A rare example of one of Porsche’s greatest race cars is about to go up for grabs.
Gooding & Company will auction off a 1961 RS61 later this month at its Amelia Island auction. The silver speed machine is the customer version of the Spyder, which established the automaker as a force to be reckoned with in the motorsports world.
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Porsche experienced racing success with the 550S, but it wasn’t until its successor, the 718 RSK Spyder, that the marque started to become a regular on the podium at racing’s biggest events. The ultimate version of the car is thought to be the RS60, which debuted in early 1960. The aluminum-bodied roadster featured a longer wheelbase than its predecessors and offered better handling thanks to an advanced suspension and smaller 15-inch wheels. It also was equipped with a potent Type 547/3 four-cam engine that produced 175 hp, allowing the 1,210-pound racer to hold its own against the large-capacity sports cars that competed in racing’s biggest events.
The next year, Porsche introduced the last of the 718 RSK Spyders, the RS61. It was a customer version of the RS60 that was the same in everything but name. This example, chassis no. 718-086, was delivered new to Austrian racing driver Hermann Müller in February of 1961. It is one of just 14 examples built and is finished in silver and has a red interior.
Chassis no. 718-086 has a rich racing pedigree. In 1963, Müller drove the car to a class win in the Trophée d’Auvergne, an FIA World Sportscar Championship race held at the French Charade circuit. He then sold the vehicle to Dr. Dawie S. Gous, who used it to win the South African Sports Car Championship in 1964. The car changed hands and made its way to California during the next decade and would be raced in historical events until the mid-1970s.
Understandably, Gooding & Company has some pretty high expectations for the R61S. The auction house expects the roadster to sell for between $4 million and $5 million when it goes up for auction on February 29. There are signs the collector market is slowing, but considering the rarity and significance of this vehicle, a winning bid in that range seems attainable.
Click here for more photos of the Porsche RS61.
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