Porsche pays tribute to one of its most iconic creations.
Porsche is one of the best-known manufacturers of sports cars in the world, and its older models are considered to be some of the most collectible around. While the German company forges ahead with new technologies and cars such as the all-electric Taycan, its fans still cling to yesterday's heroes such as the revered Porsche 550 Spyder, which is one of the most collectible, and expensive Porsche cars around. In the following video, Porsche looks at the 550 Spyder and highlights five different attributes that make this car stand out. There has to be some clear reason why this car was called the "Giant Killer" after all.
The 550 Spyder was the first Porsche car purposely built for motor racing and quickly earned the name "Giant Killer" from fans and competitors alike. The reason for this nickname was the fact that its 1.5-liter engine, combined with a curb weight of only 1,213 lbs gave it impressive performance that was difficult to match by heavier competitors, especially in the corners. The 550 Spyder won a class victory and a third overall place at the Carrera Panamericana in 1954, and then went on to win the Targa Florio two years later. The 550 Spyder's biggest publicity boost came from legendary Hollywood actor James Dean who piloted one to his death.
The 550 Spyder got its name from its chassis construction number. And by using clever weight-saving elements such as making the dashboard a weight-bearing structure, the Porsche team managed to keep weight to a minimum. The four-cylinder boxer engine under the engine cover featured two overhead camshafts per cylinder bank and produced 110 horsepower, which gave the 550 Spyder a top speed of 137 mph. Porsche originally built only 90 of these cars, so seeing prices in the millions of dollars is to be expected, especially when you consider the effect James Dean had on the image of this car. The 550 Spyder is without a doubt a motorsport legend and Porsche classic.