This guy seems to be an expert. I've been leaning on his expertise and research pretty hard in my build. He says McRae took molds off a Beck and then corrected the rear fender shape to make his own molds, and made his own chassis.
Since they are left hand drive, I'd imagine most are in NZ, Australia and maybe Japan?
I don’t believe this is true.
As I understand it McRea took moulds off an original 550.
He apparently looked at the Beck and thought that he could build a superior recreation. He set to make the chassis and the body as close to the 550 as possible. The space frame chassis in itself is truely beautiful.
When you see the two side by side (inside and out, and in handling) they are like chalk and cheese. What McRea and his partner achieved was a true work of art, and mechanically it drives and handles like a absolute go cart. I would recommend anyone to jump in a drive one of these if offered the chance.
Something else that makes the 38 examples stand apart from the other recreations is that they were hand built by the man that designed them (who was a successful race driver and engineer); there are only 38, there will never be another one made.
The only way to put it is that it the McRea 550 is Special.