Even during my childhood, watching TV shows like Miami Vice and obsessing over the latest AMG Mercedes of the drug dealers and the Testarossa of Crockett and Tubbs, my exposure to exotic cars grew with my passion and appreciation of them. For some reason the shape of the Porsche cars always caught my eye, especially the early 911 and 912s with the chrome trim.
It wasn’t until I saw my first Porsche 550 Spyder in the flesh, 550-0056 at the 50th anniversary for Porsche in Melbourne, Australia that I knew I had found my dream car. It was at that moment that I realised all future models produced by Porsche had evolved from this one purpose-built race car.
The next challenge was to own one, but even back then $800,000 was well out of reach (but would have been an amazing investment based on today’s value) so I searched to find a replica 550 instead. I purchased a McRae Spyder from New Zealand and although it was in poor condition, it was a good base to start with. As there were no resources available to see how these cars were built and finished, I started researching everything ‘550 Spyder’ so I could restore the replica I had bought, to look as close as possible to the real thing. I decided to create type550.com to document and share the information I had with other Spyder enthusiasts going through the same process.
Like all good car restorations, my Spyder is still a ‘work in progress’ with refinements to the body and unique features to make it perfect, which I think will continue for a long time to come.
The type550.com website is a portal to everything Porsche 550 Spyder and is currently going through a transformation after being around for 10 years. It will be more about capturing the race history and evolution of this model with information about each of the 90 cars built from when they raced in the 1950s, to where they are today. It is a mammoth task, but very rewarding to see it all coming together. Through this journey, I have been able to meet the most passionate people from original owners and drivers through to the custodians of these cars today. It is true that ‘car people’ are a breed of their own, and I have found them to be very generous in sharing information and we have become great friends through this common interest.
I have lived in Melbourne, Australia all my life. I am married to an amazing and very tolerant wife when it comes to my passion, plus two daughters, one getting close to finishing her law degree and the other following her dream teaching gymnastics. I have owned my own graphic design company for the last 25 years and have survived through the best and worst of years. Since I could walk I have always played basketball and even after leaving school, I have kept playing for the last 30+ years in the same team, although I think we look forward more to the beers after the game these days!
My Spyder passion is quickly evolving into the next phase where I am spending more time consulting with current and potential owners with either buying, selling, restoring or researching the provenance of their 550s. Attending events like the Rennsport Reunion and races like Le Mans Classic, Goodwood and the Mille Miglia, allows us to relive and appreciate the car culture of the 1950s which is sadly missed in today’s commercial racing scene.
You can follow me on both Facebook and Instagram @type550