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There are two kinds of auction: Reserve and no reserve. A reserve auction means that the seller places a minimum figure he’ll let the car go for. I suspect that that the seller had a pretty high reserve like $60-$75K on this, given what Spyders and RSKs have been going for.

“No lowball offers, I know what I’ve got.”  Apparently, the bidding public didn’t agree and it only got bid to $42.5K.

FWIW, a lot of times “Didn’t meet Reserve” buyers and sellers make a deal outside of the auction house.

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Last edited by dlearl476

Maybe it's too different for a lot of folks. I don't believe there are as many RSK fans as there are 550 fans.

The TR RSK is mid-engine, which is good. The Ryan RSK was rear engine on a shortened VW pan. But the real RSK did not have a 550 Spyder dash and I believe the windscreen was not shaped like the above example. Pretty sure none of them had a driver headrest either.

Standalone EFI is fine, I read a lot of the banter. ECUs don't have a habit of self-destruction unless they're wired wrong. I believe it's a combo of unknowns coupled with a Suby6 that most people know NOTHING about. And the reserve was maybe a bit high, but I can understand the seller setting it. I'll bet it was 50k.

The RSK/RS60/RS61/RS62 fans are usually very adamant about how much they like the RS vs. the traditional 550 and we always hear how "we should really make this car" but overall popularity of the car is a small fraction of the 550.  Believe it or not, Chuck Beck is probably a bigger fan of the RS62 than anything else, and threatened to make his own version, but it has never (and likely will never) materialize.

I am actually in the market for something like this RSK, so I will chime in on why I passed after a quick view. It's easiest summed up in a simple phrase: muddled styling. 'Random smattering,' would also be appropriate, although less generous.

Unless a buyer is going drive a car solely on the track, they are going to consider not only mechanical operation, but also styling; therefore, both must be taken into consideration. Obviously, because styling is necessarily the first of the car's attributes presented, it is a key factor in selling a car on a platform based wholly on pictures.

In the case of this RSK, everything from nose to tail seems confused. The lights, gauges, steering wheel, mirrors, wheels, pedals, color combination, and especially the shifter sleeve (black with red stitching) all scream: HELP, I'M LOST! To me (and I may be totally incorrect), it appears as though the original purchaser found a bin of miscellaneous parts, pulled out the requisite equipment to finish the car, and told the builder to get it done ASAP so he could drive it.

Someone should have told the original purchaser (and now the seller), just because all the parts were colored black doesn't mean they go together - the image of that shifter sleeve in that car makes my heart frown every time I think of it.

Put simply, this car's styling is the automotive equivalent of the Island of Misfit Toys: there's nothing wrong with it per se, but the broader appeal necessary to drive value in an auction is just not there in its current state. The seller's lack of prep showed in the bids; it definitely showed in my lack of a bid.



Shifter Sleeve

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Last edited by JoelP

You're right, Joel and Carey.

I remember Daniel at Seduction(customized Vintage Spyders, even though he'd argue HARD) did a white Spyder with all blacked-out components and WIDE raised white letter tires. Even that abomination was more cohesive than this RSK.

The styling on the RSK is very polarizing, either you love it or you really don't. I agree with Carey, there isn't a big need or desire for these replicas. The reduced bidding base along with the non-cohesive theme kept people away.

I'd think just about ANY 550 would do better.

@chines1 posted:

The RSK/RS60/RS61/RS62 fans are usually very adamant about how much they like the RS vs. the traditional 550

That's true.  But it is kind of not an apples to apples comparison.  The 550 was a sports car you could drive from home to the race track, the 718 RS series were special purpose race cars only, none were built to be driven on the street.

As race cars, the 718 series was dramatically more successful than the 550.  Without the mystique of James Dean the 550 would probably not have the notoriety of 718 RS series.

So why isn't there a line-up for 718 replicas?  Maybe the same reason you don't see a lot of replica Cooper Monaco, or Lotus 19 which were also successful in the era and similarly good looking.  Race cars just aren't very civilized street cars.  But people do buy 'street legalized' replicas of race cars.  They buy Cobras and GT-40s and the most "macho" status they can afford.  Cute little 1.5 or 2.5 liter sports racers from 1960 don't as often satisfy the inner "macho" of the Cobra kind of person.

@DannyP posted:

The styling on the RSK is very polarizing, either you love it or you really don't.

Hmmm . . . I do believe that Porsche loved the design.  So much so that when it came time to create the Boxter, it's no secret the styling ques were lifted directly from the 718's distinctive features.  (Not to mention later Boxter iterations with tribute models called 718 and RS-60).

That's not to  say the 550 styling wasn't appreciated.  From my observation VW liked it enough to carry forward the look with the Karman Ghia.    (Sorry, couldn't help it.)

