Porsche 550 Sells for £4.6m at Bonhams Goodwood Revival Auction

By Rose-Hannah Lishman

An exceptionally original, never restored yet beautifully preserved 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder was a runaway success at Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale, selling for £4,593,500, creating a world record for a Porsche 550 model.

 James Knight, Bonhams International Group Motoring Director and auctioneer on the day, said: “We’ve had an excellent Goodwood Revival sale, totaling £14.5 million. The saleroom was packed full of enthusiastic bidders, with clients phoning in from all around the globe, leading us to sell more than 70% of lots, and creating a world record price for a Porsche 550 Spyder.

“The top lot of the auction is an icon of 1950s sports car design, the gloriously original 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder. The car attracted much attention from bidders, with increments rising by hundreds of thousands until the gavel finally fell to achieve £4,593,500.

"The car is so original, that you could travel back in time 60 years and find it in much the same condition. It’s exactly how a 550 would have looked, smelt and felt like when James Dean famously purchased his example back in 1955.” Dean’s was perhaps the most famous of the 550s; he called his car the ‘Little Bastard’."

Throughout the 1950s, the Porsche 550 was one of motor sport’s most dominant race cars, out-performing almost all other models in its class. The little Porsches were extremely quick in a straight line – having a claimed top speed of some 220km/h – 137mph – and accelerating from 0-100km/h – 62mph – in less than 10 seconds - spectacular indeed with such a small capacity engine in the early 1950s.

The 1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica also sold well, achieving £610,000. The car was famously campaigned by great racing driver Roy Salvadori in the early 1950s. Elsewhere, tenacious bidding for a 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage 4.2-Litre Sports Saloon, finally soaring above estimate to achieve £455,100.

Further auction highlights include a 1971 Ferrari Dino 246 GT Berlinetta, sold above estimate for £299,420; a 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 ‘Flat Floor’ 3.8 sold for £253,500; a 1928 Bentley 6½ 8-Litre Sports sold for £406,940; a 1962 Lotus Elite Series II Super 95 Coupé, low-mileage but with no racing history, still sold far above estimate for £103,420; while a 1965 Ferrari 275 GT Berlinetta sold for £1.5 million.

By Rose-Hannah Lishman