The Solido Porsche 550 is another example of Mr Jean de Vazeilles’ almost clairvoyant knowledge of the car racing milieu. This model carries the number 101, making it the second car in the 100-Series after the Jaguar D-Type.
Beginning at the end of the war, Dr. Porsche began building his 356 in Gmund in Austria. Porsche, of course, was a driving force behind the Volkswagen design, and also worked on the pre-war design of the super-powerful Auto-Union racers which were mid-engined. After the war, he transposed this design onto the Cisitalia Monoplace.
When German makers re-appeared in motorsport after the war, they trod carefully. The first appearance of a Porsche at the Le Mans 24-Hour race in 1951 was entrusted to the young French importer of the cars, one Mr. A. Veuillet, who won the 750cc to 1100cc class. The next year, the 356 again won its class (the 1100cc) in front of a Panhard, while finished 11th place overall. One year later, in 1952, Mercedes also re-entered racing, winning the overall race while Jaguar, the favourite, had to abandon the race - and the year after that, Porsche introduced the 550, making 1953 a great year for them.
The 550 was a very modern design with a mid-engine and four camshafts. At LeMans, the Porsche achieved first and second in the 1500cc class, fitted with closed bodywork, with Paul Frere at the wheel of one car. In 1954, open bodywork returned to do battle with the upstart Osca cars that were suddenly doing very well, but which were ultimately beaten by the Porsches.
In 1955, Porsche took fourth place overall with the 550, plus performance wins and first place in the 1500cc class. They also took 5th and 6th places overall and an 1100cc victory for August Veuillet, and it is this 1955 model which Solido chose to depict in 1/43 scale. After 1955, the 550A would replace the 550. It carried similar bodywork, but had a different rear cover with distinctly different air vents and a head-rest behind the drivers’ seat.
Isabelle and Vincent Espinasse. Autojaune.fr