1957 1000KMS OF NRBURGRING CLASS WINNING
1956 PORSCHE TYPE 550/1500RS 'SPYDER'
Chassis No. 550.0084
Engine No. P90130
Gearbox No. 4190H5
Silver with blue interior
D E T A I L S
Porsche's first competition successes were recorded by 356's, street cars fitted out for racing. When it became apparent that these cars could not remain competitive in the face of purebred racing designs coming from OSCA, BMW and Borgward, Porsche looked in another direction.
Initially that involved supporting Walter Glockler's aluminum-bodied, Porsche-powered racing specials which garnered the factory much desirable publicity. With that learning curve in hand, the factory began designing in-house. The Type 550s followed in 1953. They looked much like the later Glockler specials and initially had 356-derived pushrod motors. By 1954, the Ernst Fuhrmann designed Type 547 'four cam' motor had been developed. Although complex, at 115 to 130bhp it delivered substantially more horsepower than the pushrod engines. Soon 550s began appearing in winner's circles all over Europe and the U.S.
The early prototypes, chassis one through fourteen, had been clad by first the Weidenhausen and then Weinsberg body-building shops. When time came for the production run, Porsche chose the Wendler firm to build a body considered by most people to be more attractive than the flat-front, high-tail earlier examples. With these bodies came the appellation 'Spyder' and a growing reputation as the giant killer among race cars, with the little 'David' constantly harrassing and occasionally beating the 'Goliaths' of the racing world. For example, at Le Mans in 1955, Porsche Spyders finished as high as fourth overall, took the first four places in the under 1500cc class, the first two places in the 1100cc class and won the Index of Performance.
Compared to the prototypes, production 550s had larger front brakes (60mm as opposed to 40mm), were stiffer and had stronger, more reliable engines - actually the fourth generation of the four-cam motor. The chassis offered here was, according to factory records, delivered new to Frans Kochert, a jeweler in Vienna who raced Porsches for many years. It was returned to the factory in 1957 for the latest Carrera engine and in the same year he successfully raced 084 to a First in Class and fourth overall at the 1000kms of Nrburging and tenth overall in the Mille Miglia.
Recent history includes a full restoration to concours condition by G & W Motorwerkes, Ltd. of Waynesboro, Virginia. This well known and respected Porsche restoration shop has secured many class and Manhattan trophy (best of show) winners in Porsche Club of America events. The engine was prepared by Billy Doyle and the car won the Historic Display Trophy at the 1996 P.C.A. Concours in Oklahoma. It is painted in silver with blue wing flashes and interior. The Porsche is complete and correct and even has the top, as required by Le Mans regulations. As with the majority of racing 550 spyders, the original engine and gearbox were swapped during its racing career. Being a late 'high-rail' chassis, therefore stiffer chassis, it should be an excellent period race car. Furthermore, it has yet to be seen in national concours events, so a new owner has the potential to both show the car and race it, a perfect combination.