The type 550 was Porsche’s first real introduction into motor racing. They had found it necessary to be seen as an active and competitive player on the European race circuits, but had no experience on how to enter the arena. Good Porsche friend, Walter Glockler, a Volkswagen distributor and privateer racer had build a number of race car prototypes that had proven very successful. Porsche had already developed a race engine – the type 457 and had the vision to build a lightweight aerodynamic race car for themselves. Drawing on talented designers, engineers, mechanics and a network of coach builders, the type 550 was conceived.