Thursday, 24 January 2013

Porsche 550 Spyder

The Porsche 550 Spyder debuted at the 1953 Paris Auto Show, representing a low, lithe, slippery take on the proven 356 layout that was overtly designed for racing. In time it would be most associated with two names, 'Giant Killer' and 'Little Bastard'; the former was due to its propensity to embarrass much more powerful cars thanks to its superior power-to-weight ratio, and the latter was James Dean's name for his own 550.
Given that Dean died in his Spyder, the car has always had a gruesome stigma of danger around it, but it's important to remember just how successful it was as a racing car. It gave Porsche its first win in a major racing event, taking victory at the 1956 Targa Florio, while its fundamentally similar successor, the 718, was successful at Le Mans as well as hillclimb events all over Europe.
Oh yes, and the 550 Spyder is staggeringly beautiful too. I mean, just look at it. It's a masterpiece of elegant minimalism.
Pics via Jan Wulf & Petrolicious

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