Serious fun inexpensively…


Porsche 550 Spyder Beck Replica

Porsche 550 Spyder Beck 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.  The two of them have continuously upgraded what Chuck Beck started many years ago.

You remember the car; one of the original 90 built, James Dean fatally crashed the “Little Bastard”, his Porsche 550, into Donald Turnupseed’s 1950 Ford Custom in the California desert on September 30, 1955.

Porsche 550 Spyder Beck Replica

Today, the Porsche 550 is resurrected in a little town in northern Indiana.  As faithful to the original as possible, Kevin, Carey and team are constructing beautiful replicas.

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.

Beck Spider Dash

Beck Spyder Dash

Beck Spyder Interior

Beck Spyder Interior

Today, electronic wizardry  allows almost anyone to be a great driver, but this Porsche 550 Beck Spyder Replica makes you sit up, pay attention, and remember that the only electronics on board are used to start the engine. Therein lies the experience of driving the real thing, here done in flawless fiberglass, and it’s gorgeous in jet black.

Yank down on the 6 point harness straps, pull the feather weight door closed and it’s a tight fit if your passenger has an unhealthy BMI.

The Porsche 550 Beck Spyder replica has 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, 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.

So what’s all this fun cost?  I’ve attached a spec sheet did give you an idea.

2017 Air-Cooled Spyder Spec Sheet

Porsche 550 Spyder Beck Replica

Porsche 550 Spyder Beck Replica

All sorts of engine configurations are available, from souped up VW motors, to Porsche engines, and in my ride, a water cooled Subaru motor producing 180 HP.


 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.

With the current price of a real Porsche 550 Spyder hovering around $4,000,000, parting with $40,000 lets you have all the thrills of the real thing without the hassle of raiding your 401K, and yes, your banker with give you a loan for one of these.

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

Contact them below and tell them Dave Miller 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, 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.


  1. […] Porsche 550 Beck Spyder is a faithful recreation of the famous car that killed James Dean. Our friends at DriveWithDave […]

  2. I. Schoen October 17, 2020 at 5:01 AM - Reply

    A good summary. I waited about 18 months for my turn-key 2020 Spyder with several custom options, including the uprated VW-based motor and transmission. After about 500 miles, the Spyder continues to impress — raw, elemental, fast, but with a surprisingly supple ride…with little turbulence in the cockpit at any speed. Great fit and finish. Carey Hines, who succeeds his dad, is “hands-on” and very knowledgeable.

    • Dave Miller With Lotus GT
      Dave Miller October 29, 2020 at 2:18 AM - Reply

      Hey and glad you’ve had such a great experience with your Beck. Frankly, I think it’s one of the coolest machines out there and I’ve promised myself to get one someday. Like you, I would want an air cooled motor as it just sounds authentic. And the 550 Porsche design is never going to go out of style. Drop me a couple of photos of your car. Lots of ppl have emailed me about the Beck replica and I can never get enough pics or compliments from happy owners. May we should do a story on you/you machine. Why you bought, your driving experience, etc. Please keep in touch and see you on down the road! Dave

  3. mike January 21, 2022 at 7:07 PM - Reply

    Gentlemen, thank you for the interesting feedback and experiences, i lived in Asia , tropical climate, has anyone replicate removable hard top? i did saw one car that did it before . regards Mike…

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