Picture this: you’re trudging through the overgrowth in your local woods, when you stumble across a weathered old barn. Out of curiosity, you peer through the spiderwebs and look inside, and instead of a pile of miscellaneous rubble, you see this 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder. We don’t know about you, but we’d probably have a heart attack.
This purpose-built competition car is one the most important racers in Porsche’s history, with 550s clocking important victories at the Nürburgring, Le Mans, Carrera Panamericana, and the Buenos Aires 1000 Km. The 550 Spyder you see here, chassis 550-0079, was initially painted red with white darts and was first used for promotional imagery outside the Porsche factory. If you were planning on a full restoration, you couldn’t hope for a better original paint scheme.
The story goes that this 550 Spyder was upgraded in the 1960s with “werks” factory components to bring the Spyder’s performance up to the standard set by Porsche’s contemporary racers. This included a new factory engine, and the updated RS60 bodywork, which this car wears today. The paperwork accompanying chassis 550-0079 reveals that the car eventually passed through the hands of Swiss Grand Prix winner and former F1 ace, Jo Siffert, and was later owned by Herbert Kuke, who sold it to the current owner’s family in July 1982.
This 550 Spyder is a true barn find, having been tucked away for almost 35 years. Coming to Gooding & Company’s London 2022 auction on September 3rd in “as-found” condition, this represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform a ground-up restoration on one of history’s most significant and best-looking race cars. This is one barn find that certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.