Auction houses vigorously protect the privacy of their purchasers, but in this case Stirling Moss seems to have wanted to shout from the rooftops about his new car, and so authorized Gooding & Co to announce the proud new owner following their Amelia Island Auctions. One of only fourteen Porsche RS61 Spyders built, and the final evolution of the 50s and 60s Spyder family, this RS61 (chassis 718-070) is indeed a treasure. A treasure befitting the $1,705,000 bid that finally won the car. Whew.
The car has an interesting history, particularly for a machine that spent most of its life in the States. The car took class wins at SCCA National events at Daytona, Lime Rock, Maryland, Meadowdale, and Road America. A further class win at the 1960 Sebring with Bob Holbert and Roger Penske sharing the wheel sealed the deal on a remarkable history book for 718-070.
As to the car’s current condition, which looks absolutely stunning in the photos, perhaps the Gooding catalog for the event says it best:
On a recent test drive by Gooding & Company, this RS61 exhibited all the delightful qualities for which the late Porsche Spyders are renowned: nimble and responsive steering, effective brakes, a lively, free-revving engine and an almost telepathic level of feedback. The Ernst Fuhrmann-designed four-cam loves to climb up the rev-range and emits an unforgettable, staccato bark, made all the more raucous by the single, center-exit stinger exhaust.
Inside, the passengers are treated to a minimalist, business-like cockpit that is an ideal setting for fast, focused driving; yet with its spacious and inviting feel, full FIA windscreen, lightweight bucket seats (easily adjusted for different drivers), clear readable gauges and a comfortable driving position, it would be a reasonable long-distance event car.
Not only is the car a thrill to drive, once placed in the right hands, an RS61 is more than just a class contender – it is a car with the potential for outright victory in any grid of early 1960s sports racers. Yet despite all its on-track talent, an RS61 is capable of driving down the highway in relative comfort and with surprising ease.
Porsche RS61 718-070 at Sebring 1961
Hey Gooding, how do I get that pre-auction test driver job?
The purchase took place just days after Stirling’s fall down his home elevator shaft. It looks like Moss is fully committed to recovering quickly from this broken ankles and returning to the track. Now he’ll just have to decide between this amazing machine and his equally lovely OSCA. Congratulations, Sir Stirling.
Via Classic Rallies.