@DannyP posted:

But the real RSK did not have a 550 Spyder dash and I believe the windscreen was not shaped like the above example. Pretty sure none of them had a driver headrest either.



Pretty sure that after the first year '57, every 718 spyder (and grand prix versions) thereafter had a head fairing as a distinctive feature of the bodywork shape.  And, except for the twelve 1960 spyders (and a handful of experimental coupes) which had glass windscreens as regulated necessity, all of the 718s had plastic 'racing' windscreens.

@JoelP posted:

It's easiest summed up in a simple phrase: muddled styling. 'Random smattering,' would also be appropriate, although less generous.



Your point are well taken and perceptive.  The car doesn't honestly "replicate" anything.  Maybe for some background:

There has really only been one production fiberglass body shell to "represent" the look of a RSK.  That was originally produced in the '80s by GP Spyders in England.  This was a time not too far removed from the time of real 718s and certainly long before the real cars were classics.  Perfect replication wasn't that important then (obviously) but rather a shape that had the "look" of a race car.  If you are old enough, you may recall VW kit car GT-40s, etc. that had the "look" but not replica detail.  The RSK body was produced during the VW kit car era, and was planted on rear engine pan chassis.

Quite a number of GP Spyders were made but not in the USA.  Around 1998 a guy near San Diego (Ryan Engineering) got some moulds from GP to manufacture the RSK in the  USA.  As I understand it, he laminated a few body shells before deservedly going out of business.  I don't think any finished spyders were produced, and the few shells scattered around.

Shortly afterwards, Thunder Ranch (also near San Diego) ended up with remnants of Ryan Engineering.  They modified the GP/Ryan tooling to fit their 550 chassis and other 550 componentry.  Generally, it was kind of a force-fit and all of the body shape changes they made further departed from what was originally a somewhat close "look" but not replica body shape.  So with the TR you get the 550 dash and gauge cluster, the kind of wrong rear wheel wells and awkward ride height etc.

Thunder Ranch made only a small number of "RSKs", which demonstrates Carey's point above about lack of demand.  So when one comes up for sale it is somewhat rare.

After the demise of Thunder Ranch, the fiberglass tooling moved on and eventually ended up at Rock West (also near San Diego).  I don't know if Rock West ever produced a car from the tooling.  But recently they sold the tooling to out of the country.

That brings us to today.  There never has been honest "replicas" of the RSK or any of the 718 series available in fiberglass production.  The closest is the original GP Spyder body.  A couple of companies in the EU are still in production based on the GP tooling and the VW pan chassis.

In the USA, if you want a mid-engined spyder that looks kinda like a 718, your choice is gong to be in the previously owned market.  Your choices are going to be an enthusiast-built one-off, or a Thunder Ranch.  In either case the onus is on you to embrace the builder's imaginations and compromises, or recreate the rare spyder you can find into your own.

I can promise this:  In over 20 years I only crossed a handful that knew what a 718 was, and even fewer with enough intimacy to point out deviations with my spyder (based on Ryan shell).  Over that same period, no matter where I went the spyder never lacked for attention.  I used to joke:  Want to make the Mclaren disappear at cars and coffee?  Park the spyder next to it, no one will see the Mclaren.  In short, they may not know what it is (or supposed to be a replica of) but they will want one.

So ditch the things that bug you; the shifter boot, the steering wheel, the gauges, the headlights, etc., then drive it like his wife says:  a grown-up go cart!

@DannyP posted:

The styling on the RSK is very polarizing, either you love it or you really don't. I agree with Carey, there isn't a big need or desire for these replicas. The reduced bidding base along with the non-cohesive theme kept people away.

I'd think just about ANY 550 would do better.

I fell in love with the Beck 550 the first time I saw one in Kit Car magazine, and I wanted one ever since.

Had it been an RSK, I would probably would have ended up with a Westfield XI.

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@Stan Galat posted:

To sum up Mark's interesting post, and to address my feelings, Joel's feelings (great, honest post, sir), and Danny's feelings:

I've seen (pictures of) an RSK - and this, sir, is no RSK.

Porsche-718-RSK-Spyder-front-3-4

^ That's an RSK.

1966_porsche_spyder-rsx_dsc_1423-2-64348

^ That's not an RSK. Not even if you take off the bifocals and squint.

It all depends on what car they splashed the molds off of. These cars were all hand made and every one is different. I was looking through Louis Galanos’ Flickr account the other day and there was a picture (from Sebring 64 IIRC) of a car he labeled as a “718 WRS” that was originally an RS61 re-powered with a flat 8  that was a lot different than a “normal” RSK.

Got a few hours? This is a heck of a rabbit hole. There’s a lot of variety in different Spyder and RS builds, as raced in thd 50’s and 60’s. Probably due, in part, to crash repairs. (We all know the story of the early Beck clamshell).
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...katelli/27874623844/

Caution: may not be suitable for viewers of all ages.

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