A Promise to Have Serious Fun…

The tiny windscreen did little to keep the icy blast from freezing my face into the grin I had assumed ever since strapping myself (6 point racing harness) into the little Porsche 550 replica…



I had journeyed 2.5 hours east of Chicago during an early Autumn cold snap to visit the Beck Spyder folks, makers of the Porsche 550 replica, and a meeting with (father and son) Kevin and Carey Hines, who have continuously upgraded what Chuck Beck started many years ago.


A Connection to History…

James Dean's Porsche 550 Spyder

James Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder

You remember the car; one of the original 90 built, James Dean fatally crashed the Little Bastard” into Donald Turnupseed’s 1950 Ford Custom at the CA Rt. 46/41 Cholame Junction on September 30, 1955.

The Experience…

Pooh-pooh replicas and you entirely miss the point of experiencing why the Porsche 550 Spyder is hallowed not just by the Porsche community, but by car aficionados everywhere.



Today, electronic wizardry  allows almost anyone to be a great driver…but this Beck Spyder makes you sit up, pay attention, and remember that the only electronics on board are used to start the engine, and therein lies the experience of driving the real thing…here resurrected in flawless fiberglass, and it’s gorgeous in jet black.

Snow flurries danced in the air…

Strap yourself in, pull the feather weight door closed and it’s a tight fit if your passenger has an unhealthy BMI.



A simple short-throw 4 speed transmission, hydraulic clutch, and a power to weight ratio guaranteed to thrill.

A snick into 1st, ease off that clutch, and the little black missile snaps my head backward as the car lunges in the opposite direction….fishtailing around a corner strewn with gravel, the Porsche replica scrambles for traction, finds its footing and points itself down the road, driver, passenger and car all caught up in what has slowly been removed from the modern sports car…fun.

The Stats:

  • 1300 pounds, this one with180 HP…  
  • 0-60 around 4.5 seconds, 
  • 40 inches high, 146 inches in length (1999 Mazda Miata 48.4 inches high, 155 inches long 2070 pounds, 115 HP

To put that all in context, the originally at 1500 pounds and 110 HP was a giant killer beating up on the likes of Ferrari and Maserati…

…and the Beck Spyder I drove was 200 pounds lighter with 70 horsepower more.



Just completed, this was a newly minted 550, begging for a little sweat, longing for stone chips, anxious for those brief bits of highway that seem to only become apparent on certain crisp Sunday mornings before the motoring public open their drapes.



With the current price of a real Porsche 550 Spyder hovering around $4,000,000, parting with $40K lets you have all the thrills of the real thing without the hassle of raiding your piggy bank.

Cheap at twice the price, the Beck Spyder 550 replica is short on frills and long on experience.

They have promised to bring a couple of these to a driving event near Chicago next spring, and I can’t wait to fling one around the track.


Contact them below and tell them I said hi.

Kevin Hines, Director



(574) 546-4656



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About the Author: Dave Miller

Dave Miller With Lotus GT
Dave Miller drives the fastest, coolest, sexiest cars on the planet. He travels the world uncovering the hidden gems in luxury transportation, meeting the owners, and connecting with extraordinary car enthusiasts. Dave is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and writes for various publications. In addition to DriveWithDave.com, you can follow Dave's adventures via Drive With Dave Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tune into the Drive with Dave Podcast via iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.

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