Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Classic...

...Porsches from the 1950s and '60s. If there's one reason I particularly like these machines, it's their simplicity. No computerized systems, few (if any) materials more exotic than aluminum, and no time spent in wind tunnels analyzing their aerodynamics. They were certainly slower than modern racers, but that's a relative thing; they required just as much skill to drive fast as their current equivalents.

For starters, here's a Type 718 RSK, a favorite of both amateur and professional racers. From 1958 through the early 1960s, the RSK was a consistent winner...



An interesting (and extremely rare) modification of the RSK involved removing the passenger seat -- required by sports-car racing rules and moving the driver's seat to the center of the car. This allowed Porsche to enter -- and win -- races in a class for single-seaters...



The Type 904 appeared in 1964. It was the first Porsche to have a body formed in fiberglass instead of steel or aluminum. Some people bought 904s and added mufflers and other amenities to make them street cars. The Porsche factory built one 904 with a leather-trimmed interior and full road equipment for the use of a member of the Porsche family...



Porsche was not shy about doing whatever it took to build winning racers. In 1960, they went to Italy to have one Carlo Abarth -- more familiar for his fast Fiat-based machines -- build a lightweight "special" competition coupe. Abarth, with the assistance of the Zagato firm, came up with the sleek GTL. In the end, it was a bit of a disappointment, being only 100 lbs. lighter than Porsche's own version, and was riddled with quality issues that drove the Germans crazy. Only 20 were built, and are now prized for their looks and rarity more than blinding speed...



Finally, many racers built special cars using Porsche engines, or shoehorned them into existing machines. This car, which won one of the USA's first professional sports-car racing championships (where winners took home money as well as trophies) combined a Porsche engine with a very light body and chassis from Lotus, a UK builder...



Is this all TMI? Hope you're enjoying this, anyway....

8 comments:

TheLubeFaerie said...

They are simply beautiful cars! :)

lowandslow said...

Not TMI at all. This is immensely interesting! You're a freakin' walking auto encyclopedia. This is too cool! :)

John said...

It is interesting info. Freaky fuel prices.
With the right trim package, I think any of those cars would do fine.

MrScribbler said...

Believe me, John, many of the owners have made sure the right trim packages are firmly attached....

Ptolemy said...

I'm definitely following right along!

susananne said...

For somone who knows nothing much about cars i am learning from you and really enjoying it! i love the porche though, its a beautiful car.

DAL said...

I can look at this stuff all day, Scribbes. Bring it all on.

Justfly said...

Cute cars, would be nice to have one in my drive way :)