Porsche 550 Generations:

1955 - 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder

1955 - 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder High Resolution Exterior
- image 663657
  • Porsche 550 Spyder
  • Year:
    1955- 1956
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    flat-4
  • Transmission:
    four-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    110 @ 6200
  • Torque @ RPM:
    89 @ 5000
  • Displacement:
    1498 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7.0 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    140 mph
  • Layout:
    Mid-engine; Rear drive
  • Price:
    5000000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

The Porsche 550 Spyder is about as classic and iconic as it gets, even for the storied Porsche brand. The lightweight roadster came from inspiration of the Porsche 356, but minus the hard roof. Porsche needed a race car to compete in the roadster class, and that’s just what the 550 Spyder did. In fact, the third 550 prototype and first 550 to race won its first event at the famed Nürburgring Eifel Race in 1953. Following that victory, the 550 went on to claim 95 victories and 75 class wins over a total of 370 races.

Winning wasn’t the only thing the 550 Spyder was known for. It was his newfound love of racing that spurred actor James Dean to purchase an example. Sadly, the actor and his still-new 550 were both fatally injured when a car pulled out in front of Dean as he drove down a California highway.

Nevertheless, the 550 Spyder enjoyed a storied career, with 90 examples being built. Of those 90 cars, 43 of them were built as non-race, “customer cars.” Both Dean’s and the blue example seen here are within that allotment. If fact, the chassis numbers are only separated by five digits, with Dean’s car wearing plate number 550-055 while the other wears plate number 550-060. The latter was owned by avid Porsche collector Jerry Seinfeld until March 2016.

Updated 03/14/2016: Jerry Seinfeld managed to get an amazing $5.35 million at a Gooding & Company auction for his 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder.

Note: Images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche 550 Spyder.

 

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