Everyone has a favorite.
This particular example was piloted by American Zora Arkus-Duntov and Frenchman Auguste Veuillet to a class win in the infamous ’55 24 Hours of LeMans. For that race, this Spyder chassis #550-0048 averaged over 137kph fitted with a 1100cc motor. Smaller than the typical 1500cc 4-cam. This particular year’s 1100cc class was fairly heavily contested, with Coventry-Climax entries from Kieft, Lotus, and Cooper.
550-0048 also went on to take an overall win at the Swedish Grand Prix with Richard von Frankenberg at the wheel. An astonishing win, besting much more powerful cars including a Mercedes 300SL, Jags, and Maseratis. You can see why these early racing models earned Porsche the “Giant Killer” moniker.
Later, the car was campaigned in the ’56 Mille Miglia and was road tested by Road & Track. For these, it’s engine was upgraded to the 4-cam 1500cc. The car then fell out of the public eye, reappearing now on Kidston’s site. The Kidston listing for this car says she is supplied with 2 engines – is it both the LeMans class winning 1100 and the magnificent 4-cam?
Be sure to check out the informational pdf at Kidston for complete details on this example, including many more period photos of 550-0048 in action here.
Thanks to Octane for posting about this marvelous car.
Update: 550-0048 sold at Coys’ Légende et Passion auction in Monté Carlo on the 10th of May for an astounding £708,338. Congratulations to her new caretaker and I hope you get her on the track some time.