1959 Porsche RSK Spyder
Porsche finished second in the Manufacturers’ World Championship in 1958. Second place in the Manufacturers’ World Championship with a 1500cc car against the might of the Aston Martin and Ferrari with their 3000cc cars. In fact, in 1959, at the Goodwood Tourist Trophy in September, if Porsche had won the race, they would have been World Champions. They led the race with an RSK and eventually finished second place in the race and in third place in the World Championship by one point. Porsche did not better this success until the might of the 917 a decade later. This certainly put the RSK on the map as the most important of all the Porsche Spyders.
The RSK had class victories at all of the Manufacturers’ World Championship races and often outright victories over much larger competition. At the 1958 Le Mans 24 Hour Race RSK’s were 1st in class and 3rd and 4th overall, at the 1959 Targa Florio an RSK was 1st overall, they won at the Nürburgring, Monza, Spa, Reims, Avus, Zeltweg and in the USA with a class win at the Sebring 12 Hour.
Porsche knew they wanted to enter Formula 1 in 1961 with the upcoming rule changes to 1.5 liters. So, in 1958, with the rules for Formula 2 allowing envelope bodies, Porsche built five center seat, center steer cars. These cars were entered in Formula 2 and Formula 1 races winning on the banking at Avus in Berlin, winning at Reims in France, ahead of the Ferrari Formula 2 car of World Champion Mike Hawthorn and took 6th place overall in the Grand Prix of Germany at the Nürburgring against the 2.5-liter Formula One cars.
Only 34 RSK Spyders were built and five of those were center seat, center steer cars. They are clearly the Spyder to own and an example of Porsche’s design, also raced as a two seater, and engineering excellence from a time in motorsports, which will never take place again.
Porsche Factory records show 718-028 being delivered on April 29, 1959 to Christian Goethals of Belgium. Goethals raced the car extensively in World Championship of makes races as well as Belgian National races. He raced it both in two-seater and center-seat configuration. This included races at Nürburgring, Avus, SPA, Monthlery and Buenos Aires.
Selling in 1964 to Carmelo Giuffre of Mohawk, New York, going on to G.F. Leydorf., Jr. who sold it to its current owner. The most recent owner has owned the car for 25 years, racing it in historic races all over the United States.
The original aluminum body has survived its 60 years in outstanding condition with only minor repairs. Recently repainted in the correct silver it is striking in appearance. The original frame is intact, witnessed by period Porsche gas welds and features.
Fresh engine rebuild by Bill Doyle of the original engine (#90220). Fresh gearbox rebuild by Kelly Williams of the original 718 transmission (#718-023). One of the best surviving RSK. It is ready to be raced once again.
The five center steer, center seat cars were designed by Porsche to be used in either two-seat or single-seat configuration. This car has all Porsche mechanical and alloy parts to convert it to a two-seater configuration. In addition, it has the right-side fuel tank, spare wheels and rare convertible top.
Has Porsche Factory correspondence, correspondence and bill of sale from first owner to second owner along with US import papers. Correspondence and bill of sale between third and fourth owners. Receipts for upkeep, service, engine and gearbox rebuilds. Historic period race photos.