Beck Porsche 550 Spyder Replica
2250 cc Modified Porsche 914 Engine
Porsche 914 5-Speed Transaxle
Serial Number 4722902123
Built 1987 - 1995
Beck No. 111
What's behind the 550's immense appeal? It was Porsche's first purpose-built race car. It had a highly successful racing career, earning the nickname "the giant killer" for its ability to not only dominate its own 1.5-liter class, but to take on bigger, more powerful cars from Ferrari, Jaguar, Aston Martin and Maserati. It had a limited production of just 90 units, about 80 percent of which are known to exist today - all multimillion dollar cars. (Among the missing is 550-0055, in which James Dean lost his life.) As a result, several manufacturers have been making replicas of this car, the most notable being Beck. The car offered here is one of the best versions of its kind.
Originally sold to first owner as a 1987 Vintage 550 Spyder, by Charles Beck Development, Upland, CA, then modified by EF Enterprises. Current ownership is since 2001, and the car is currently titled in Michigan as a 1972 Porsche.
The original Beck kit consisted of the complete body with an integral large diameter tubular ladder-type frame very similar to the that in the original Porsche 550 Spyder. This car then was built over a several year period by EF Enterprises in Knoxvillle, TN, completed in 1995. Ed Zink (of Formula Vee fame) was a significant contributor to this car’s engine and suspension modifications and development.
Body & Chassis
Several improvements were made to the original Beck design. The dummy front air scoops were opened and made functional for the new front oil cooler and working ductwork to cool the brakes. A central backbone channel strengthened the composite floor, housing the rear brake line, throttle & clutch cables and shifter linkage. The cockpit floor was reinforced with aluminum plates. Hatches were installed in the firewall and front bulkhead and cargo space for service access. A larger (16 gal. vs. 8 gal.) fuel tank is installed, with a proper and functional center filler and a new pump. The seat shells and gages are from a Porsche 914. The roll bar is a bolt-in removable, for street or track. Lighting is period correct, down to the details of the proper oval shaped rear license plate lights.
The original Porsche 914 1.7L engine was dismantled, rebuilt, and modified, with parts and technical advice from FAT Performance, in Orange CA. Displacement was increased to 2,250 cc, via a 78mm stroker crankshaft, 96 mm Mahle pistons, new Carillo connecting rods and balancing of both sets of parts. New bearings, camshafts and followers, as well as valve springs, guides and pushrod tubes were installed. New, ported Porsche 914 2.0L cylinder heads were obtained and installed, all resulting in a 9.5:1 compression ratio and a bigger, more powerful engine. Fuel/air induction is handled by TBI (Throttle Body Injection) units that resemble classic Weber carburetors, but provide easier starting and running. Cooling is via double-sided Porsche 4-cam dynamically-balanced cooling fan, with a custom built shroud, and a heavy duty Melling oil pump. The exhaust system is made up of 2 in. diameter equal length stainless steel tubes, and is designed to accommodate various mufflers and tips.
The Porsche 914 “dogleg” 5-speed transmission was dismantled, inspected and cleaned, with a new first gear synchronizer installed, and the gear selector mechanism modified for a more positive feel.
The front assembly is from a later model VW Beetle, with its beam being an integral part of the Beck frame support. A 4130 anti-roll bar replaces the lower torsion bar, a la Zink Formula Vee. Coilover shock absorbers are also used on the front to augment the upper torsion bars. Steering is by the 914 rack & pinion, configured for zero bump steer. Front brakes are new VW Beetle discs, with 15 X 5.5 in. wheels. The independent rear suspension geometry was designed by Ed Zink, with new frame components and incorporating an anti-squat feature, with Carrera coilover shocks, 914 rear disc brakes, and rear wheels widened to 7 in.
This virtually all Porsche parts Beck Spyder reflects the original well, and more so than most replicas. It has recently been treated to a new battery and starter, and new tires were installed 12/27/21. Included are the vehicle history, build documentation, detailed tuning specifications, wiring diagrams, driver’s manual, tonneau and car covers.
You could order a new one from Beck, but their current backlog is three years. You can have this one now.
Located in Ann Arbor, MI, this Beck 550 Spyder is offered at
Contact Conrad at +1.734.645.5778
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