The original Porsche 718 of the late 1950s and early ’60s is a rare car, and the handful of examples built with a central driving position are among the rarest of the breed.
Now one of those cars, thought to number just six in total, is up for sale. It’s available for direct sale via auction house Mecum. A price tag hasn’t been mentioned.
The 718 was developed for racing in the in the late 1950s as a continuation of the legendary 550A. The first version was known as the RSK, of which 34 were built starting 1957. The RS in the name stands for rennsport, the German word for “racing,” while the K signified the newly developed front torsion rods which form the shape of the letter K.
Additional examples were known as the RS 60 and RS 61, launched in 1960 and 1961, respectively. While the 718s all had 4-cylinder engines, in 1962 Porsche built a one-off example fitted with an 8-cylinder engine.
1959 Porsche 718 RSK – Photo credit: Mecum
Out of the small batch of 718 RSKs with a central driving position, four were factory-built with the ability to convert between central and offset steering (left-hand drive in this case) with two seats, and this car, which bears chassis number 718-028, is one of them. The feature made the car eligible for both Formula-style and sports car competition.
Chassis no. 718-028 was built in April of 1959 and first delivered to Christian Goethals of Belgium, who raced the car for a single season at events in places as diverse as the Belgian Congo, Argentina, and multiple locations across Europe.
According to its listing the car still features its original Wendler-crafted body, Type 547/3 engine, and transaxle. The engine is a 1.5-liter flat-4 good for approximately 142 hp. With only around 1,270 pounds to carry, the tiny engine delivered impressive performance on the track.