Home / Social media / News / For Sale: Wendler-restored 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder that hasn't driven since the 90s.


Back in the day (it sucks that I’m old enough to say that now) the circle of friends I was in overlapped with a different circle of friends and at some or other excuse for a party, the subject of cars came up. When it was clear I had a bit more than an obsession with them I was told there’s a cool car in the garage if I wanted to see it. It turns out the car was a Porsche 550 Spyder and it was in a nice shade of Ferrari Rosso. It was, as you’d expect, a replica because this was in Kempton Park after all, and not the one in the UK. As it happened, the car was for sale, and I cannot remember for the life of me how things worked out, but I ended up buying the car. I cannot tell you how much the car cost, I cannot tell you where the money came from, and I cannot even remember where the car ended up after I had it. I do seem to think it somehow ended up back with the chap who sold it to me, but memories from my late teens are still quite a blur. What I can tell you is that my Porsche Spyder was a fibreglass creation and it was in brilliant shape. The bodywork was fitted atop a Beetle floorpan and it also used a Beetle motor, which in this case was a 1600 cc Twinport with a whopping 40 kW of power on tap. Interestingly enough though, the 4-speed Beetle transmission has awesome ratios and so the car used to be pretty damn quick off the line, which makes sense because it weighed as much as 50 cc scooter. The downside was that when you needed to jump on the brakes not much happened because it was too light and just bounced along. It’s also why when you gave it full beans off the line and then tried to turn it sorta just went straight. It leaked a fair amount of oil, and even though a Beetle motor is quite easy to work on, it was never fixed while in my possession. Top up and go was the order of the day. Another drawback was the roof, well the lack thereof. It meant you had to check the weather before taking the car out, especially in the summer months when the rains arrive in force. There weren’t any apps, or even smartphones, so that meant asking an adult or watching TV at news time to see the weather report. It also had no fuel gauge so I had to guestimate how much I had left when planning drives.   

The thing was damn fun to drive though, it got so much attention on every single drive. I remember taking the car to one of the best clubs ever to exist in SA, FlyHouse. Ok, it probably wasn’t that great, but it was always the best time there. One of the coldest times I can remember in my life was in the Spyder. There was no roof, no heater and after a night of dancing in a club that used to get so hot it rained inside, a drive home at 03:00 in the middle of June was a proper kak idea. That cheap little Spyder replica, well it must have been cheap because there’s no other way I’d be able to buy it, made me feel like a boss. The ladies loved it, my mates loved it and it was always the talk of everywhere I went. If a basic fibreglass replica can make someone feel like that, I can only imagine how cool it must feel if you get spotted driving an original one. That said, if you did manage to have an original one though, you’re a definite 1 %-er because they’re worth silly money. This 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder is an original lightweight Porsche racecar and is one of only 90 cars built. The car with chassis number 550-0038 has a storied racing history throughout Spain and Portugal and is sold with numerous items of provenance. There’s also value thanks to the car still retaining matching numbers for the chassis, the transmission and the Carrera engine. Back in the early 90s, just a little bit before my time with my amazing Spyder, this car underwent a full restoration at the hands of Porsche AG along with well-known coachbuilder Wendler. The most interesting part about the restoration is that since it was carried out, the car hasn’t been driven. Well besides being moved around in a collection or for this stunning shoot for RM Sotheby’s by Stephan Bauer. The car’s rarity and provenance mean it’s been valued rather high and should fetch good money at the upcoming Tegernsee Auction in the Bavarian Alps. This rare and definitely not fibreglass car is expected to fetch between €3,500,000 and €4,200,000 - or a mere R69,350,000 at the low end and R83,190,000 at the high end.

Take a look at the YouTube video that shows off everything that makes the rare 550 Spyder special thanks to A & S cars. The one in this video is chassis number 550-0050 whereas the one for sale with RM Sotheby's chassis number 550-0038, but we're sure it's worth silly money too: A & S Talking Cars: 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder | A & S

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