One morning of a gray November day, some residents of the picturesque little town of Nussdorf were startled by a sonorous hum in the distance, then a roaring engine noise. It’s not that the people there aren’t used to the sound of engines, as the Porsche development center in Weissach is just around the corner, as they say in Swabian, and it’s not uncommon for the high-end manufacturer’s test vehicles to drive through the village. Recently, however, it has often been almost silent, since Porsche is very committed to e-mobility. Well, whoever, after hearing the acoustic impression, went in search of the originator of the unusual sound with their eyes, was taken on a jump back in time. A small silver sports car rounded the corner and, accelerating rapidly, disappeared past the town limit sign.

The background of this episode goes back a few years. In 2017, Alfred Kist, graduate engineer (TH) and former leading developer in the automotive industry, founded ORCA Restoration GmbH in Eberdingen-Nussdorf. The company is located in a district of the small town of Eberdingen, very close to the Porsche development center. Behind a neutral new facade, treasures and valuables from the world of motorsport are lovingly restored, converted and also maintained by Alfred Kist and his team. Today, the company combines old automotive craftsmanship with the latest technology. People with the highest level of expertise work here, paired with a passion for these special vehicles, their history and the technical and technical conditions.

Back in Le Mans

A very special project was the complete restoration of the 1954 Porsche 550 Spyder prototype. The car competed in two major races that year: the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana. In Le Mans, the vehicle with the number 39 and the drivers Johnny Claes / Pierre Stasse was class winner in the class up to 1500 cc and finished 12th in the overall standings. At the race in South America, Jaroslav Juhan drove the number 56 car and secured 4th place overall and second place in the class up to 1600cc, behind Hans Hermann, who also drove a 550 Spyder. The vehicle remained in the livery of this race until 2019.

After an eventful history, the owner of the vehicle decided to have the 65-year-old car completely restored by Alfred Kist and his team at ORCA Restoration GmbH. Externally, the 550 was to receive the original paint finish it had when it started at Le Mans. The experts made sure that the outer skin was applied as a nitro lacquer in a contemporary design. All parts were also technically overhauled and restored to their 1954 condition. Alfred Kist’s team worked on this Porsche 550 prototype for over a year until it left on November 6, 2020 for its first drive after the long restoration. After the car had successfully completed the rollout, it was handed over to its owner. The vehicle is now in the Le Mans Museum in France and can be admired by a wide audience.

The story in moving images.

Over almost 25 minutes, the film “Porsche 550 Spyder Prototype – The Restoration at ORCA Restorations” brings the entire process of the restoration measures to life and thus provides unique insights into the work of the ORCA Restoration GmbH team in Eberdingen. It ends with the first test of the car on the test bench.The second film “On the road again. Porsche 550 Spyder Prototyp”” tells the first test drive of the almost 70-year-old vehicle in moving images, which are inspired in style by the unique images of photographer Amy Shore.

With regard to the later location of the vehicle in the Le Mans Museum, the opening and closing credits are in French, in contrast to the English-language title with its reminiscence of the old hit by the band “Canned Heat” from the 70s of the last century.

Click here for the full film.

Or here for the short version.