Porsche 550 Spyder recreation

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Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project
Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project
Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project
Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project
Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project
porsche 550 spyder6 porsche 550 spyder6
Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project
Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project

Brian Tanti's talents need little in the way of introduction. Now he's teamed up with the equally skilled Mark O'Brien to recreate a millimtre-perfect Porsche 550 Spyder

Porsche 550 Spyder recreation
Brian Tanti's Porsche 550 Spyder project

 

Porsche 550 Spyder recreation

Renowned Melbourne restorer and coach builder, Brian Tanti, has begun work on a new project, a millimetre-perfect Porsche 550 Spyder replica. Tanti is best known for managing transport magnate Lindsay Fox’s car museum and painstakingly restoring many cars for him, including four Mercedes-Benz 300SLs and an original 550 Spyder that needed a major restoration. And that’s when his appreciation for the 550 began.

"I fell in love with these cars when I built one for Lindsay and I’ve always wanted one," he said. "I was lucky to pick up drawings of a 550 Spyder that had been scanned in the US and a replica chassis built to factory specifications. It came with a fibreglass body but I will be building a hand-made aluminium body." Tanti says there is a worldwide trend for owners to have their rare mega-dollar classics replicated and that genuine 550 Spyders are currently worth around $5m and going up $1m a year.

Porsche -550-spyder 7-500

"Collectors are commissioning people like me to build copies of their Ferrari 250 GTOs or D-Type Jags because they are just so valuable they don’t want to chance accidents like the recent one at Goodwood involving a Lister Jaguar and Mercedes 300SLR. They’re keeping their originals in museums and drive or race faithful copies. "Some people call them tribute cars but they are specification-perfect and there is scope to do that with the 550. We’ve gone to a lot of trouble to make sure the car is going to be as faithful to the genuine car as we can and we’re applying the same disciplines and science manufacturers use for (new car) prototype development."

The other half of the "we" is master modeller Mark O’Brien. A veteran of Holden’s design studio, he has sculpted clay models for all of Holden’s recent show cars and even the Bugatti Veyron during a stint at the German design studio of Martin Volkers.

Porsche -550-spyder 6-500

"Mark’s pedigree is second-to-none for clay modelling," Tanti said. "I want a definitive A-class clay surface that is millimetre perfect and they only way to get that is to use someone like Mark whose pattern-making background makes him perfect for all the timber and armature work too. He’s done the preliminary sketches and even made a model of the armature (skeleton) that’s going to support the clay." O’Brien says the Spyder is a challenge to get perfect.

"The 550 is much smaller in threedimensional terms than a modern car but it has such subtle flowing shapes," he stresses. "You can walk around a car like this dozens of times and, depending on the light, the shape changes subtly." Tanti concurs.

Porsche -550-spyder 4-500

"It’s not an easy car to get right to the provenance of the original, which is what we’re aiming for," Tanti adds. "I’ve seen lots of 550 restorations where the character of the car was lost in the detail of the exterior and that’s why Mark is so important to the project."

Tanti estimates it will take him two years to complete his first 550 Spyder, working part time. Chassis number one currently has his name on it but he is open to offers.

 

 

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