It’s one of just 90 built and has an impressive competition history, and now this 1956 Porsche 550 RS Spyder is set to go under the hammer.
This rare racer will be one of the highlights of RM Sotheby’s first European sale of 2019, at Rétromobile in Paris on 6 February, where it is estimated to sell for between €3,800,000 and €4,300,000 – that’s around £3.3m to £3.8 for us Brits.
So what makes it so special?
The 550 was Porsche’s first dedicated competition car, arriving in 1953 as the follow-up to the 356 but with a lightweight construction that helped it accelerate from 0-60 in less than 10 seconds. It was immensely successful, winning across Europe at the likes of the Mille Miglia and Nürburgring.
Chassis number 550-0082 was delivered new to the Ecurie Nationale Belge in 1956 and was first campaigned by Belgian driver Gilberte Thirion, a veteran of such events as the Mille Miglia, Rallye Monte-Carlo and the Tour de France.
Thirion took this 550 RS Spyder to first overall at the 1956 Course de Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons hill climb, one of 15 races it contested in period – including, notably, the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It also raced at the 1957 1000km of Nürburgring, after which it passed through a handful of European owners.
Fast-forward to 2000 and the car had a full restoration by Porsche Würzburg, after which it stretched its legs on the 2001 Mille Miglia. It also received a complete engine service in 2013.
“It’s an honour to have the chance to offer this iconic Porsche 550 RS Spyder, a car which is a milestone in Porsche history and which to this day remains one of the most coveted road-going racing cars ever made,” said Oliver Camelin, Car Specialist at RM Sotheby’s.
“It was Porsche’s first foray into making a purpose-built racing car and it did so with incredible success, combining simple yet stunning design with uncomplicated mechanicals and lightweight construction.
“In fact, the template for so many great racing Porsches that have followed in the decades since.”