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						Carrera Coach 550 2
Carrera Coachwerks Press Car

Carrera Coachwerks 550 Evolution Spyder

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, and the Porsche market is full of distinct influences. For some it’s only period perfection in the form of an unrestored 356 Speedster, but still others prefer the outlaw flavor with wide flares and blacked-out alloys on a turbocharged 930 coupe. But around 2012, a new company was formed from the assets of Thunder Ranch Cars with a brand new formula for a restomod Porsche 550 Spyder. Decked out with a 2.7-liter 911 engine, 19-inch alloys and a widened stature, this 550 Evolution Spyder from Carrera Coachwerks debuted the marque for European Car Magazine.

Of course Porsche’s original 550 Spyder was a different animal entirely from the modernized CCW build, with slender proportions, skinny rubber and 108 hp on tap from the analog wonder that was the Type 547 Fuhrmann engine. But the replica market lets builders flip the script and imagine new configurations and evolutions, and that’s exactly what this car was designed as. Called the 550 Evolution, CCW added 3 inches of width and 4 inches of length to body, along with taller fenders and a deeper chin up front. In addition, CCW imagined upgraded power plants like this 230 hp, 2.7-liter 911 engine as worthy substitutions, all while still accommodating tried-and-true air-cooled VWs. The finished car weighed in around 2,000 pounds with a 3-inch tubular frame and upgraded coilover suspension. CCW offered the car in several configurations from builder packages to full turnkey cars.

Unfortunately CCW’s time in the Porsche replica game would be short lived. Some suggest copyright issues stemming from the use of Carrera in the company name, but we do know the assets were purchased by Rock West Racing sometime there after. It looks like CCW only made a handful of cars, a couple 550s, a 356 and a 904 for sure from their YouTube channel.

That of course brings us to this CCW 550 Evolution for sale on Craigslist. It’s definitely the same car featured in the European Car mag story, as the seller says so and the technical specs line up, but the stripes have been removed and the 19-inch wheels swapped out for more traditional Fuchs replica wheels. The seller is asking $49,500 for the car, which is a bit more than a more traditional, secondhand Beck might ask, but let’s not forget the value of the uprated 2.7-liter over a standard-issue air-cooled VW. This Spyder is also a bit more likely to stand out in a crowd with the full-length striping, deep chin and trick exhaust exits as well.

As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if it's an enhanced evolution of the classic 550 Spyder that gets you going, this could be your ride. See the Carrera Coachwerks 550 Evolution here on New Hampshire Craigslist.

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