There are few names more revered in the automotive world than “Porsche Spyder” and Gooding & Company is bringing four cars with just that name to its 2018 Pebble Beach auctions, to coincide with Monterey Car Week.
The four-car charge is led by a 2007 Porsche RS Spyder, which fans of contemporary racing will remember for the model’s many successes on the American Le Mans Series circuit including wins at Sebring, Long Beach, and Laguna Seca, along with three consecutive LMP2 class championships from 2006-2008. This particular RS Spyder, chassis 9R6.706, is one of just 15 ever built and was purchased directly from Porsche by its first owner, CET Solaroli Motorsports to campaign with another RS Spyder and a 997 RSR in the ALMS. Ultimately, the plans went sideways and the car was never raced, instead finding a home with two other RS Spyders in a private collection of Porsche race cars. The car has been used sparingly since, mostly at private track days, and is said to have been fully serviced throughout its ownership despite its limited run time. We love the naked carbon fiber finish and to experience the 503-hp, 3.4-liter V-8 at its full 10,000-rpm song must be quite a treat.
If the origins of the Spyder are more appealing to you, a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder will join its younger brother in Pebble Beach. This 550 was raced extensively on the West Coast by its first owner, Eldon C. Beagle, before he traded up to a newer Spyder and sold this car, chassis 550-0053 to its next owner. Subsequently, the car sustained some minor damaged and passed through several owner’s hands, though each would do little more than mothball the car in storage. Finally, the car was given a complete restoration and began to see some use again in the early 1990s, before ending up in a German sports car collection and again, being used little. In 2018, the car was given a $30,000 freshening after five years of sitting stationary and is said to be ready to start being used once more, though more fettling may be needed with use. Chassis 550-0053 is said to be highly original with a matching numbers gearbox and engine and has limited mileage as perhaps the only upside of its little use through the last several decades. Gooding & Company gives a pre-sale estimate of $4 million to $5 million.
Wonder what the inspiration was for the “718” Boxster and Cayman. Look no further than this 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder. An intermediary model between the 550 A Spyder and the RS60, the 718 RSK was essentially an extensively developed 550 A with more streamlined alloy bodywork to match its revised suspension and braking systems. Just 34 were built, this one carrying a typical 1.6-liter “Carrera” four-cam engine tuned to 160 hp. Originally purchased and raced at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans by Ed Hugus, a Pittsburg-based MG dealer and racer, the RSK retired while in the lead after the 19th hour with a broken camshaft. In the early 1960s, the car was sold to Don Ives, a Colorado-based racer who ran the car with some success, including at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Chassis 718-024 then went through a series of owners and was vintage raced through the 1970s-‘80s before finding long-term ownership as part of a large collection in the 1990s, where it essentially sat until present day. Though lacking its original engine and transmission and needing a complete service before being used, the RSK’s rarity means a $3.6 million to $4.1 million estimate is given by Gooding & Company.
Last but not least, Gooding & Company will also offer a 1966 Porsche 911 Spyder, a one-off design study by Carrozzeria Bertone. The project was spearheaded by California-based Porsche importer John Von Neumann, who was keyed in to the desires of his clientele. On the West Coast, convertibles were big business and Von Neumann was concerned that Porsche’s upcoming Targa model—a partial-convertible design conceived from fears that full convertibles would become illegal on safety regards in the U.S.—wouldn’t satisfy his customers. Von Neumann ordered a bare 911 chassis from Porsche and commissioned Italian designer Nuccio Bertone to build a convertible body for it. The result, which carried strong influence from Bertone’s other convertible projects at the time, including the Fiat 850 Spider, was shown on the Porsche stand at the Geneva auto show, but to little interest. Von Neumann gave up on the venture and kept the car in California for a time, before selling through a line of private owners. During this time, the car was repainted black from its original red and given 914-6-style Mahle wheels, replacing the original Italian Campagnolos. Currently in running condition with a believed-to-be not-original period 911 “S” engine, Gooding & Company recommends further mechanical refurbishment before it should be considered roadworthy. With an estimate of $700,000 to $1 million, the new owner shouldn’t have too many concerns about affording the service.