Spyder Creations has made great progress in tweaking its 550 Spyder project into an even more “exact match” of the original, venerable Porsche 550 Spyder. This handmade aluminum-bodied Tribute car takes advantage of a more recent 3D scan of an original Spyder to smooth out all the shapes and lines that this icon possessed in its day.

Also, the entire body shop was invited to see a 10,000-mile original car (mid-production run) and inspect the build and finish “as done by Porsche” in 1955. It was an eye-opening experience, as significant differences were noted from one side to the other on this original car: measurements varied by 1.5 inches, in one case, on an un-molested area of the car!

Deciding how to address these inconsistencies “required quite a bit of food and wine,” jokes Rob Edwards, owner of Spyder Creations. Perhaps measuring many cars and using an average is the best solution. But, remember only 90 of the 550 Spyders were produced between October 1952 and June 1956. Of course, getting access to these cars with a tape measure is easier thought than done.

Spyder Creations # 002 is in primer and awaiting the final assembly of the 4CAM Fuhrmann engine which is being performed by Jeff Adams of SpeedSport Tuning in Danbury CT. Car 003 is in aluminum fabrication  in Florida (Alloy Cars) and 003 will also be fitted with a 130HP 4CAM engine. These engines have recently increased in value from $150,000 to $165,000 on the open market. There were only 1,500 1.5L 4CAMs produced by Porsche in total. Hen’s teeth is the word you were looking for.  

It is a rather interesting concept, this putting an historic, collector-engine, into a Tribute car. The engine will continue to increase in value while being really enjoyed by the new owners in their “Giant Killer” little race car. Have fun.

In related news, the same company hammering out the 550 bodies for its exclusive distributor Spyder Creations also has Cobra and Mercedes 300SLR bodies available. Since 1996, Ingo Poth of Alloycars, Inc., has been producing metal reproductions of historic race cars. His team combines the master craftsmanship of German handmade, all-alloy body construction and high-tech CAD re-engineering of historic race icons.

On the Cobra, high-stressed areas are attached to the tubular steel chassis using a steel subframe. All inner liners are in 6061 aluminum alloy including floor panels, firewall, rear bulkhead, front wheel wells, doors, hood and trunk, all processed by a CNC laser cutting system for accurate cut-outs. 

Behind the aluminum door panels are steel inner structures for personal protection, and the chassis provides CAD-engineered impact protection. These aluminum bodies are claimed to be made to exact dimensions (no stretched wheelbase) using original specifications. Even so, a larger pedal box and leg space for big guys is available as well.