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Record-Breaking Porsche Racing Car Barn Find Article Highlights:

  • The staggeringly beautiful 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder sat in a Swiss barn for nearly 35 years until its discovery.
  • One of the owners swapped the race car’s skin for an RS60 body. However, the body swap doesn’t compromise the car’s projected value of $1.5-$2.1 million.
  • According to Silodrome, the barn-find Porsche 550 is set to sell at auction on the 3rd of September at Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace during the Gooding & Company London auction

What kind of car is the Porsche barn find?

The Swiss barn find is a 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder, a stripped-back race car with classic Porsche style. This particular Spyder was owned by the likes of racing drivers Rita Rampinelli, Formula 1 driver Jo Siffert, Heinz Schiller, and Edouard Margairaz. Still, at some point in the car’s tenure, an owner swapped an RS60 body and a new engine into the car. Silodrome says that the move was likely to keep the little silver Porsche Spyder barn find competition-worthy. 

A race car with a RS60 body, like this one, was the latest record-breaking Porsche barn find out of Switzerland.
A Porsche with an RS60 body at the Targa Florio in 1956 | Bernard Cahier, Getty Images

Why is the 550 Spyder special?

Aside from the fact that only so many 1956 Porsche 550 Spyders like this barn find are still in existence, the car has quite a record-breaking racing reputation. The 550 Spyder has class wins at the hallowed Le Mans, as well as wins at the Nürburgring Eifel and Targa Florio in southern Italy. According to Sports Car Digest, the 1956 550 Spyder won the 40th Targa Florio, the most grueling road race in the world at the time.  

The 550 was also born of necessity when Porsche needed a new lease on racing. Engineers responded with a steel tubular frame and aluminum body. To top the little race car off, they used a 110 brake horsepower flat-four-cylinder engine. That might not seem like much, but given how light, low, and tight the little Porsche was, it was more than enough. 

How much is the barn find Porsche worth?

The Porsche 550 Sypder will likely fetch anywhere between $1.5 and $2.1 million at auction later this year. Not bad for a dormant race car just recently raised from its Swiss barn slumber. That auction will take place on the 3rd of September during the Gooding & Company London auction. Further, Gooding & Company chose the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace to host the auction. 

Why is the Porsche 550 famous?

A Porsche 550 Spyder like the latest barn find is the kind of car that James Dean died driving.
James Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder at the site of the accident | Getty Images

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Despite the illustrious racing career of the Porsche 550 Spyder, it is undoubtedly most well-known for being the last mount of movie star James Dean. According to Silodrome, James Dean was driving a 550 Spyder when he was involved in a fatal crash in 1955. The unfortunate even cast a shadow over the competent little race car. Still, this record-breaking Porsche barn find will likely sell for a tremendous amount of money later this year in London. 

Scroll down to the following article to read more about other amazing cars!