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"Time warp" Porsche 550 Spyder sets world record at Bonhams

A "time warp" Porsche led the pack at the Bonhams Goodwood revival sale, roaring away to a world record price of more than $6 million.
The Porsche 550RS Spyder was the company’s first true competition car, launched at the Paris Auto Show in 1953, with a lightweight aluminium body and a top speed of up to 137 mph.

Just 90 examples of the car were ever produced and, unsurprisingly, the majority were heavily campaigned on the racetrack.

The car offered at Bonhams, chassis 550 0090, was one of the few that was acquired privately and never raced throughout its 60 year history. This lack of action meant it had survived in remarkably original condition, without need for any major repairs or restoration.

"The [car] is so original, that you could travel back in time 60 years and find it in much the same condition," said Mark Osborne, Bonhams Vice President, Motor Cars, USA. "It’s exactly how a 550 would have looked, smelt and felt like when James Dean famously purchased his example back in 1955."

Having rarely been seen in public, the car was offered at auction for the first time and sold for £4,593,500 ($6.09 million) – setting a new world record price for a Porsche 550.

The 1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica (Images: Bonhams)

There were strong sales for two cars which definitely had graced the racetrack in their day: a 1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica, raced in period by Roy Salvadori, which sold for £610,000 ($809,515) and a 1985 MG Metro 6R4 Group B Rally Car, a class winner in the 1998 Targa Tasmania, which sold for £113,500 ($150,620).

Further vintage classics fetching six-figure sums at Goodwood included a 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage 4.2-Litre Sports Saloon which sold above estimate for £455,100 ($603,950); a 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 ‘Flat Floor’ 3.8 which sold for £253,500 ($336,413); a 1952 Aston Martin DB2 Sports Saloon with coachwork by Mulliners which realized £199,740 ($265,070); and a 1928 Bentley 6½ 8-Litre Sports sold for £406,940 ($540,040).

Top-selling cars of a more recent vintage included a 1986 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato Coupé which sold for £253,500 ($336,413); a 2000 Aston Martin Vantage Le Mans V600 Coupé which fetched £354,300 ($470,180); a 1990 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Coupé which sold for £225,500 ($299,255); and a 1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé which sold for £197,500 ($262,100).

In total, the Goodwood revival sale achieved £14.5 million ($19.24 million).

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