1956 Porsche 550A RS Spyder Pilots: C. Dubois, G. Hacquin Team: Equipe Nationale Belge Race: DNF (S 1.5) at Le Mans in 1957 Minichamps - 430576660 (diecast)
The 550 RS was Porsche’s first model specifically designed for competition. Inspired by the 356, it was called 550 because it only weighed 550 kg. Small and light, because of the very good Typ 547 engine (“Furhmann engine”), it earned the reputation of being a giant killer. The engine was an air-cooled flat-4 with 1490 cm³ and DOHC, that delivered 110 hp. It was such a well-balanced racer that it won its first race at the Nürburgring Eifel Race of 1953. And in the same year took class wins at Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana. All in all 90 models left the factory at Zuffenhausen, from 1953 to 1956.
This is chassis #550-0082, bought brand new by Equipe Nationale Belge in 1956. The car’s first race was the La Roche Hill Climb in France on the 25th of March, 1956, finishing first overall. The following year the team went to Le Mans with two cars, a big Jaguar D-Type and this 550A RS #60. Piloted by Claude Dubois and Georges Hacquin, their race only lasted 70 laps. An illegal oil fill got the car disqualified and that was the end for the small Porsche. Conversely, the D-Type finished in fourth. This 550A still exists today, but unfortunately not in its original war paint. In spite of that, it was recently auctioned and sold for €3 million.
So, this 550A is not a winner. Or has a juicy history behind it. But it has one thing going for it: it looks gorgeous. Since I didn’t have any 550 in the W-143 Garage (I will NOT comment on that turd… 🤢) this 550A RS looked awesome as the first one. Nothing fancy, just your “average Minichamps”, but a looker nonetheless.