All the way back in May, I drove 40min from my university town of Davis, California all the way to Vacaville for the monthly Vacaville Cars and Coffee. The Vacaville Cars and Coffee is known for having a "Porsche 550" show up every month, and since I have never seen a Porsche 550 (or even a replica) I know I had to go at least once. I was disappointed when I did not see the 550 when I rolled in, but to my luck, it turned out the 550 was just a bit late to the show!
This particular model is not one of the original 90 Porsche 550's ever made, but a Beck 550 Spyder replica, which features a fibreglass body rather than an all aluminium one used in the real deal.
Introduced in 1953 at the Paris Motor Show, the 550 was developed from the Porsche 356 Speedster as a purpose-built racing car for Porsche.
The Porsche 550 featured incredible aerodynamics with its amazingly low body, and lightweight with its aluminium body. In fact, it was so low, the car was driven under railroad barriers during the 1954 Mille Miglia.
I recently had my first experience riding a (Beck) 550, and I can attest that the car is indeed incredibly low. It was so low down that Japanese kei (microcars) cars felt like SUV's.
The 550 was also incredibly versatile, being able to win races and then be driven back home as is.
The most famous Porsche 550 was probably the one belonging to James Dean, which he crashed on California Route 46 in 1955, prematurely ending his life. The eerie part of this story is that Sir Alec Guinness actually warned Dean about the Porsche 550 about a week before the famous crash. I wonder what happened to the wreckage. Was it disposed of? Or was it taken and hidden away somewhere.
Despite realizing this is merely a replica, I cannot stop marveling at this wonderful piece of machinery.
While a real Porsche 550 would probably cost upwards of around $5,000,000, you can get a Beck 550 anywhere between $36,000 to $85,000. At least when I last checked.
Now that I have run out of things to say, let me allow you to marvel at this wonderful car.
Would you buy a Beck? For the maybe one millionaire reading this, would you try and buy a real Porsche 550?