James Dean-Approved Porsche Spyder 550 to Hit Auction Block Next Month

This silver fox needs a new silver fox in the driver seat

August 26, 2016 9:00 am

It was an nice little Monterey Car Week for Bonhams, who managed to rake in $34.8 million, including some record-breaking sales.

Next on the agenda for the auction house: the Goodwood Revival, going down in Great Britain in just a couple of weeks and listing this silver fox — a ‘56 Porsche 550 RS Spyder — among its numbers.

A highly coveted make, the 550 RS was Porsche’s first true racing car. Just 90 were made. They are minimal, timeless and notable as the vehicle — nicknamed “Little Bastard” — in which James Dean met his tragic end.

Launched in ‘53 at the Paris Auto Show, the roadster dominated most racers in its class thanks to a super-lightweight aluminum body.

Road & Track said of the model: “The 550 had full road equipment, with lights and so forth, and a top, and enough stamina and ground clearance to compete in rallies — which it did. The bodywork and weather gear qualified the 550 for international sports car races — and Hans Herrmann took first in class and sixth overall in the 550’s first race, the 1954 Mille Miglia … Herrmann was third overall in that year’s Carrera Pan Americana. There were 75 cars with bigger engines in that race, and Herrmann beat 73 of them.”

But this little lady hasn’t been tossed around too harshly, having won the FIVA award for originality at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2010. And because we know you’re wondering, she’s a quick one despite her age, covering 0-60 in less than ten seconds with a top speed of roughly 137 MPH.  

It’s one of the most collectible makes bearing the Stuttgart marque, and for $8 million in pocket change, she can be yours.

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