- Inspired by James Dean’s 550 Spyder
- One-of-a-kind coachbuilt Boxster
- 2.5-liter, 230-hp flat-six modified with a tune and chip
- Cover story in 911 & Porsche World magazine
- Exhibited at the Essen Motor Show in Essen, Germany, in 2003
A modern-day homage to James Dean’s 550 Spyder, “The Dean,” is a coachbuilt Porsche Boxster by Mark Schlachter, of Metalkraft Coachwerkes in Cincinnati, Ohio. The car features a number of modifications, most notably the custom-fabricated metal fenders which house modified Mercedes-Benz E Class headlights, replacing the 996 ‘cracked egg’ assemblies. Additionally, the Boxster features one-off fiberglass front and rear bumper covers, a modified decklid with 356 air intake grilles, leather decklid straps, a custom racing fuel filler cap, TechArt side rockers, and TechArt side intake vents. It should be noted that the unique features utilize the original factory mounting patterns; no chassis modifications were made. Completing the exterior are removable magnetic “130” decals, the same racing numbers on James Dean’s 550 Spyder.
The interior is completed in a beautiful red leather. It features custom RUF GT3 seats made to order in Boxster Red, a TechArt steering wheel, as well as TechArt “Dean” threshold plates. Porsche factory climate control and audio remain intact. A vertically mounted “grab handle” was added to the passenger side dash, in similar fashion to the 550 Spyder.
The Porsche is powered by a water-cooled 2.5-liter flat-six that has been chipped and tuned, now producing 230 hp. A FABspeed Sport Exhaust adds a beautiful, throaty racing sound. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The car rides on RUF wheels and has been lowered 1.5 in. with H&R springs. The Boxster has always been stored in a climate-controlled garage and maintained by a Porsche dealer. Among the maintenance performed was the recent replacement of the IMS bearing.
Following its completion, “The Dean” was exhibited at the 2003 Essen Motor Show in Essen, Germany. While overseas, the unique Boxster successfully completed three laps of the vaunted Nordschleife, and proudly displays a Nürburgring badge on its fender. The Boxster has been honored at several events, including the “Top 5” at the Hershey, Pennsylvania, Porsche meet in 2005. Additionally, “The Dean” has been featured at the VW Porsche Reunions in Cincinnati, Ohio, on numerous occasions and was even displayed at the entrance to the Ritz Carlton during the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance from 2003 to 2005. The car has also been featured in numerous publications, including the cover of the May 2002 issue of 911 & Porsche World.
This 1997 Porsche Boxster represents a unique opportunity to acquire a one-of-a-kind Porsche, a modern-day iteration of one of the most iconic Porsches of all time, James Dean’s legendary 550 Spyder.