An original 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder
A few years back I was fortunate enough to attend the Porsche Rennsport Reunion V in California at the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. You can’t really understand the quality and quantity of Porsches at this type of event unless you’ve been in person. Porsche flies cars over from the factory to put on display. Over one hundred historic racecars are in attendance and participating in a series of events over the weekend and the parking lot is jam packed with every variation of Porsche made since the 50’s.
I came out to the event both Saturday and Sunday to see what the event had to offer. The first day I mainly spent taking thousands of photos and the second day I just took in the sights and sounds. Total I must have walked Laguna Seca a dozen times and had full access to the pit area, the infield and the outfield including the famous “corkscrew”. It was at the end of the second day that I happened upon this incredible Porsche 550 Spyder.
I’ve been to the factory many times and I’ve had opportunity to see many Porsches in person and in museums and while I have seen a 550 Coupe racer, I don’t recall ever seeing a 550 Spyder in person. Up close anyway. As I walk up to the car, a man comes out of a nearby racing trailer with what appears to be some wire, opens the rear clamshell of the car and steps up into the engine bay. You can only imagine everyone’s thoughts as they see someone step on and into one of the most rare and desirable production Porsches ever made. One recently sold at auction for 4.5 million dollars.
I’m not close enough to see what he is doing, but I am close enough to take some photos while he is pre-occupied with the engine bay. From what I can tell the car appears to be all original by the patina and tarnished metal badging on the car. I take some photos in the front, the sides and eventually around the back after the owner finishes up his best MacGyver skills on the engine. I’m shocked at how small the car is as it appears to not reach my waist. The condition of the interior is perfect and unlikely original, and very sparse.
I finish my quick photoshoot and make my way to the exit as the event comes to an end. Leaving the pit area, we are all stopped by the race stewards as the most recent set of race cars are pulling in and exiting the track. He holds all the spectators back so that the cars can make quick entry to their pit area. As I’m waiting, I happen to look to my left and see it. The same 550 Spyder and the parking lot mechanic turned owner/driver has driven up next to me and is awaiting the same group of race cars to pass.
I’m curious of the cars history so I decide to ask the owner a few questions while we wait. I ask, “All original?” hoping to get an answer as to the cars condition and history. I’m assuming he thought I asked if he was the original owner, to which he responds, “No. 2 mil”. I make a joke about him being my Uber driver and we chat for a few more minutes before traffic clears and he sets off for the interstate in a true piece of Porsche history.
And that is how I came across a 2 million-dollar, original condition 550 Spyder and an owner who likes to climb on things. I never did find out what he was doing with that wire.