The Porsche 550 Spyder arrived in 1953 during a great era for sports car racing. It featured a 1.5-flat-four with twin cams for each bank of cylinders. The company designed the roadster for competition, and it took class victories at events around Europe, including an overall win at the 1956 Targa Florio.

The model remains infamous today for being the model of Porsche that actor James Dean died while driving in 1955.