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Dr. Strangelove






"Introduced in 1953 at the Paris Motor Show, the 550 featured a two-seat, open top aluminum body wrapped over a tubular ladder chassis with a MR layout mid/rear mounted, 1.5 litre, air-cooled flat-4 engine which weighed in at just 550 kg (1213 lb).

Although 2 units were produced with a modified OHV Volkswagen air cooled engine, Porsche's "Type 547" engine (designed by Dr. Ernst Fuhrmann) was standard fare for all other 550s. The Fuhrmann unit was very advanced for its day, as it had four camshafts that were all driven via a Königswelle by the crankshaft, helping provide 110 bhp (very strong for a vehicle of such light weight). With the quad-cam engine powering it, the 550 was capable of performance very comparable to—and in many cases better than—Ferrari and Jaguar models with larger engines. The particularly rare 356 Carrera model was the Porsche's only standard production vehicle to feature this powerplant.

Although Porsche had raced with the 356 for several years already, the 550 was distinct in that it was the company's first purpose-built racecar. The factory successfully campaigned the 550 in international auto racing, headed by the vehicle's premier win at the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it won its class. Lake Underwood raced the 550 Spyder in the United States.

Later that year Porsche began a production run of customer cars, building 90 units in total before replacing the original 550 with the extensively reworked 550A in 1956.

The 550A variant sported various improvements over the outgoing model, including a spaceframe chassis, the latest version of the Fuhrmann four-cam engine mated to a five-speed transmission, and a multi-link rear suspension setup which reduced oversteer and improved handling."

From Wikipedia




This should be an instant frozen for everyone on here. One of the best looking cars of all time. Really quick when it was made, and to this day, one of the most commonly replicated cars of all time (allong with the Lotus 7, Manx, and Cobra). It killed James Dean, and that is really fucking cool.

It won the 1956 Targa Florio, and by the standard calculation:
Targa Florio + Machine guns / Guitars = Miles Davis

Re work that to:
(Miles X Guitars) - Machine guns = Targa Florio

And that is pretty damn cool.
clarkma5
It's cool, but I withold frozen status because it's just soooo overdiscussed. I much prefer the 718 which is faster, sexier, and far more unknown.
arnge
James dean died in one.

FROZEEEEEEEEEN.
Phix
QUOTE(Dr. Strangelove @ Apr 10 2007, 04:43 PM) *
This should be an instant frozen for everyone on here. One of the best looking cars of all time. Really quick when it was made, and to this day, one of the most commonly replicated cars of all time (allong with the Lotus 7, Manx, and Cobra). It killed James Dean, and that is really fucking cool.


Uh, what? The 550 didn't kill James Dean. Impacting a 1950 Ford Tudor while doing 88km/h killed James Dean.

Also, cool on the car. It's a race car. All race cars are instant cool.
UserDrew
I heard that his car was parted out and sold to other 550 drivers and the people who got the used parts all died in bloody accidents!


I voted Cool. Though it seems like quite the performer of its time my modern taste in design does not like the rear.
Uwe
Yes, it may have been overdiscussed but this is always the case with legends. There is only one single vote for it: Frozen, 0°K, -273.15°C, −459.67°F, whatever you want to call it. Period.
clarkma5
Actually, Kelvin aren't in degrees, so it would just be 0K tongue.gif
Uwe
Nitpicker. wink.gif
eighteenseconds
QUOTE(Phix @ Apr 10 2007, 02:44 PM) *
Uh, what? The 550 didn't kill James Dean. Impacting a 1950 Ford Tudor while doing 88km/h killed James Dean.

Also, cool on the car. It's a race car. All race cars are instant cool.


Actually he was just pulling out onto a highway and was T-boned by the truck.

Agreed with clarkma about the 718. This one's a little cutesy.
Phix
QUOTE(eighteenseconds @ Apr 11 2007, 03:08 PM) *
Actually he was just pulling out onto a highway and was T-boned by the truck.

Agreed with clarkma about the 718. This one's a little cutesy.

Actually, you're wrong.

I saw a documentary on it. He was driving on one of those two lane desert highways and it was extremely flat and sunny. The 550 was extremely small and the sun was beaming off it. A 1950 Ford Tudor driven by Donald Turnupseed was making a left turn and the 550 was allegedly speeding. James Dean's famous last words before the impact were "He's gotta see us." but the Ford never did and he turned and wham.
eighteenseconds
shut up. ur gay.
Phix
QUOTE(eighteenseconds @ Apr 11 2007, 05:17 PM) *
shut up. ur gay.

no, ur gay.
PAULIE_D
Personally, I think that this is one of the purest, sexiest automotive designs ever. I wonder if there are any kit-car companies that are reproducing this car today.
clarkma5
QUOTE(PAULIE_D @ Apr 11 2007, 08:57 PM) *
Personally, I think that this is one of the purest, sexiest automotive designs ever. I wonder if there are any kit-car companies that are reproducing this car today.


Many. The most famous of which, and arguably the best, is Beck, who also do replicas of the 356 Speedster.

http://www.beckspeedster.com/
PAULIE_D
^ Thanks for the link bro. No offence to Uwe but I think I would prefer a 550 replica over a Lotus 7 replica.
clarkma5
The Lotus 7 is undoubtedly the better performance car. The 550 is a sunday fun car for twisty roads, the Seven is for the race track.
PAULIE_D
^ well... given the fact that I am much more likely to be driving on a sunny Sunday on a twisty puplic road (as opposed to a race track), I think I would favour the 550 replica. It's a damn sexy car.
Uwe
QUOTE(PAULIE_D @ Apr 12 2007, 06:20 AM) *
^ Thanks for the link bro. No offence to Uwe but I think I would prefer a 550 replica over a Lotus 7 replica.

I wouldn't even be offended if you preferred a Ford F-150 over a Caterham. Its all a matter of personal taste.

Ah yes, concerning the Lotus 7: A Westfield is a replica. The Caterham is a successor. Fine difference. wink.gif
Synesthesia
I'm going with absolutely drop dead frozen.

QUOTE(Phix @ Apr 11 2007, 03:28 PM) *
Actually, you're wrong.

I saw a documentary on it. He was driving on one of those two lane desert highways and it was extremely flat and sunny. The 550 was extremely small and the sun was beaming off it. A 1950 Ford Tudor driven by Donald Turnupseed was making a left turn and the 550 was allegedly speeding. James Dean's famous last words before the impact were "He's gotta see us." but the Ford never did and he turned and wham.


Um, how do we know this?
clarkma5
QUOTE(Synesthesia @ Apr 12 2007, 04:17 PM) *
Um, how do we know this?


He was with a passenger who survived the accident...
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