A historic Porsche 550a race car is heading to auction

A Porsche 550A Spyder race car from the '50s is one of numerous ultra-rare cars heading to an auction is Arizona later this month.

The rare machine is expected to fetch $4.5m – $5.5m (approx. £3.3m - £4.1m) when it heads under the hammer, with its incredible motorsport history being key to its worth.

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It finished second in class at the prestigious 1958 Le Mans 24 Hours race, and fifth overall, as well as class winner at the 1000km race at the Nurburgring, with this example running as a Porsche works team car.

The Porsche 550 was also the German manufacturer's first dedicated racing car, and is one of the most iconic cars ever made by Porsche. While the 550a was barely different to the previous model, it has a rear engine cover which was easily removable to save weight, while the spare tyre was relocated for better weight distribution.

This example is also the second-to-last built, in a production run of just 40 cars and is regarded as one of the finest left in existence.

Other cars up for auction at the prestigious sale include an immaculately preserved Ferrari 275 GTB/4 with an estimate of £2.1m - £2.5m, as well as the first Mercedes 300 SL that was exported to the UK.

Some more modern cars are gracing the lots, too, including a Porsche 918 and a new Porsche 911R that has covered just 38 miles. Carroll Shelby's personal Ford GT is also at the sale, and has covered just 645 miles in 11 years.

The cars are being sold by Bonhams on January 18 at the 'Scottsdale Auction', held at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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