Barn Find of the Year Expected to Fetch Up to US$2MM
The Porsche 550 was Porsche’s first production racing car, completely street legal, it could be driven to the races and back home. It had a flat DOHC engine, meaning it had 4 overhead camshafts like the Porsche type 360 design for Formula 1. Although with just 4 cylinders, the engine was really complicated and took a lot of time to build. Compared to the “regular” 1500 cc engine in the 356, the Fuhrmann 1500 didn’t have anything in common with it.
The 4-cam Porsche engine developed twice the power compared to the single-cam unit based on the pre-war Volkswagen design (which was also a Porsche design). In all, 90 Porsche 550 cars were built, including 15 prototypes. The 1956 version of the Porsche 550 was known as the 550A. It had a lighter and more rigid spaceframe chassis, and gave Porsche its first overall win in a major sports car racing event, the 1956 Targa Florio. 40 units were made.
In both 1.1 and 1.5 liter form the 550 Spyder would prove to be a highly successful racer, taking class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana, and winning the Nurburgring Eifel Race, the Targa Florio, and a slew of other events.
Our friends at Silodrome stumbled upon this special 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder so we decided to share it with you guys. This specific car spent the better part of 35 years sitting in a barn somewhere in the Swiss countryside. Early in its life it was owned and driven by a number of well-known Swiss racing drivers including Rita Rampinelli, Heinz Schiller, and Formula 1 ace Jo Siffert. During the 1960s the car was upgraded with a number of “werks” factory components including an engine upgrade and new Porsche RS60 bodywork – in order to ensure the car would remain competitive against more modern machinery.
The car you see here started out as a standard 550, it was then later upgraded with a new factory engine and an RS60 body in the 1960s to remain competitive. It was recently rolled out of a barn where it had been sitting for 35+ years and it’s now being offered for sale.
Porsche 550 Spyder for Sale
The car you see here is a 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder. It looks like this specific car was actually promotional image car used outside of the Porsche factory to showcase the wide range of color options available for the model.
It was originally finished in red with white darts and its first owner was non other than Swiss racing legend Rita Rampinelli. The car was later sold to fellow Swiss racing driver Heinz Schiller who competed in the car in Switzerland and at notable circuits like Monza and Avus. The car would later be bought by Edouard Margairaz, who raced the car in Swiss hill climb events. Later in its life the car would also belong to Swiss Grand Prix winner and Formula 1 driver Jo Siffert.
At some point in the 1960s this car had its original body and engine removed, a Porsche RS60 body was fitted along with a new factory engine. After that the trail goes cold and at some point it ended up in a Swiss barn where it remained from the 1980s to the present day. With over 35 years being cooped up inside, it is now for sale and ready for a new owner.
The car is now due to cross the auction block with Gooding & Company on the 3rd of September at their London Auction, due to be held at the prestigious Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace. You can see the full listing Gooding & Company. It is expected to fetch between $1.5 and $2.1 million USD.
All images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photos by Mathieu Heurtault.