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Discovering the World’s Oldest Porsche

by Kenny Hoeschen

Luciano Rupolo is a retired Italian auto mechanic who first got into racing and collecting cars in the mid 1970s. Since then, he’s had some incredible cars in his garage and, now retired, visits with Locals Magazine to show off his current collection of mostly Italian racers and street cars. Rupolo was able to gather his collection by purchasing the cars early on and waiting patiently as they became more and more well known, rare, and valuable. In fact, he was often chuckled at for driving such old, used cars.

But, perhaps the most historic car in Rupolo’s collection is a Porsche that he discovered abandoned. It was Porsche #004 – the oldest Porsche in existence today and the first Porsche ever to be registered – all the way back in 1948. It was in such a poor state when he first noticed it that he didn’t think much of it, and it wasn’t until years later that he discovered just what it was and brought it home to be restored. One of the Porsche family heirs offered to purchase it, but Rupolo was not willing to sell it at that time. However, he did end up selling it in 2012 for financial reasons before he could complete its restoration; the buyer is yet unnamed.

While he wasn’t able to hold on to this very valuable piece of automotive history,┬áRupolo is likely responsible for getting the car back into circulation. Without him, this classic and historically important Porsche might still be rusting and rotting in a field. And, besides, the rest of his automobile collection would bring a tear to any aficionado’s eye.

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