vehicle. Porsche says that the vehicle was capable of traveling nearly 50 miles at a time and had a max speed of about 22 miles per hour. The vehicle's motor weighed 287 pounds and is said to have been able to deliver 3 horsepower during usual performance with bursts of up to 5 horsepower to achieve its maximum speed. The full vehicle weighed nearly 3,000 pounds and relied on over 1,000 pounds of battery.

Porsche also has schematics for the P1's design, which has allowed it to do a basic restoration of the vehicle. On display, the P1 includes a simple recreation of its original seating, housed inside a translucent blue plastic. Though it looks almost mythical — and distinctly out of place — the museum's goal appears to be giving context to the existing frame, rather than pretending that the P1 made it through its 100 years of life in perfect shape.

Update: An earlier version of this article stated that it was a larger portion of the P1 that weighed 287 pounds. It is in fact only the P1's drive that weighs this much. The article has been updated to reflect this and include more detail on the P1's weight.