2022 Bonhams Amelia Island Sale (Porsche 550 Announced)

A 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder with coachwork by Wendler and extensive in-period racing history is for sale in the Bonhams Amelia Island 2022 classic car auction.

silver 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder on sale Bonhams Amelia Island 2022 classic car auction
© Bonhams

The early lead car for the Bonhams Amelia Island 2022 classic car auction in Florida, USA, is a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder (estimate $4,500,000 – $5,500,000). This Porsche was extensively raced in period in Germany before being exported to the USA. It is sold from half a century of single-family ownership.

Sold for $4,185,000.

Bonhams Amelia Island 2022 Classic Car Sale

Bonhams: eighth Amelia Island sale on March 3, 2022, at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club in Florida, USA.

In 2022, Bonhams earned $15 million with a 95% sell-through rate.

The 2021 auction has a relatively high 90% sell-through rate that was very encouraging for the classic car market especially given the high number of prewar and even brass era automobiles on offer.

Bonhams had the two top results at the Amelia Island 2020 auctions but the lowest sell-through rate of 76% and total earnings of $21.2 million with an average price of $240,536 (according to Hagerty).

In 2019, Bonhams earned $16 million with a respectable sell-through rate of 84%. Highlights of this sale were two dozen American antique Brass Era cars from the Don Boulton Collection.

1955 Porsche 550 Spyder at Bonhams Amelia Island 2022

1955 Porsche 550 Spyder with coachwork by Wendler
© Bonhams

A 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, chassis 550-0036, estimate: $4,500,000 – $5,500,000, is the early lead car for the Bonhams Amelia Island 2022 classic car auction. The Spyder comes with extensive in-period racing history and half a century of single-family ownership. Several competition Porsches and a 718 RSK are available at Gooding Amelia Island 2022.

The Porsche 550 Spyder

1955 Porsche 550 Spyder
© Courtesy of Bonhams

The Porsche 550 Spyder was a seminal model for the manufacturer, as its first genuine racing car design. Considered one of the most important racing cars in history, the 550 garnered success in the period’s most challenging international sports car and endurance races including the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race and the Mille Miglia. The 1500cc engined Spyder earned itself the ‘giant-killer’ soubriquet, as it claimed victory over larger-engined rivals.

The model introduced a semi-monocoque structure of a ladder steel tube frame stiffened by its sleekly aerodynamic lightweight aluminum body paneling. Power was derived from a complex four-cam 1500cc engine with an output of 110bhp. However, even with full road equipment, including hardtop, early cars merely weighed around 550kg.

In 1955, Porsche 550 cars claimed a 1-2-3 class victory at Le Mans, as well as placing fourth overall. 

1955 Porsche 550-0036 Spyder

1955 Porsche 550 Spyder front on sale in the Bonhams Amelia Island 2022 classic car auction
© Bonhams

From factory delivery, Spyder 0036 was raced by its first owner, famed German racing driver Theo Helfrich of Frankfurt. Helfrich was the 1953 Formula 2 Champion and Formula 1 veteran who also finished 2nd overall at the 1952 Le Mans 24 Hours. He campaigned the Spyder extensively in Europe, including at major German events at Hockenheim, Avus, and the Nürburgring during the mid to late 1950s.

Like many German sportscars of the period, this 550 was acquired in 1959 by an American military man stationed in Germany, who brought it with him to the US two years later. The car raced in several SCCA and sports car events in the Upper Midwest, including Road America, until the mid-1960s. The Spyder then traveled to Florida where, in December 1972, it was acquired by the late notable collector, Dr. Gary Quast.

During his careful 50-year ownership of the 550, a meticulously accurate and factory-correct five-year restoration was performed by Willison Werkstatt of Lake Park, Florida. The engine is fitted with a period-correct 547 unit, just a single digit from the original engine for the car (no. 90-035), rebuilt by legendary four-cam engine specialist Billy Doyle. It also retains its original gearbox (10027). Since its restoration, the 550 has covered fewer than 100 miles and is presented in excellent condition.

Amelia Island Classic Car Auctions 2022

1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop "Goutte d’Eau" Coupe
© Gooding

Top Amelia Island 2022 Auctions

The top auctions at Amelia Island are by:

  • RM Auctions at the Ritz Carlton hotel on 5 March 2022.
  • Gooding & Co at the Omni Amelia Island Resort on 4 March 2022
  • Bonhams at the Fernando Beach Golf Club on 3 March 2022

Amelia Island 2022 Auction Results

Amelia Island 2022 Auction Previews

Amelia Island 2022 Pre-Sale Announcements

Amelia Island 2021 Auction Results

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