Building a Porsche 550-Spyder Replica Is Always a Good Idea When It’s Done Right

1 November 2021 - autoevolution

Building a Porsche 550-Spyder Replica Is Always a Good Idea When It’s Done Right

This early roadster from Porsche history was famed for two things: performance on the track and the death of James Dean.

But it was the 90-units limited production that made it such a desired vehicle and with so many replicas.

With the Porsche 550-Spyder, Porsche proved that it deserves the sportscar manufactured badge. Ferry Porsche designed the small roadster, especially for racing. While the work on the car started in 1951, the carmaker unveiled it at the 1953 Paris Motor Show. It was small, light, and powerful enough for its approximately 550 kilos (1,212 lbs), hence its nameplate. With such a limited production number, there's no wonder that dozens of manufacturers started building replicas after the famous roadster and selling it for cheaper than the original. According to Forbe's, a genuine 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder has an estimated value of $6 million. So that would be a garage queen or a piece of art in an exhibition.

The vehicle shown here, on the other hand, is a replica. But it is not just some build around the corner in an unknown shop but by Special Edition of Bremen, Indiana sold by DSFM2005 in Huston, Texas.. They built the vehicles based on the 1955 Beck chassis and fitted it with a Subaru naturally aspirated engine. The flat-four, water-cooled four-mill is paired with a four-speed transaxle gearbox that sends 170 hp to the rear wheels. 

What makes this Beck's spyder so unique is its light fiberglass bodywork and the custom interior. While some might not think that it's a fast vehicle, the 5.8 seconds needed for it to rocket from zero to 60 mph (0-97 kph) might change their minds about this replica Spyder.

The car's exterior is painted in silver with gold lettering for the "Spyder" on the front fenders. A set of red stripes adorns the rear quarter panels. Behind the vehicle, a single, center-mounted exhaust pipe gives the car a nice, flat-engine sound. As for the interior, Special Edition added a set of leather-wrapped bucket seats with a race harness that matched the look of the original Porsche 550 Spyder. The car also features a hidden AM/FM CD stereo. For rainy days, a removable black soft top is included in the sale.

At the time of writing, Special Edition asked for a stock Beck Spyder for $56,000, but the vehicle shown here has a few extras. For example, the Quaife limited-slip differential is worth $2,000, and the Nardi steering wheel is $475. Also, the manufacturer has a backlist order of at least 36 months. Thus, there's no wonder that the bid for the shown vehicle exceeded $46,550 at the time of writing, less than 20 hours before the hammer's drop. Last but not least, the Subaru engine has only 366 miles (589 km) since it was rebuilt.