HomePick of the Day1956 Porsche 550 Spyder Beck replica

1956 Porsche 550 Spyder Beck replica


The Porsche 550 Spyder is an affordable replica
The Porsche 550 Spyder is an affordable replica

Last week, Bonhams auction announced the stunning sale of an original preserved 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder for $6.1 million, a world record by far for the mid-engine roadster made famous by the demise of actor James Dean in his “Little Bastard” on a Southern California highway.

So there goes yet another cool collector car sailing out of sight for most of us. But if authenticity is not key to your enjoyment of this most memorable of early Porsche road/race cars, there is another, less-painful way to obtain a reasonable facsimile.

The roadster comes with a removable fabric roof
The roadster comes with a removable fabric roof

The Pick of the Day is a 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder replica rendered in fiberglass by Beck, the Indiana company that has made a name for itself as a builder of quality replica Porsche Speedsters and Spyders.

This Porsche replica looks real enough that most folks won’t be able to tell the difference, although like oft-replicated Shelby Cobras, most times when you see one on the street, it’s assumed to be a non-original unless proven otherwise. Sure, some of your Porsche buddies will call it a fake, but their criticism would be moot when you enjoy flinging this quick and agile roadster along a winding back road.

And by quick, this 550 should roar with its Bergmann-built 2,387 cc four-cylinder engine rated at 160 horsepower, according to the Denver, Colorado, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com. With the car weighing just 1,300 pounds, that should be plenty to propel this little bastard with some gusto.

The 550 Spyder is set up with five-point racing harnesses
The 550 Spyder is set up with five-point racing harnesses

The Porsche replica has been set up for track safety with a set of five-point racing harnesses and roll bar. What a fun way to spend an open-track day, which have become fairly common across the country. But sorry, this would in no way qualify as a vintage race car for historic events.

These Beck replicas are highly sought after, the dealer says in the listing, and if you ordered one from the factory, it could take a year to get it and cost nearly $50,000.

So this one, which the dealer says has been driven just 37,600 miles, would seem like a decent deal at its asking price of $29,900. There are some chips and imperfections added since the roadster was built in 2005, the dealer adds, but it looks very presentable in the photo gallery with the ad.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day


Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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