The early Sixties were a truly remarkable time for road-course racing. After Carroll Shelby transformed his 289 Cobra from a street fighter into a track champion, Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov counter-punched with the Grand Sport version of the Sting Ray. And yet another world-class race car entered the fray: the Porsche 904.
Debuting in late ’63 for the upcoming season as a successor to the 718, it raced in both ’64 and ’65. Even though it didn’t gain quite the notoriety and longevity of either the Cobra or Grand Sport, it was a force to be reckoned with, doing far more with less, and winning on a number of race tracks in the FIA-GT class.
Instead of a big V-8, the 904 initially ran an overachieving, four-cam flat four producing a then-remarkable 196 horses. Thus equipped, a 904 won overall at the Targa Florio and went on to demonstrate remarkable durability throughout its racing career, almost always finishing, if not taking First place. Later models were fitted with a 911’s flat six, and a few factory race cars even had a flat eight. Continue reading Rock West GTS
Building on the remarkable racing achievements of the 550 Spyder, Porsche’s 718 RSK model refined its predecessor’s design and engineering even further, evolving to stay competitive and keep pace with changing race regulations While improving on the setup of the Spyder by being lower and lighter and having better handling, it used the same mid-mounted engine, the 142hp 1.5-liter Type 547/3 quad-cam engine introduced with the 550A Spyder.
Although the RSK’s debut at the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans was marred by an accident, in the following year it went on to win both First-in-Class and Third overall. The RSK also took the European Hill Climb Championship in both ‘58 and ‘59 and won the Targa Florio in 1959. During this time period, there was a suspension switch from swing axles to wishbone control arms. Also, a center-seat configuration was developed that could be quickly converted to a two-seat, left-hand drive setup, depending on the race venue. Continue reading From the 718 RSK to the RW RSK
Part 3: Overview of our Tribute Car Designs
Here’s Part 2: Looking Ahead to 2015
We’ve got some videos about our one year anniversary to give you to scoop on what’s happening around here. Here’s Part 1: The Year in Review. More to come over the next few days…
This has been a wild and crazy year for us at Rock West Racing. As a new business getting off the ground, there have been a lot of challenges this year, but we are excited about all the work that has been accomplished including the following:
- Completed tooling on RW Speedster, RW Spyder, and RW RSK,
- Designed and started tooling on the RW Spyder RS, our own thoroughly modern car inspired by Porsche’s classic 550 Spyder,
- Completed customer projects left unfinished by the previous custodians,
- Completed multiple service jobs,
- Began and worked multiple customer projects,
- Produced multiple kit parts for inventory, including Speedsters, Spyders, GTSs and RSKs kits,
- Expanded our facilities and added new equipment,
- Hired and trained new staff, and
- Began development of an electric version of our Speedster in collaboration with EV West.
- Completing the build of multiple kits in inventory for off-the-shelf sales,
- Building our parts offering, and completing the online store, and
- Finishing demo models for all our cars so you can test drive all 5 kits.
Thanks for keeping up with us. We want to help you build your dream car, so contact us today!
Call us at 610-444-1006!
From the early Fifties to the mid Sixties, a diminutive Porsche race car was the nemesis of many bigger and more powerful competitors. Known as the 550 Spyder, it started in more than 370 races, and went onto capture 95 overall wins, along with an additional 75 class wins. All told, the Spyder’s venom was pure poison for many higher horsepower cars not even in its class.
No surprise, then, that it came to be known as the Giant Killer. Sadly, its ominous name proved to be apt for the star of the movie Giant, James Dean, who was hit by another car in September of 1955 while driving his Spyder to a race in Northern California. This tragic event actually raised awareness of the Porsche marque among American car enthusiasts, many of whom were unfamiliar with this over-achieving race car from Stuttgart. Continue reading RW Spyder: A Contemporary Street Racer