It's even got a gold-plated engine!
Custom Porsche cars, while expensive, are a dime-a-dozen. It seems like every other day a new tuner emerges with a power increase for the latest Porsche 911 or some insane off-road build. If you've just built a custom Porsche, it will be tough to stand out in this crowded market but that's exactly what John Sarkisyan and his brother did with this Porsche 550 Spyder.
Long before the Porsche 718 Spyder donned the 'Spyder' nomenclature, the name was used on the Porsche 550, built from 1953 to 1956. Sarkisyan and his brother are known for building some outrageous projects including a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing replica based on a modern SLK. This 550 is unlike any other we've seen because it features a center-seat driving position, like a McLaren F1.
Sarkisyan says the center seat "was a really difficult thing to do. I always wanted to do it for some reason and I don't know why. It's not very comfortable and you can't have any passengers in it. But it makes a big statement." Photographer Larry Chen, who gives us a tour of the Porsche, says the car is perfect for a selfish person. The two brothers even named the car 'Selfish' as a result. They also built a second car with a Subaru powertrain but left the air-cooled engine in this car.
As for the color, Sarkisyan says "we fought about [it] for months. He wanted to paint it white. I was like, no. It's going to be brown." John says he was inspired by a brown Mercedes S-Class he saw on the highway but decided to use the Mystic Brown hue used on Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
The car itself is a fiberglass shell of a 550 Spyder with a one-off tube chassis, so Porsche purists don't have to freak out over Sarkisyan and his brother cutting up one of the 90 original cars ever produced. To fit drivers of different heights, the seat cushion can be removed to sit lower in the car but a set of custom goggles is recommended despite the small windshield. All of the details are exquisite, including the orange leather interior mixed with plaid. Under the hood, the engine has been transformed into a work of art with gold-plating on most surfaces. This Porsche is truly a masterpiece.