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Porsche 718 RS 61 Spyder

Porsche 718 RS 61 Spyder

Rennwagen, 1961

Highlights

  • Chassis 718-076 Engine 90403
  • AMELIA ISLAND AUCTIONS
  • Owned by Noted Porsche Collectors Since the 1980s

1961 PORSCHE RS61
Estimate $4,000,000 – $5,000,000
Chassis 718-076
Engine 90403
Car Highlights
The Ultimate Development of Porsche’s Thoroughbred Four-Cam Spyder – Raced by Hermann Müller in European Hill Climbs and Circuit Races from 1961 to 1963 – The 1964 South African Sports Car Champion with Dr. Dawie S. Gous – Well-Documented Provenance; Owned by Noted Porsche Collectors Since the 1980s – Successful Participant in Multiple Monterey Motorsports and Rennsport Reunions – Eligible for the Most Exclusive Rallies, Concours, and Porsche Gatherings

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Das Fahrzeug im Detail

Unveiled in January 1960, the RS60 represented the ultimate evolution of Porsche’s aluminum-bodied, four-cam Spyder – an iconic series of sports racing cars originating with the Type 550 in 1953.

The RS60 was, in essence, a refined version of the highly successful works RSK built for the 1959 racing season. While the RS60 maintained the internal Type 718 designation, this much-improved Spyder featured a larger cockpit, unequal-length rear wishbone suspension, improved brakes, and more modern 15″ wheels. Although the front and rear track remained unchanged, the wheelbase was stretched by four inches, providing greater engine bay access and additional room for driver and passenger. The longer wheelbase, advanced suspension, and smaller wheels also had a profound effect on handling, making the RS60 much more predictable than the RSK that it replaced.

In keeping with the chassis improvements, the Wendler-built aluminum coachwork also benefited from subtle revisions. The most obvious external change was a taller framed windshield of FIA-mandated height. Other than minor variations to the nose, doors, and head fairing, the RS60’s bodywork shared a great deal with its predecessor.

Equipped with Porsche’s potent Type 547/3 four-cam engine, the RS60 was a sophisticated, highly efficient sports car perfectly suited for technical circuits and open road races. With a dry weight of just 1,210 pounds, the latest Spyder possessed exceptional roadholding, braking, and acceleration. Few contemporary sports cars offered such a well-balanced package.

Whereas the 550 and RSK Spyders were perennial favorites in the under-2,000 cc class, the RS60 was the first Porsche that posed a real threat to the largecapacity sports racers that competed for outright wins.

In 1960, Porsche placed second in the FIA World Sportscar Championship thanks to its works RS60s, which triumphed at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Targa Florio. Privateer RS60s were similarly effective, winning both the FIA European Hill Climb Championship and the SCCA E Modified National Championship.

In 1960, Porsche built 18 RS60s, four of which were retained by the works team. For the 1961 season, Porsche built another 14 Spyders for its customers, christening the new cars RS61s. Identical to the RS60 in all but the name, RS61s were the last of the legendary four-cam Spyders, the original line of sports racers that earned Porsche its reputation as a giant-killer.

The RS61 presented here, chassis 718-076, claims a successful period racing record and well-documented provenance, with history known from new.

According to factory build records, 718-076 was completed in February 1961, finished in silver and equipped with a Type 547/3 four-cam engine, no. 90336. It was delivered new to Austrian racing driver Hermann Müller, who campaigned it in numerous hill climbs and circuit races through 1963. Many events contested by Müller, including Mont Ventoux, Ollon-Villars, and Trento Bondone, were part of the FIA European Hill Climb Championship, which Porsche dominated throughout the 1960s. For the 1963 season, Müller updated his RS61 with a more modern Kamm-tail design and painted the car to resemble the Austrian flag: red with a wide central white stripe. In this updated form, 718-076 captured a class win in the Trophée d’Auvergne, an FIA World Sportscar Championship race held at the French Charade circuit. Toward the end of the 1963 racing season, Hermann Müller sold 718-076 to Dr. Dawie S. Gous, a South African who had been actively racing Porsche 356 Carreras and Spyders since 1958. In 1964, Dr. Gous was virtually unbeatable in his new RS61, handily winning that year’s South African Sports Car Championship.

