To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION at RM Sothebys' Villa Erba event, 25 May
€3.400.000 - €3.800.000
- The 15th of 40 examples built; the only example sold new to
- Fascinating early competition history in Denmark and East
- Documented provenance, including single Italian ownership for
- Comprehensive four-year restoration completed in 2016
- Eligible for a multitude of vintage racing and concours events
The 550A Spyder was Porsche's first purpose-built competition
model, introducing a new lightweight spaceframe chassis, fully
independent suspension, a five-speed gearbox, and revised
coachwork. The 550A differed from its predecessor in a number of
particulars. Most notably, the ladder-type frame was replaced by a
steel-tube spaceframe which was both stiffer and lighter, with a
weight savings of 16 kg (35.3 lbs.). The weight of the complete
body was reduced by no less than 27 kg, care to the fact that the
new frame provided higher mounting points that allowed for many of
the body reinforcements to be eliminated. Torsional stiffness of
the frame was tripled, and the overall stiffness was five times
that of the previous type ladder frame. Overall, the 550A hardly
weighed 530 kg (1,168 lbs.), excluding fuel, but including the
compulsory spare wheel.
The rear suspension was changed from a normal swing axle to a low
pivot swing axle, while a front anti-roll bar was added. These
modifications considerably improved the car's handling. The 550A
was equipped with dual-circuit brakes while power from the
basically unmodified engine was increased to 135 bhp at 7,200 rpm
with the compression ratio raised from 9.5 to 9.8.1. The Solex
carburetors were also replaced by Weber 40 DCM twin-choke downdraft
Umberto Maglioli's overall victory at the 1956 Targa Florio
commenced the model's successful competition record, and just 40
examples were ultimately produced.
Chassis number 0121 is the 15th car built, and benefits from a
well-documented life, including fascinating period racing history
and a recent four-year restoration. After finishing assembly in
late March 1957, the 550A was sold to Danish racing patron Preben
Andersen (principal of the Scuderia Palan) as the only example
earmarked for Denmark.
With Denmark's flag painted across the hood, the Porsche was
piloted by local racing legend Julius Voigt-Nielsen, and he
triumphed in his first outing at the Roskilde Ring in late April.
He earned two more victories in June and August, and two 3rd-place
finishes to end the season.
In late 1958, the 550A was sold to John Manussis, a British racing
driver residing in Kenya who won the East African Safari Rally
several times, often employing Lucille Cardwell as his navigator.
Following an unrelated accident that left Manussis unable to drive,
Cardwell took the wheel alone and she twice roared to victory at
the Nakuru Park Motor Circuit in December 1961.
By early 1962, the Porsche passed into the possession of Mrs.
Cardwell and her husband, William J. Cardwell, and they continued
to campaign the car from their home in Tanzania. Later in the
decade, the spyder was sold to Gordon Crow, a dealer in Nairobi,
and he repainted the car blue and entered numerous local events.
During his ownership, the 550A was seen in 1969 by Porsche engineer
and soon to be factory driver, J�rgen Barth.
In 1978, the Porsche was acquired by Italian collector, a Brescia
resident, Giuseppe Freschi. He retained possession for 31 years
while entering the spyder in the Mille Miglia several times,
driving the event as recently as 2010.
In 2011, the 550A was acquired by Pierre Asso of France, but he
only briefly kept the car before selling it to its current
custodian, who was impressed by the spyder's originality and
completeness. In 2012, the consignor commissioned a specialist to
conduct a comprehensive four-year restoration, and every attempt
was made to utilize correct factory tools and techniques where
necessary. Completed in 2016, the impressive refurbishment returned
the car to its original factory appearance in every detail.
Following a post-restoration inspection, J�rgen Barth declared,
"550A-0121 is perfect in its original form, and all technical
aspects are like it was in 1957."
Having accrued just 100 kilometers since restoration, this
breathtaking Porsche is ideal for participation in significant
touring events like the Mille Miglia or the Le Mans Classic. It
benefits from a well-documented ownership chain that is recounted
in two private reports by highly regarded Porsche experts J�rgen
Barth and Andrew Hosking. Equally poised for the concours field,
the beautifully presented spyder would make a crowning addition to
most any sporting collection, beckoning Stuttgart enthusiasts
15� di soli 40 esemplari costruiti; l'unico venduto nuovo in
Affascinante storia iniziale, fatta di gare in Danimarca ed in
Provenienza documentata, inclusa la singola propriet� italiana
durata 31 anni
Restauro completo, durato quattro anni, completato nel 2016
Idonea per una moltitudine di gare d'epoca, cos� come
manifestazioni e concorsi per autovetture classiche in tutto il
La 550A Spyder � stata la prima vettura pensata e realizzata da
Porsche espressamente per le competizioni, ed ha introdotto il
nuovo telaio tubolare alleggerito, sospensioni completamente
indipendenti, cambio a cinque velocit� e una carrozzeria rivista.
La 550A differiva dalla vettura che l'aveva preceduta in molti
particolari. In particolare, il telaio a longheroni � stato
sostituito da uno in tubi di acciaio, pi� rigido e leggero, con un
risparmio di peso di 16 kg (35,3 libbre). Il peso della carrozzeria
� stato ridotto di 27 kg grazie anche al fatto che il nuovo telaio
permetteva di avere punti di ancoraggio pi� elevati, che hanno
permesso l'eliminazione di molti dei rinforzi della carrozzeria. La
rigidit� torsionale del telaio tubolare, confrontata con quella del
telaio a longheroni, � stata triplicata cos� come la rigidit�
complessiva, cinque volte quella del precedente telaio.
Complessivamente, la 550A pesa appena 530 kg (1,168 libbre),
escluso il carburante, ma, includendo nel peso, la ruota di scorta
Per quanto riguarda la meccanica, la sospensione posteriore era
passata dal normale asse oscillante all'asse oscillante
incernierato in basso, ed era stata aggiunta una barra antirollio
anteriore. Queste modifiche, hanno notevolmente migliorato la
guidabilit� della vettura. La 550A, inoltre, era equipaggiata con
il sistema frenante a doppio circuito e la potenza del motore,
sostanzialmente invariato, era stata portata a 135 CV a 7.200
giri/min. aumentando il rapporto di compressione da 9,5 a 9,8:1. I
carburatori Solex erano stati rimpiazzati dai Weber 40 DCM, doppio
La vittoria di Umberto Maglioli alla Targa Florio del 1956, giunto
primo assoluto, ha dato il via alla lunga serie di successi del
modello, di cui, alla fine, verranno prodotti soli 40
Il telaio numero 0121 � abbinato alla 15a vettura costruita,
arrivata a noi con una storia ben documentata, caratterizzata
dall'affascinante parte iniziale, ricca di competizioni, e, pi�
recentemente, con un restauro durato 4 anni. Dopo esser stata
completata, a fine marzo 1957, la 550A � stata venduta al danese
Preben Andersen, titolare della Scuderia Palan e rimarr� l'unica
550A venduta in Danimarca.
Con la bandiera della Danimarca dipinta sul cofano, questa Porsche
� stata pilotata dalla le...for more information please contact the