Then along came some spyders, four of them actually, Porsche Spyders that span the decades and will be offered August 24-25 by Gooding & Company at its 15th annual Pebble Beach auction.
They include two desirable competition models from the 1950s, a one-off 1966 custom roadster designed by Bertone, and the first appearance at public auction of a Porsche RS Spyder, one of the German marque’s winningest race cars.
“It is truly exciting to have these significant Porsche Spyders, that are not only rare competition or one-off coachbuilt examples, but also represent the lineage of the Porsche Spyder,” David Gooding, founder and president of the auction company, said in a news release.
The 2007 Porsche RS Spyder, chassis 9R6.706, is the last of six RS Spyders built for the 2007 racing season, according to the news release, and is “arguably the most original and well-preserved example” from the illustrious group of competition machines.
“The RS Spyder is one of most successful prototype racing cars in Porsche history with consecutive IMSA LMP Championships, an overall win at Sebring, and class wins at Le Mans,” the release said.
This Spyder, presented in bare carbon bodywork, has been meticulously maintained, Gooding said, with limited track time by its private owner, including appearances at the 2015 Rennsport Reunion and the 2016 Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
The estimated value of the first RS Spyder to be aucti0ned has not been made public by Gooding.
The earliest of the Porsche Spyders is another acclaimed race car, a 1955 550, chassis 550-0053, originally owned and raced by noted California privateer Eldon Beagle, who competed with it in nearly 20 events in 1955 and 1956, including the 1956 Pebble Beach road races. The 4-cam race car has been in private ownership for the past 20 years, largely hidden away.
The 550 Spyder is an iconic sports car that has been replicated many times over the years, as the genuine ones have soared in value. This 550 Spyder is valued between $4 million and $5 million.
One of the most revered racing Porsches of the ’50s is the 718 RSK Spyder, which cemented Porsche’s well-earned reputation as a giant killer on the track. The 1959 718 RSK Spyder offered by Gooding, chassis 718-024, was driven by acclaimed American driver Ed Hugus in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959.
The RSK, one of just 34 built, also racked up an enviable record in SCCA competition, and even competed in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Its estimated value is $3.6 million to $4.1 million.
The 1966 Porsche 911 Spyder is one of a kind, a car envisioned by California dealer John von Neumann and created by famed Italian designer Nuccio Bertone in collaboration with Porsche. The prototype was introduced at the 1966 Geneva Auto Show, but the automaker dropped the idea of producing the model in favor of the 911 Targa.
Offered for the first time in 25 years, the Porsche/Bertone 911 Spyder is valued at $700,000 to $1 million.
The Gooding auction takes place during the world-famous Monterey Car Week of collector car shows, auctions and events, culminating in the 68th year of the Pebble Beach concours d’Elegance on August 26. The auction happens on a polo field near the concours.
For more information, visit the auction website.