When the 550 was replaced with the much-improved 550A, John von Neumann had trouble procuring one of the in-demand new cars for his racing stable. So driver Ken Miles called upon his days building custom specials and had von Neumann order a light and nimble Cooper race car without a motor.
After a Porsche 550 engine was installed and modifications were made with the help of fabricator Dick Troutman, the “Pooper” proved nearly unbeatable in its class.
ENGINE: 1.5-liter flat-4
TOP SPEED: N/A
Porsche took notice and, dismayed that the homebuilt special was beating their factory cars, quickly delivered a 550A to von Neumann’s shop, putting an end to the Pooper’s reign.
COURTESY OF THE PALMAZ PORSCHE COLLECTION
About Petersen Automotive Museum
The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. The museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Blvd. (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles, 90036. Admission prices are $16 for general admission adults, $14 for seniors and $11 for children ages 4 to 17.
Active military with ID, personal care attendants and children under age 4 are admitted free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For general information, call 323-930-CARS or visit www.petersen.org.
Report by petersen.org