1957 Porsche 550A

Spyder, body by Wendler
Not sold at a high bid of
$4,573,000 - $5,295,000
Est. Range
Lot Number
Competition restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. 550A0118; Engine no. 90111. Silver over black. 1498/140hp, dual downdraft Weber carburetors, 4-speed transaxle, driver’s head fairing, woodrim steering wheel, dual outside mirrors, fire system, full width Plexiglas windscreen, headlight stoneguards.

Evaluation: Represented as the matching numbers engine. First owned by Ernie Erickson in Chicago, raced in Midwest SCCA races and Nassau in 1957, then successfully in 1958 with many wins. Next owner Frank Campbell finished third in the 1958 Nassau all-Porsche race. The next owner, Ted Baumgartner, sold it to Bob Wilke, owner of Leader Cards and multiple Indy 500 teams, for Rodger Ward to drive along with Bruce Kessler and Buzz Hahn.

After a string of subsequent owners it was acquired by George Barber and later Gerry Sutterfield. Restored in the 1980s in Germany for Wolfi Zweifler. Sold at auction in Monaco in 2001. Highly original (confirmed by a 2017 inspection report by Marco Marinello) and in excellent condition cosmetically and mechanically, done to highly presentable historic racing standards with attention to preserving its originality.

Bottom Line: Sold by Brooks at Monaco in 2001 for 3M FF ($442,803 at the time), cataloged as chassis number 550-0118, fresh from restoration. RM sold 550A-0116 at Monterey in 2018 for $4,450,000 hammer, $4.9M all-in. It, too, had a prominent U.S. racing history but it had a replacement engine and some condition issues that called its restoration into question.

There are no such issues with 0118, nor was there much enthusiasm among today’s bidders, starting at €3M and proceeding slowly by €100,000 increments to this result. 2021 is not 2018, however, and it might have been appropriate to give more consideration to the reported high bid here.

by Rick Carey
12 February 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.