As their first dedicated sports racing car, the 550 RS Spyder was raced to Porsche's first major victory at the gruelling 1956 Targa Florio. This early success marked the arrival of Porsche's dedicated race car program, one which went on to win more races than any other manufacturer and largely fuelled Porsche's ongoing commercial success.
At the 1953 Paris Motor show, everyone got a first glimpse of the production worthy 550. It's simplistic lines, scant interior, tiny windscreen and purposeful engineering left little doubt towards the intended nature of the car. It was a refined, lightweight and agile race car meant to outclass the heavier, less forward thinking competition. And it worked.
The 550 was built around a simple tubular ladder chassis covered by a taught aluminium body refined Erwin Komenda from the early prototypes. Sitting near the centre of this was a complex engine which Ernst Fuhrmann designed to make the most of the 1.5 litres provided.