One of few flops of Porsche was the 597 from 1956, later out of sheer embarrassment called jeep, to be used for hunting purposes. He was of course meant for the newly developed armed forces and 50.000 were to be built, but actually that number was clearly below 100. Had the at that time defence minister Strauss, being Bavarian, preferred the new DKW plant in Ingolstadt/Bavaria? The prospectuses were already printed, so they say.
From Ingolstadt cames the DKW Munga, a two-stroke with cheerful exhaust gas flag. Porsche with their vast experience from the beginning of the century through World War II could have given a good name to a 4WD,it could have become so great. The VW company held back and DKW highly depended on that contract. Today we know that in the end it did not save the company.
Now both VW and Porsche belong to the same group and also their cost structures have adapted in a way. In previous times Porsche was nearly twice as expensive, technically of course flawless and without blame. Take a look at the predecessors the 597 derived its talents from: parts of the undercarriage and the 4WD from the amphibian and the engine, even though modified, from the 356.
They say that more parts from the Porsche shelves have found a way into this vehicle, even from famous 550. In view of this gigantic contract the developers could have helped themselves unspoiled. Adding Porsche`s standard quality and durability it is no wonder that costs grew higher and higher and made that car too expensive, as well for hunters.
Technically it comes with the rear axle from the VW Transporter, it therefore has the two reduction gears right and left in the rear axle and thus permit a greater ground clearance. The transmission is extended by an off-road gear on five gears and has forwards an output for the front axle. The engine is throttled in favor of in lower speed range better torque. 09/12