If Porsche raced a tractor at Bonneville…

If Porsche raced a tractor at Bonneville…

I drove my old 911 down to LA this weekend for a vintage Porsche gathering called ‘Luftgekült’, which means ‘air-cooled’ in German. There were tons of cool cars there (if your into these things), and many were hot-rodded and customized in some very creative ways. However, not a single 356 Speedster or 550 Spyder with race history could hold a candle to the coolest ride there… The 1952 Porsche Allgaier P312 ‘Coffee Train’ or ‘Kaffeezug’. In my many years of seeing weird and wonderful vehicles, including a few varieties of Porsche tractors, I had never laid eyes on this little orange gem. They were designed specifically for Brazilian coffee farmers and sugar cane fields, to stealthily till the soil of weeds between the narrow rows of ‘Coffea’ trees and shrubs, without damaging them. The P312 special bodywork insured that the tractor could glide right up against exposed limbs without getting snagged. It was also spec’d with a gasoline engine rather than diesel, as the farmers were concerned about soot and fumes damaging their precious coffee beans.

Before anyone gets too befuddled about this not being a traditional custom ‘car’, just humor me a bit: Enclosed, aerodynamic 1950s bodywork, fender skirts front and rear with some serious big and little wheels, single seater arrangement with gas motor… If someone were to spec a vintage Land Speed racing tractor, here’s the starting point!

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