1953 saw the development of the Spyder as a dedicated racer to replace the 356. By 1956, it had become the "shark in a pool of perch", competing against cars with more horsepower at their disposal.
550-01's first win was at the Nurburgring, followed by a one-two finish with 550-02, it's sister car, in the 24-hour at Le Mans - the race the 356 had won two years previously.
It's immortality was helped by James Dean, who had traded his 356 in for the Le Mans winning 550, and who died at it's wheel on September 30, 1955.
The 550 was redeveloped in '56 as the 550A, immediately winning a 1,000km endurance at the Nurburgring and taking the Targa Florio. It ceased major racing in 1958, leaving behind quite the act to follow.