Before today’s Cayenne, there was the Porsche 597 Jagdwagen (German for “hunting car”), which was basically a light military vehicle, designed to compete with the likes of Jeep and Land-Rover. Power came from an induced air-cooled flat-four taken from the Porsche 356, located in the rear of the vehicle, producing 50-horsepower, mated to a 5-speed manual box with additional on-the-fly two/four wheel drive shifter. A total of 71 Porsche 597s were manufactured, between 1955 and 1958, 49 of which were built for the civilian market (chassis numbers starting from 597-000101). Continue reading for another video and more information.
The prototype body of the car was manufactured by Porsche’s own Stuttgart Body Works with later versions (stabilized with torsion bars) coming from Karmann coachworks. The monocoque shell came with no doors and high sills, meaning passengers needed to climb over them to enter and exit the vehicle; The upside of this design being that the body was buoyant and amphibious. Later versions of the body came with rigid doors and exhibit a more steeply dropping angle to the front wings/fenders and bonnet-hood.