550 GTC

2003 Ferrari 550 GTC

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 2, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Ferrari turning their road-going cars into competitive race cars had kind of been a rare event since… well, the 1960s. Sure, they had “Challenge” race cars where 348s and F355s would compete against each other, but it’s not like they were taking them to Le Mans.

That sort of changed with the 550 Maranello. While Ferrari themselves weren’t outright building racing versions of the 550, some privateer teams were. The cars appeared in a few different classes/forms across a variety of series worldwide. We’ve already featured an ex-Le Mans GTLM version, and this is a GTC. The GTCs were “factory-built” in that Ferrari actually partnered with N-Technology to build two cars, both of which were constructed in 2003, after 550 Maranello road car production ceased. The other example is still owned by Ferrari.

Power is provided by a 5.5-liter V12. The competition history for this chassis included:

  • 2003 24 Hours of Spa – 27th, DNF (with Philipp Peter, Fabio Babini, and Boris Derichebourgh)

The following year it won the Italian Speed Hill Climb championship in the GTM category. The engine was rebuilt in 2016, and the current owner bought it the next year. It’s been restored to its Spa livery and now carries a pre-sale estimate of $2,300,000-$2,850,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

550 GTZ Barchetta

2001 Ferrari 550 GTZ Barchetta by Zagato

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The Ferrari 550 Maranello was produced between 1996 and 2002. In 2000, the company launched the 550 Barchetta, a convertible version that marked Ferrari’s fun new business of chopping the top and jacking up the price for a limited-edition model. Only 448 Barchetta examples were built.

This one was later customized by coachbuilder Zagato. It was actually developed with Ferrari as a convertible variant of the 575 GTZ, which itself was a Zagato-modified version of the 550’s followup car, the 575M Maranello. Because the 575 Superamerica (the 575’s expensive drop-top version) had yet to enter production, they backtracked to the 550 Barchetta to built the drop-top 575 Zagato.

When new, this car cost $1 million. It’s powered by a 478 horsepower, 5.5-liter V12. They planned to build five, but only three were completed. And this is the only right-hand-drive example. The pre-sale estimate is $640,000-$900,000, and you can read more about it here. See more from Bonhams in London here.

Update: Sold $769,393.

Sado 550

1983 Sado 550

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Alcacer do Sal, Portugal | September 20-21, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is the first car we’ve ever featured that was built by a Portuguese company. Specifically, the Sado 550 was built by Entreposto Comercial SA, a company that specialized in trailers and campers.

Only about 500 were built between 1982 and 1984. They are powered by a 527cc two-cylinder engine from Daihatsu that makes 28 horsepower. The engine is mounted up front and appears to drive the rear wheels through a four-speed transmission.

Not many of these remain, although they can still occasionally be spotted in Portugal. This one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from RM’s sale.

Porsche 550 Spyder

1955 Porsche 550/1500 RS Spyder

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2012

Photo – Gooding & Company

Shelby Cobras, Ford GT40s, Lotus Sevens and the Porsche 550. These are cars of which replicas far outnumber the real thing. But this is a real Porsche 550 Spyder. Only about 90 550s were built and this one retains everything it originally came with.

The Porsche 550 was a great track-day car back in the mid-1950s (it still is, but they don’t come quite as cheap as they used to). Many of them were used and abused on weekend jaunts to the nearest road course or former air base. The most famous of these cars was James Dean’s “Little Bastard” that he was tragically killed in on his way to a race.

To have an original, unrestored engine in one of these cars is amazing. Nor does it have any replacement bodywork. It was a street car for most of its life, serving as daily transportation at one point (sunny days only, I presume).

And what fun that would be. The 1.5 liter flat-4 makes 125 horsepower, which may not sound like much but consider how much a tiny car like this weighs with all aluminum bodywork. Aluminum bodywork and a lack of interior.

Luxurious comfort is a small thing to sacrifice for a car this amazing. They do not come up for sale often and by “not often” I mean “almost never.” There are few Porsche models that are more collectible, desirable or iconic than this. The price reflects that, estimated between $2,200,000 and $2,600,000. The buyer may adopt the name of James Dean’s infamous car for themselves, but only if they add “lucky” to the beginning of it.

For the complete catalog description, click here and to see the entire lot list, click here.

Update: Sold $3,685,000.

Here’s video of a similar car: