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1 Of 25: Porsche-Powered 1958 Alken D2

The VW Alken was developed by a group of aerospace engineers using a VW chassis. Maybe 25 of the cars were built and they played a PR role in the launch of the Alken Corporation, focused on military aerospace applications. We’re not sure how many of these cars survive today, but this one looks to wear a great restoration. Calling Greentown, Pennsylvania home, for now, this ’58 Alken is available here on The Samba, a portal for selling unusual vehicles. Thanks to Chuck Foster for giving us the heads-up on this car whose asking price is $65,000 but offers will be considered.

This cool roadster popped up in a story on Hemmings in 2018, or at least it looks like the same car. It appeared in a test in Road & Track when it was new. Things like roll-up windows and a top were optional, and this example seems to come with neither. The doors are front opening, and a tonneau cover is provided to protect the cockpit. The body is made of fiberglass which we understand cost $1,500 each to produce in 1958 ($15,000 in 2022). It’s quite thick and uses a system of stiffening bulkheads to help make for solid construction, often a problem for plastic bodies.

All or part of the original inventory of these cars is said to have been stored in a warehouse for 25 years, helping to ensure their survivability. At some point, this Alken got a refresh and received a period-correct Porsche drivetrain which is still present today. Although we can’t see it, a logo was created for the dash, scanned from a brochure, and then 3D printed in stainless. It was a replica of the Porsche Speedster dash logo.

This car found its way into at least a dozen magazines in the 1950s. We’re told it runs well and makes appearances at Concours events. Though the whereabouts of its siblings are unknown, we understand that one of them was raced for a while, and two others were converted to electric power. The company that did that, Nic-L-Silver, had an idea that battery-powered cars would be in demand in the future. It only took 50 years for that vision to become a reality.

Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Probably the best looking VW kit car I have ever seen. I know the term kit blurs the lines a bit as build quality is top notch. Seems like everyday Barn Finds this old dog something new. Thanks for the article.

    Like 14
  2. Scott m

    Looks remind me of a Daimler Dart 250, and yes, I love them, too!

    Like 7
  3. Mark

    Nice write up.
    Sharp looking design. Proportions are spot on.
    I’d take this over a 356 without hesitation (in green of course).
    GLWTS.

    Like 3
    • scottymac

      Just about anything would be preferable to a 356 or 911, some of the ugliest cars on the road, even this butt sucker. See a little Renault Caravelle in the rear quarters.

      Like 1
      • DonC

        everyone is entitled to an opinion. For such an ugly car, the 911 has out-sold most of it’s competition while retaining it’s style quite significantly over its’ storied history. Dare to come up with a comparable model? And please don’t say the Corvette.

        Like 4
      • Gary

        @DonC While I will not call the 911 ugly (far from it) I will call them over priced status machines that have had a poor design for its whole life. The 930s were called Widow Makers. Even with a non turbo, ever try to power your way through a tight curve if you miss the apex even a little bit? I feel any pleasure someone gets from driving these is not intrinsic to the car, it is for sure, extrinsic.

        Like 1
  4. Claudio

    An underpowered 2 seater topless sportster for only 65k
    Not within my budget but i cannot dislike the design and balance

    Like 3
    • DonC

      @Gary – I guess I’m continually surprised at the automatic and numerous criticisms that occur on this site aimed at Porsches. I don’t see a bunch of snobbish snooty egotistical Porsche owners here making comments of superiority. But there are sure plenty of Porsche snipers here. I don’t get it. You don’t read it about Vettes, Jags, BMWs, Mopars, or Mustangs – what gives. As for “status” machine – no. I bought my 911 after working my tail off and doing my research and my ’02 (which is now 20 years young) runs Mid Ohio and Sebring wonderfully – proper instruction on a track yields good driving ability of a rear-engine car. Simple.

      Like 1
  5. Claudio

    Looking quickly at the front shot, if you remove the license plate , it looks like the ford exp from the 80’s

    Like 12
    • Steveo

      Hate that license plate pocket. what were they thinking?

      Like 4
  6. Mike

    The word sleek comes to mind on the second picture here. The build thread is interesting.

    https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=539063&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

    Like 4
  7. Autoworker

    What a difference from the Type 3 kit car earlier this week. Neat Car.

  8. Joe Haska

    I think this is an exceptional (Kit Car) . Obviously designed by engineers and done very well. As for the licence plate, my first thought, was it totally created by sense able by engineers. It is certainly function over form, why else would you incorporate the licence plate location as part of the styling of the car .

  9. Mark P

    Neat car, kind of a Tiny Toons Batmobile. Agreed on the license plate pocket. Way to much attention drawn to the plate.

  10. Martin Horrocks

    Interesting post, completely new to me. The backstory, rarity and condition should tempt someone to add to a porsche collection.

    Like 1
  11. Steve Clinton

    This is what you do when you can’t figure out what to do with the front license plate.

    Like 1
  12. Solosolo Solosolo Member

    Fugly, front to back. Yuck! The interior is it’s only saving grace, apart from the Porsche running gear.

    Like 2
  13. Rixx56 Member

    Remove license plate, insert faux grill.

    Like 1
  14. Howie Mueler

    Not too bad but that amount of money can buy you so much more. I know of a very cheap Viper.

    Like 1
  15. Benz Boy

    From the side view, the back end has a bit of a batmobile look and feel, but the front end has a profile that reminds me of an 80’s Ford EXP…not the worst looking VW kit car, but perhaps a bit of an acquired taste for some folks.

    Like 1
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Yep, first thing I thought of when I saw this – Ford EXP nose.

      Like 1
  16. Rick

    If a Packard Hawk had mated with a Renault Caravelle the end result might resemble this odd creation.

    Like 2
  17. Jeffl

    That’s awesome! Thanks for picking up my car on Barn Finds. Nice summary of the Alken. Mine was actually one of the two original cars that were converted to an electric car in 1959 with 100 mile range. I could not find period correct relays and controls so I went back to a carbon footprint. I hope you enjoy the car and if I can answer any questions let me know.

    Like 1

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