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A Look Back at the "Operation Caracas" Porsche 550 Spyder

While James Dean’s infamous “Little Bastard” Porsche 550 Spyder already having its place in the

While James Dean’s infamous “Little Bastard” Porsche 550 Spyder already having its place in the annals of automotive history, the “Operation Caracas” Porsche 550 Spyder has an equally intriguing — if much longer — tale to tell. Starting as a factory car, this particular automobile was dedicated upon completion to “Operation Caracas,” the term for its mission to win the Venezuelan GP under Porsche’s racing team manager and head of PR Huschke von Hanstein. After an eighth-place finish, the 550 Spyder and its underpowered, 1.5-liter boxer-four were sold to a local Caracas owner, after which it disappeared for several years. The car was kept hidden from the public eye until 1963, when it was rescued in Florida by Bill Benecker – an enthusiast who was then associated with American racing team and dealership Brumos Porsche. Benecker raced the 550 Spyder for 10 years, after which it went into storage once more before being brought out and restored by Brumos. Today, the car is still under the ownership of Brumos, where it regularly appears in top American car shows — a decidedly happier ending for the iconic automobile. Click through for a closer look at the “Operation Caracas” Porsche 550 Spyder and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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