We are proud of that founder of the brilliant car company Porsche was born in Czech republic. Ferdinand Porsche (1875 - 1951) was one of the most important car developer and designer of the last century. He was born in Vratislavice nad Nisou near Liberec.
Some time ago we were searching for some informations about the 1950s Porsche design a we discovered these three unique racing models of the famous German car manufacture. Two of them are associated with the famous racing competition in Mexico. Carrera Panamericana is the legendary competition born in 1950 and celebrating the completion of the Panamerican Highway. It ran from a southern Mexican west-coast city towards Texas and from 1950 to 1955, it was widely held by contemporaries to be the most dangerous race of any type in the world.
Racing battles were leading there by the European companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Lancia or American Oldsmobile. Porsche has never won there, but with these models became the famous competitor of the Panamericana.
One of them is the Porsche 550 coupe. It was developed one year before the famous Porsche Spyder 550. Two coupes were in Panamericana race in 1953. Driven by Jose Herrarte and Jaroslav Juhan, legendary Czech-born racer and distributor of the Porsche in Guatemala. His wonderful life story is for separated article. Maybe we will publish it here later. But now back to the 550 coupe. This amazing aerodynamic car is predecessor of the more famous Spyder 550 which was killer machine for James Dean, too.
Jaroslav Juhan drove with Antonio Asturias Hall on the Porsche 550-01 Coupe. Jose Sala Herrarte Ariano with Carlos A.Gonzalez drove the Porsche 550-02 Coupe. Juhan was racing under his own team Camino S. But no one of the 550 Coupes completed the race due to the technical problems. Despite this, the 550 Coupe is one of the most unique Porsche with ultimate racing design. After their appearance at the Carrera, both Coupes were retired and little seen at pubic events. 550-01 was eventually discovered in the mid 2000s and restored by Cavaglieri Restorations for the Collier Collection.
There was another Porsche in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana race. It was special model of the 356 driven by Jacqueline Evans (GB). Car was decorated by Eva Peron portraits and her name as a memorial to the first lady of the Argentina who died in 1952.
The last Porsche we show here, is a unique version of the 356 model. Porsche 356 SL Gmünd coupe was developed together with Erwin Komenda. The first coupe was finished in june of 1948 and by mid-1949 more than 40 had been completed. The model has a extraordinary hand-beaten aluminum body. Porsche prepared three such Coupes for their first attempt at LeMans. On the 23rd/24th of June two 356/2 Gmünd coupes with aluminium bodies were on the starting grid. In their first attempt, Auguste Veuillet and Edmond Mouche were victors in the class up to 1100 cm3. This was also the first victory for a German sports car in international racing after the war.
So here are only some informations about these unique Porsche designs from 1950s. More you can find on more car related web pages.