Porsche’s ‘Hidden Treasure’ sells at auction for more than $4 million

The 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder went up for auction at Bonhams in Florida this month and fetched more than $4 million after an intense bidding war.

by | Published on 21st Mar 2022

A classic 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder called the ‘Hidden Treasure’ has sold for $4,185,000 on Amelia Island.

The distinguished lot, chassis no. 550-0036, went up for auction at Bonhams at the Fernadandina Beach Golf in Florida this month.

The two-door coupe is one of just ninety ever made.

It earned itself the ‘Hidden Treasure’ name because it was under single ownership for more than 50 years, 20 of which it was never seen on the road.

It features four-wheel independent suspension as well as hydraulic drum brakes.

The original four-speed manual transaxle remains in place, alongside a period-correct Type 547 four-cam engine by legendary engine builder, Billy Doyle.

The simply divine and knee shakingly beautiful aerodynamic exterior was done by German coach maker Wendler Karosserie.

Where did it come from?

The auctioned model was given to Bonhams by its custodian of 50 years.

The mysterious owner bought it in 1972 when it was nearly complete but, crucially, it was missing an engine.

Billy Doyle was then commissioned to source and rebuild its engine, no. 90-034, and fit it to the 550 Spyder.

The resulting 1,498cc engine is the same size as the original but with an extra 25 brake horsepower, with 135bhp at 7,200rpm.

This model has had three other owners over the years.

First was Le Mans racer Theo Helfrich.

Then came Ludwig Fisher who showcased the car throughout Europe.

Not much is known about the third aside from that he was an American military man.

In early 1980s, the model had bodywork done at the Northeast Body & Paint Shoppe Inc. of Lincoln, Nebraska.

More than a decade later, Porsche experts at Willison Wekstatt of Lake Park, Florida completed a more comprehensive restoration.

This regeneration process began in 1998 and was finished in 2003.

The car then made its final public appearance at the 2003 Rennsport Reunion, before being carefully stowed away in a climate-controlled facility.

“We were immensely honored to be entrusted with the sale of this spectacular 550 Spyder direct from half a century of ownership and are very pleased with the result.” Bonhams Vice President Jakob Greisen said.

Needless to say, we’re in love with this car.



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Thiemo is a motorsports writer and podcast producer for ‘On the Kerbs’. A film connoisseur, he can easily give a two hour long dissertation on why Skyfall is the best Bond film. Like ever.

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