Racing with the Porsche Spyders 1955

Always shocking to see the stark contrast between the glitzy see-and-be-seen fanfare of today’s pits and the casual atmosphere of races of the past. Even a race like LeMans looks more like a club race weekend at your local track than the paramount international endurance event.

Lots of good footage of the LeMans race itself. Rare to see color film from this event. Even with all of the 1955 LeMans disaster documentaries and media analysis, almost everything I’ve ever seen of the race has been in black and white.

Reader Photos: Joe Sheppard’s Dunnellon FL, 1958

Joe Sheppard. Dunnellon, FL. 1958.

Great shots from the pits of “the Tampa Hotshoe”, Joe Sheppard at the 1958 Dunnellon, Florida race. Wonderful sequence of the LeMans start with a leap into a Porsche 550 and a later (or perhaps an earlier practice session?) stop in the pits. Sheppard was a well known racer in the Southeast and podiumed many late 50’s/early 60’s races in Florida as well as on jaunts into the Caribbean for Nassau Speed Weeks and the Cuban GP.

Joe Sheppard. Dunnellon, FL. 1958.

Joe Sheppard. Dunnellon, FL. 1958.

Many thanks to John Shea for sending these.

Got some old slides or prints gathering dust in your closet? Send ’em in!

Previously: Joe with team Camoradi at the 1960 Sebring in photos and video.

Reunited and it Feels So Good

1956 trophy and the Porsche 550 it was won with
A few weeks ago we posted about a Richie Ginther trophy that was being sold on eBay. The auction identified the trophy as the 1956 Santa Maria Road Races trophy pitcher that Ginther was awarded for his first place finish in a Porsche 550. I got an email that evening from Andrew that runs the magnificent type550.com, saying he reached out to Porsche 550-09’s current owner. The trophy was quickly purchased and is now reunited with the very car that helped Richie Ginther claim that victory 59 years ago. Andrew sent along these photos and I couldn’t be more pleased to share them here.

Porsche 550-09

It’s things like this that keep me excited about The Chicane after doing it all these years. I love that this can be a place where these kinds of connections are made and re-made. Fantastic… And thanks Andrew!

Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed

This video clip assembled for the North Carolina Museum of Art’s upcoming exhibition Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed hits all the right notes for me. It’s my favorite era in Porsche’s racing car development and it’s a treat to see some of my personal favorites in great historic shots from the ‘Ring, La Sarthe, Targa Florio, and Carrera Panamericana. The exhibit opens in October and looks well worth the trip to see some marvelous rarities from the Porsche archives.

Via Magnus.

Ebay Find: 1957 Mille Miglia Trophy

1957 Mille Miglia Trophy

You never know what you’ll run across when you start digging in eBay’s basement. This trophy from the 1957 running of the Mille Miglia was presented to Georg Bialas for his co-drive with Harald von Saucken to a third place finish in the under 1500cc class. Bialas and von Saucken were scheduled to compete in a 356A but must have been pleased to instead run the event with a 550RS Spyder; examples of which took the top three spots in the under 1500cc class.

The eBay listing page shows a “Buy it Now” price of $11,000. I don’t know enough about silversmithing to understand whether the repairs made to the trophy are well done or if simply doing the repairs at all hurt its value as a collectible. What I do know is that it looks stunningly beautiful and would be an arresting addition to any garage. My hope, however, is that whoever owns the particular Porsche 550 driven by Bialas and von Saucken ends up with it.

They really should be together, don’t you think?

1957 Mille Miglia Trophy1957 Mille Miglia Trophy1957 Mille Miglia Trophy

Auto Motor und Sport – Porsche 550 RS Spyder

The narration isn’t so hot, but I’m not one to turn down footage of my beloved 550.

Update: Watching this again this morning, I particularly find hilarious the narrator’s insistance in saying “Five Hundred Fifty” and “Three Hundred Fifty-Six”. Does she refer to the 911 as the “Nine Hundred Eleven”?