By mid-1965, Gous had started racing an Elva Mk VII and sold his championship winning RS61 to fellow South African racer Clive van Buuren, who campaigned it under the Ecurie Tomahawk banner through 1967, winning the South African 6 Hours outright and capturing back-to-back Top 10 results at the Kyalami 9 Hours. After van Buuren sold the aging RS61 to make way for a Porsche 906, no. 718-076 ended up in the ownership of Stan Wesselink. He raced the Porsche Spyder in historic events, winning a vintage race at Kyalami and the Sports Car Club of South Africa Hill Climb in Krugersdorp, before selling it to Tony Norris.

In the late 1970s, 718-076 was sold to California Porsche-Audi Inc. of San Francisco, and exported to the US. By this time, the RS61 had been modified to remain competitive in racing. It now featured more aerodynamic bodywork, 911-type steering rack, and annular disc brakes as Porsche had fitted to some 356 Carrera 2s. A larger, more powerful Type 574/5 four-cam engine (no. 90403) had also been fitted and remains in the car to this day.

Around 1987, Jeffrey Keiner of Orlando, Florida, acquired 718-076. An avid vintage racer and collector, Mr. Keiner amassed an impressive stable of significant Porsches that included a 550 Spyder, 904, 906, and a 910. During his ownership, the RS61 was restored, repainted black, and entered in numerous historic races and concours events before being sold to A. Dano Davis, owner of the famous Brumos Collection in Jacksonville, Florida.

In the mid-2000s, 718-076 joined Stanley Gold’s California-based Porsche collection and saw active use on the vintage racing circuit, successfully taking part in the Le Mans Classic and multiple outings at Rennsport Reunion and the Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

Since 2013, this RS61 has been a fixture in one of the premier North American Porsche collections. Having benefited from expert care and maintenance overseen by the consignor’s in-house team, 718-076 presents beautifully in all respects, looking very much as it would have when first raced by Hermann Müller in 1961.

Despite it being one of the finest thoroughbred racing cars of its day, the RS61 has most recently been enjoyed as a thrilling, road-going sports car. With its full windscreen and relatively spacious two-seat cockpit, the RS61 is far more user-friendly than earlier Spyder models, while delivering significantly better performance. As such, 718-076 would be an ideal sports car to take on exclusive rallies like the Colorado Grand, and it remains eligible for virtually every serious vintage race, concours d’elegance, and Porsche gathering the historic motoring calendar has to offer.

Since it was first delivered more than 60 years ago, this RS61 has established an enviable pedigree, competing in an astonishing variety of period and historic races across the globe. Upon its arrival in the US in the late 1970s, it has been owned by some of the biggest names in Porsche collecting and admired by enthusiasts at prestigious events. A rarity among Spyders, 718-076 possesses a known provenance, an original Type 547/5 four-cam engine, and a singular identity. These important qualities, along with its outstanding professional preparation and eligibility for leading historic events, contribute to this RS61’s widespread appeal and collectability.

With fewer than 30 examples of the RS60/61 surviving today, the appearance of 718-076 at auction represents a truly exciting opportunity for collectors to acquire one of the most important and sought-after competition models in the history of the Porsche marque.

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Fahrzeugdaten

Baujahr: 1961
Modell: 718 RS 61 Spyder
FIN: 718-076
Karosserie: Rennwagen
Baureihe: 718
Leistung: 160 PS
Hubraum: 1,6 Liter
Lenkung: links
Getriebe: Manuell
Antrieb: Heckantrieb
Kraftstoff: Benzin
Innenfarbe: Rot
Innenmaterial: Stoff
Außenfarbe: Silber
Neu / gebraucht: Gebrauchtwagen
Fahrzeugstandort: USVereinigte Staaten

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