Hans Stuck Porsche in Brazil 1954
Posted 11 June 2002 - 18:11
This car is an early Porsche Spyder and so far a mystery car that doesn't fit into any known chronology. Is it possible that someone out there has or can find a photo of this car? It would help greatly in my updating of 'Excellence Was Expected'.
Posted 11 June 2002 - 19:42
Search the web for vin# 550 - 006 owned ( ? ) by Ramson Webster
Posted 11 June 2002 - 21:13
Von Neumann had 003, 005, 011 and 014, but I don't know about 006 (or 06)
There is no reason to believe the car Stuck raced in the US for von Neumann was the same as the one he used in Brazil
Posted 12 June 2002 - 08:36
Posted 12 June 2002 - 18:45
there's a picture of this car in the book "Circuito da Gávea", by Paulo Scali, after it has been rebuilt by Heins, with his friend (and motorsport man) Jorge Lettry at the steering wheel.
Unfortunately, I have no scanner and absolutely no time to scan it somewhere in the next weeks. It seems that Jimmy Piget have this book too, so maybe he can help you. Jimmy?
Posted 12 June 2002 - 19:41
Let the scanners roll!
Posted 15 June 2002 - 12:28
Well I'll scan it sometimes during this week-end.
But how to insert a pic inside a TNF message ?
Posted 16 June 2002 - 19:53
Posted 18 June 2002 - 17:20
I have to say that the tailights seem a little odd, maybe Karl can enlighten the matter
Posted 18 June 2002 - 22:22
Posted 18 June 2002 - 22:58
Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
The photo depicts the early customer version of the 550, the 550-05, which appeared also at the 1953 Paris Auto Show. Previous editions had shown a different front end and did not have the raised taillights. Its all in Karl Ludvigsen's PORSCHE Excellence Was Expected.
Thanks for the explanation Hans.
Unfortunately, I have been unable to get a copy of the "Porschephile´s Bible" here in Mexico City. Not even through ebay.com.
I am eagerly awaiting the updated version that Karl is working on as we speak
Posted 18 June 2002 - 23:10
I THINK the Stuck Porsche Brazil von Neumann story actually went something like this, unless friends have been blowing exhaust smoke up my trouser leg:
The car in question is 550-006...the sixth 550 built and one of 15 prototypes built prior to handing the rest of them (the 'production' 550's) off to Wendler to construct.
Hans Stuck received an invitation to compete in the 1954 Argentine1,000kms...but he had no suitable car...so he went to Ferry Porsche and asked if there was any chance of a car to drive. To which they said, you may have this one...but don't under any circumstances bother to bring it back...sell it when you are over there and just come back to us with the money.
It was intended to have a 4-cam engine installed in '006' ...but they only had 2 built at that
time, so they installed a push-rod motor instead, and off it went. Stuck ran the car possibly
three times, two of which were in Brazil. Bino Heins was at the third race...and since Stuck was out of money and Heinz had some...presto, $3,500 bought him a 'prototype' 550. Bino Heins called the factory and ordered a four-cam motor to replace the ex-Stuck pushrod unit, then raced the car in (and won??) the 1954 Brazilian Sports Car (under 2 liter class) Championship.
Heinz then sold the car to Brazilian Fernando Seguro in early November 1954...he promptly ntered and ran the car in the 1954 Carrera PanAmerica road race, which of course ended in extreme northern Mexico. After the race, Segura stored the car in a barn in Northern Mexico rather than trying to take the car back to South America. That's the bit which I have been told, but which bothers me....
Meanwhile, in California, John Von Neumann had taken delivery of 550-0011 in late 1954 and
promptly destroyed the car (maybe this is the 'crashed' part in your story).
Von Neumann called Porsche to order a new car...to which their reply was...we don't have ny...but we understand there is a car sitting in a barn in Northern Mexico...and the owner will sell it. Von Neumann tracked down Seguro...made a deal, and sent one of his lackies to pick up the car...towing it north over the frontier behind his Ford station wagon.
Von Neumann had Ken Miles drive the car and Miles loved it...I am told that they ran the car 25-30 times in 1955-56 (SCCA and SoCal events) with great success. Von Neumann then sold the
car to some local guy (no name available). The car turned up five years later (1961) in Englishtown, New Jersey...where it was purchased off a car lot by a guy named Jeff Wright, who kept the car for three years and sold it to a General Electric Jet Engine engineer named Fred Rauch who kept the car for 19 years.
A friend of of a friend of mine, Prescott Kelly purchased the car from Rauch in 1983 after he got a 'tip' about this 'funny looking aluminium bodied Porsche in Kentucky'. Kelly sold the car to Roy Walzer of Connecticut in 1988.
Walzer restored the car...raced it about six-eight times...including Monterey three times, and sold it to its current owner Ranson Webster who lives in Nevada.
When Von Neumann had the car, he cut huge brake cooling openings in the front of the bodywork...and those are still on the car today...it's an immediate give-a-way to 006's identity.
As for 550-0011...I am told that another friend of a friend has the chassis plate...if you want a car built around it, I am asked to let them know.
Now does this all stack up, or not, because to me these early Porsches are of passing - rather than abiding - interest. Covered wheels, fluttery, whirry little air-cooled engines, you see...
Posted 19 June 2002 - 00:47
Von Neumann's first 550 was 003. When it appeared at Pebble Beach in April 1954, it was the first Spyder to race in California. At that point, the car had a pushrod engine.
Later that year, von Neumann showed up at March Field (Riverside CA) with 011. It had a 4-cam 547 engine. This car was crashed and burned to the ground at March Field (California) in November, 1954. The number plate is in the kitchen drawer of an ex-von Neumann mechanic.
I believe von Neumann's third car, which posted the record described by Doug, was 005. I make its first appearance in von Neumann ownership at Pebble Beach in April 1956. I think I came up with this from a book that one of the mechanics had the kept track of which engines and transmissions each car used in each race. The California Spyder expert is Warren Eads.
If you will look at p. 143 of the 1955-56 edition of Automobile Year (Annual Automobile Review), there is a color picture of a Spyder, #67, entered by Hunt and Hanna. It also has the large scoops at the front, so this feature was not limited to the von Neumann car. It is possible that this was the car in the Englishtown junkyard, since Hunt and Hanna were from the Eastern US.
Posted 19 June 2002 - 03:45
Posted 19 June 2002 - 07:35
Originally posted by Doug Nye
Head in the lion's mouth time here - but after BRM'ing all bloody day I need a break...
Posted 19 June 2002 - 09:24
Posted 20 June 2002 - 17:54
Posted 21 June 2002 - 10:09
Posted 08 February 2003 - 21:31
This prototype was sold by Fittipaldi brothers to Pedro Victor Delamare (raced in england in F3) that sold the car to Sergio Magalhaes. Sergio did some races with a VW engine and sold the car to a guy living in the interland and lost it´s track.
Wilson Fittipaldi tryed to track the car but did not find nothing. The car is believed to be destroyed or choped in a junkyard.
The are some photos of the car and it´s history in the URL:http://www.speed-fever.com.br/
go to Historias and Carros and Fitti-Porsche
I never heard that Bino Heins have had two Spyders. http://www.speed-fever.com.br/