Almost identical to the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder, but with a 2.5-litre boxer engine and weighing a super light 720 kilos, you dont need to ask me how it goes
words Anthony Crawford - photography Yvan Fournier
Model Tested: 550 Spyder by Chamonix - $60,880 (RRP)
James Dean immortalised the Porsche 550 Spyder when his slammed into a Ford Coupe, driven by Donald Turnipseed, on his way to an amateur race in Salinas, California on September 30, 1955.
Dean had just traded up from his Porsche 356 due to the phenomenal success of the 550 at Le Mans, where it ran a one-two finish in its class. This was Porsches first attempt at a purpose built race car, and they nailed it!
There were plenty of other wins too, for the quad-cam, flat-four, 1.5-litre Porsche, including a 1000 kilometre race at the Nurburgring, where it hammered more powerful rivals from Ferrari, Maserati and Jaguar.
Not only was the 550 a wickedly quick car, capable of more than 219km/h (137mph), but the speed it could carry into corners was blistering and gave it the edge over most other cars for several years. So successful was this car, that wins were barely mentioned over the occasional loss.
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