Since the 1950s Porsche achieved success in competition with cars which are decidedly different from their competitors, provoking from some drivers a great loyalty to the brand. From 1957 until his death in 1964, Carel De Beaufort almost only used Porsche cars.
Released in 1953, the Porsche 550 Spyder is efficient and agile with its flat four 1.5 liter engine. Porsche had made a good choice because this category of small volumes is undisturbed by the changes in the rules that follow the 1955 disaster at Le Mans.
Continuous improvement is a must for competition. In 1956 the 550A Spyder gets a lighter and more rigid frame, with a weight distribution carefully redesigned to improve the stability. It has a reputation of being very pleasant to drive.
Forty 550A are built. The last but one is sold in April 1958 to De Beaufort who uses it in competition in that year. In May De Beaufort dares to engage his little spyder in the Dutch Grand Prix of Formula One at Zandvoort. He finishes in last position six laps behind the winner. Meanwhile Porsche had developed the 718 that De Beaufort will now more logically use in Formula One.
Please watch the video prepared by Bonhams.
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