Walworth, Wisconsin - The 550A Spyder is among the rarest of all Porsches; only 39 were made and, after six decades, nobody knows for sure how many are still in existence. They were built to be raced, and most of those that weren’t destroyed in crashes have been modified out of all recognition (racers call it ‘development’).

So to see one like this, with a provenance that is the stuff of legend, restored to originality over a period of 30 years and looking almost exactly as it did during its debut season in 1958, is worth celebrating - as are the Porsche enthusiasts who rebuilt it.

This one, chassis number 550A-0141, was raced in the 1958 European sports-car series by Austrian driver Ernst Vogel, a virtuoso composer and professional concert pianist as well as a successful racer, who won three races with it. At the end of the season it went back to the factory to be reconditioned and was then sold to Connecticut Porsche dealer and road-racer Harry Blanchard, who entered it in regional events over the next few years.

But as with all racing cars, when it was no longer competitive it was parked in a warehouse and forgotten about - until it was found in 1984 by dedicated Porschephile Steve Terrien of Issaquah, Washington. Over the next three decades, with the help of Porsche experts such as the Kimmins brothers and the late Bill Doyle, he restored the little alloy-bodied racer to as-new condition with fanatical attention to detail, as you see it here.

Since then it has been driven less than 1000km, and Terrien has taken the momentous decision to pass the car on to its next custodian - because you never own a car this special, you just take care of it for future generations. 550A-0141 will be presented for auction at Monterey, California, on August 25 - and we’re as curious as you are to see what it will go for. As soon as we know, so will you.

IOL Motoring