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Rare Porsche Racer Sells For Eye Watering Price

Auction / 5 Comments

This historic Porsche had only covered 62 miles since being restored a few years ago.

Last week, we reported on an amazing collection of three classic AC Cobras that sold for $6.4 million at auction. And now a rare vintage Porsche racer has sold for an eye-popping price at RM Sotheby's Villa Erba auction in Italy. The car in question is a 1957 Porsche 550A Spyder that sold for a staggering $3.7 million.

What makes this car so valuable, you may ask? The 550A Spyder was Porsche's first ever purpose-built race car. It's underpinned by a steel-tube spaceframe and is powered by a 135 hp engine. That may not sound like a lot of power, but the 550A Spyder weighs just 1168 pounds, so its performance was impressive for the time.

This particular example that sold at auction is chassis number 0121 and was the 15th of just 40 units ever built. It was originally sold to a racing driver in Denmark back in March 1957 and claimed victories at races in April, June, and August of that year.

British racing driver John Manussis purchased the car in late 1958 while living in Kenya where the car was imported. Four years later, the 550A was sold to a couple in Tanzania before being purchased by a dealer in Nairobi who painted it blue and entered it in a number of local events. An Italian collector then bought the car in 1978 and owned it for 31 years. They used the 550A Spyder to compete in the Mille Miglia several times.

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The historic Porsche 550A Spyder received a comprehensive four-year restoration between 2012 and 2016. Since being restored back to its former glory, it's only covered 62 miles. We'd love to see it return to the track, so let's hope the car's new owner intends to enter it in some historic racing event