Historic Porsche 550A Spyder race car slated for Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction


1958 Porsche 550A Spyder

1958 Porsche 550A Spyder

Enlarge Photo

A legendary 1958 Porsche 550A Spyder works racer that placed on the podium at Le Mans, won its class at the Nurburgring 1000, and is a winning veteran of races across Europe, has been consigned to Bonhams for its January auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, where it is expected to attract rapt attention and towering bids well into seven figures.

The Porsche 550A was known as the “giant killer” for its ability to race and win against much bigger and more-powerful cars. With its highly tuned 1.5-liter twin-cam, flat-four engine and exceptionally nimble handling, the 550A was a leading competitor in a variety of racing venues, including the world’s most-iconic endurance races.

1958 Porsche 550A Spyder

1958 Porsche 550A Spyder

Enlarge Photo

“This particular 550A, chassis number 0145, stands out as a very special car among a very special breed,” Bonhams says in a news release. “Boasting a pedigree that distinguishes it above all others, it was a Porsche Works entrant, a veteran of four world championship races, what is believed to be the only 550A to compete in a Grand Prix, and one of just 40 ever created.”

The Porsche’s history as a race-winning factory racer includes second in class and fifth overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, class winner at the Nürburgring 1000 km, class winner at the 12 Hours of Reims, class winner at the Zandvoort NAV Race and class winner at the Dutch Grand Prix, among others.

1958 Porsche 550A Spyder

1958 Porsche 550A Spyder

Enlarge Photo

“Furthermore, it’s one of the best original examples extant,” Bonhams adds. “Simply put, it’s among the most important cars of its kind in the world.”

The 550A was the second generation of Porsche’s mid-engine 550 racer, boasting a space-frame chassis instead of the previous ladder frame, and trailing-arm rear suspension instead of swing axles, among other improvements.

1958 Porsche 550A Spyder

1958 Porsche 550A Spyder

Enlarge Photo

The 550 Spyder’s sleek form is well-known among even the most-casual sports-car fans. A first-generation model famously was actor James Dean’s favorite ride, until his death in a California crash. The 550 is also one of the most-replicated sports cars in modern times, rivaling Shelby Cobras and Porsche 356 Speedsters.

Bonhams’ seventh annual Scottsdale auction takes place January 18 at the Westin Kierland Resort. For information, visit the Bonhams website.

This article, written by Bob Golfen, was originally published on ClassicCars.com, an editorial partner of Motor Authority.

 
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