RM Sotheby’s 2019 European calendar will open once again in Paris, as the company returns to the glorious French capital for its sale held during the prestigious Rétromobile show week (6-10 February 2019). On this occasion, one of Porsche’s most iconic rear mid-engine race cars, the 550 RS Spyder is set to go under the hammer with prices ranging from €3,800,000 – €4,300,000 (approximately $4,3oo.000 – $4,900,000 USD). Highly prized by collectors, the 550 was Porsche’s first dedicated competition car, and chassis no. 550-0082 benefits from a great deal of period competition history. First driven by Gilberte Thirion, the car placed 1st in the 1956 Course de Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons hill climb. Thirion is a well-known female Belgian race driver of the 1950s; she competed in the Mille Miglia, the Rallye Monte Carlo, and the Tour de France among other notable races.
Oliver Camelin, Car Specialist at RM Sotheby’s, says: “It’s an honor to have the chance to offer this iconic Porsche 550 RS Spyder, a car which is a milestone in Porsche history and which to this day remains one of the most coveted road-going racing cars ever made. It was Porsche’s first foray into making a purpose-built racing car and it did so with incredible success, combining simple yet stunning design with uncomplicated mechanicals and lightweight construction. In fact, the template for so many great racing Porsches that have followed in the decades since.”
The 550 RS Spyder went on to contest the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1957 1000 KM of Nürburgring and 13 additional races, in period. After passing through a small chain of European owners, the car underwent a comprehensive restoration by Porsche Würzburg in 2000 and is now fitted with a correct type engine and gearbox, clothed in a stunning new Spyder body. Following restoration, the car campaigned the 2001 Mille Miglia and was subject to a complete engine service in 2013. One of just 90 examples built and representing a momentous piece of Porsche’s motorsport history, the 550 RS Spyder awaits its next custodian.