An original, never restored 1956 Porsche 550RS Spyder will be among the headline offerings at the 2016 Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale, scheduled for 10 September at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in England. The Porsche is estimated to sell for £4,700,000 – £6,200,000 ($6,205,000 – $8,185,000 USD).
Mark Osborne, Vice President Motor Cars USA, said, ”The 1956 Porsche 550RS Spyder offered is so original, that you could travel back in time 60 years and find it in much the same condition. It’s exactly how a 550 would have looked, smelt and felt like when James Dean famously purchased his example back in 1955. Chassis number 550 0090 hasn’t been thrashed around, it’s been well looked after, and even won the FIVA award for originality at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2010 – the perfect Porsche. A real time warp, and likely the last one left in such excellent, original condition.”
Launched in 1953 at the Paris Auto Show, the lightweight Porsche 550RS Spyder was the first true competition car to come from the Stuttgart marque. Just 90 550s were built, each featuring a lightweight aluminum body, with two seats and an open-top. Throughout the 1950s, the Porsche 550 was one of motor sport’s most dominant race cars, out-performing almost all other models in its class.
American monthly magazine, ‘Road & Track’, said of the model: “The 550 had full road equipment, with lights and so forth, and a top, and enough stamina and ground clearance to compete in rallies — which it did. The bodywork and weather gear qualified the 550 for international sports car races — and Hans Herrmann took first in class and sixth overall in the 550’s first race, the 1954 Mille Miglia. Herrmann was third overall in that year’s Carrera Pan Americana. There were 75 cars with bigger engines in that race, and Herrmann beat 73 of them.”
The cars were built by Porsche in exclusive numbers. In the US, the model did not qualify as a production sports car, even with its top and road equipment. There weren’t enough of them to be a real road car, according to the governing SCCA (Sports Car Club of America). The 550 is an icon of 1950s sports car design. It stands today as one of the most collectable cars produced by the Stuttgart marque.