Porsche started design work on the “people’s tractor” back in 1930. By 1934 the first three test vehicles were produced with gasoline engines. Then, in 1937 Porsche received an official order to develop the “Volks Tractor”. By 1950 production began of a 2-cyclinder, air-cooled, diesel powered version. From 1950 to 1955 Porsche tractors were produced by Allgaier and found to be liveried mostly in green. 1956 marked the production start of the more popular red Porsche diesel tractors we know today as the Junior, Standard, Super and Master. From 1956 to 1964 (production actually stopped in ’63, but a great many tractors were assembled in ’64 from already completed parts) over 125,000 tractors were built. Many of them are still in use on farms around the world and a growing number are being found, restored and added to the collections of Porsche lovers around the globe.
Today, as older Porsche tractors become more collectible and harder to find, a number of them are getting a new lease on life thanks to the Porsche Junior Project. Set up in 2007 by the Porsche-Diesel-Club Europa e.V. (the official Porsche Tractor club that’s dedicated to preserving Porsche tractors) the Porsche Junior project arranges restoration work on tractors by students, schools and other institutions. The main idea behind the program is to better integrate the younger generation into the world of work while developing real world vocations skills.
Each team involved in a restoration completes all of the work required, from deep cleaning, repairing defective parts and performing oil changes through to assembly work. During each restoration project, the students not only learn something about the technology, but they also get to experience working in a team. Once the work is complete, everyone receives a certificate that also represents a pre-vocational qualification.
So far, since the start of the program, more than 7000 students from 120 different institutions have participated in the restoration of one Porsche tractor or another. You can learn more about the Porsche Junior Project here.