How to Find a Lost Porsche 550 Spyder
A rare Porsche 550 Spyder was recently found hiding in a storage container on a hillside in Orange County, California. Bobby Green, of the Old Crow Speed Shop received uncovered a Porsche 550 Spyder that had been in hiding since the ‘90’s.
Many media outlets have written about this find and shared the film on Facebook made by Blue Nelson about bringing the 550 down from the hill. It is an amazing discovery and one that any car nut would be ecstatic to discover. Granted the Porsche is worth millions of dollars, but I believe any car enthusiast would be more excited at the “find” than the monetary reward.
So just how do you find such a rare and valuable Porsche that has been in hiding for decades?
Three factors are gleaned from this story and reading multiple other stories of barn finds:
A big piece of any unique find is to “get lucky.” You sometimes just have to be in the right place at the right time and this was the case with Bobby Greene. He was looking for classic motorcycles and while looking at a collection in California, discovered the owner also had this rare and hidden Porsche 550 Spyder.
So luck had Bobby discover a Porsche 550 Spyder sitting in a container, but it was “Networking” that got Bobby to the motorcycle collection that led to the Porsche. Bobby himself credits his unique finds to “a lot of networking.” The owner of a large British motorcycle collection passed away and Bobby heard about it through friends. Upon connecting to discuss motorcycles, he then discovered there was also a Porsche 550 Spyder stored in a shipping container since 1994, sitting on a hill.
The third factor to any unique find is to act. Many people hear about rare cars hidden away but it takes a special person to go that extra mile to follow through and make the deal happen. I have my own story about a Shelby KR500 Convertible that I suspected was sitting stored in a garage for years, but I never took the step to knock on the door until it was too late. Close to 10 years after my lone quick glance a this mystery car in a partially opened garage, I knocked on the door to ask about. The owner had sold the real deal the week before. My lack of taking action, led to a missed opportunity.
We all want to find that rare missing car, but it is a “job” of networking, running down leads and chasing a lot of dead-ends before finding the pot of gold in a barn, garage or in this case, a shipping container.
Story of the Porsche 550 Spyder in a Shipping Container
The background of this story was gleaned from articles in Hagerty media and TheDrive.com.
Les Gunnerson was the British motorcycle collector and owner of the rare Porsche 550 Spyder who stored it in a shipping collector. Les acquired the car in 1963 for $2000 and restored it in the 1980’s. Les then got into motorcycles and placed the Porsche into the shipping container for storage where it lived for 35 years.
Gunnerson who also owned a Porsche 904, purchased the Spyder, serial number 550-069 with four-cam, flat-four engine number 0075 from Loretta Turnbull Richert who shared the car with her brother Ray. The original owner of the car was Albert Hosking who changed the color of the car from its original white to the current red.
Three years ago a similar Spyder sold at the Pebble Beach auction for $4.5 million. It is not reported what the new owner’s plans are for the Spyder but I suspect he will enjoy it and then eventually recoup his financial investment in the car, with perhaps a little profit.
Tip of the Hat to Sean Moore and Stew Campbell who both suggested an Air Brigade article on this “find.”
Facebook Video Link of the Porsche 550 Spyder Container Find: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=459463335299862
Hagerty Media Story: https://www.hagerty.com/media/news/rare-1955-porsche-550-spyder-uncovered-in-california-shipping-container/
The Drive Media Story: https://www.thedrive.com/news/40037/1955-porsche-550-spyder-emerges-from-california-storage-container-after-35-years-in-hiding
Tags: Porsche 550 Spyder, Finding rare Porsche 550 Spyder