The Porsche 550 Spyder is one of those cars that’s impossible not to admire. Aesthetically sublime, technically innovative, and highly competitive in its time, the 550 Spyder would have been assured its legendary status even without James Dean’s tragic fatal accident at the wheel of one in 1955. With less than 100 examples built, and road racing prowess demonstrated at the Targa Florio, the Mille Miglia and the Carrera Panamericana, the 550 cemented Porsche’s nascent reputation as a first-tier maker of sporting machines to be reckoned with.
While this author finds auction results to be more of a barometer of status and hype than historical significance, the recent sale of 550/1500 RS chassis no. 50-0077 at Monterey this month was the latest in a string of record-breaking 550 sales, inching inexorably towards the $4M mark. Given the extreme rarity of these cars, it comes as no surprise that many Porschephiles consider the 550 as a Holy Grail.