Golden Hour | 1960 Porsche 718 RS-60
Gallery (Amelia Island, FL): The 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance honored the legendary Sir Stirling Moss and on display was an overwhelming assortment of over twenty race-cars Moss once piloted during is career.
Naturally car enthusiasts are attracted to the Ferrari 250 GTO or the trio of Mercedes W196’s, one being the Mercedes 300 SLR which Moss won the 1955 Mille Miglia with a record setting pace of 10 hours 7 minutes and 48 seconds.
As the crowds and automobiles left the Concours field later in the day, we were drawn towards one car tucked away in the corner. A 1960 Porsche 718 RS-60, basking in the beautiful North-Florida light, seemed to glow as the golden sun reflected off of the silver chassis.
Once driven by the likes of Hans Herrmann, Graham Hill, Jo Bonnier, Olivier Gendebien, and Stirling Moss, the RS-60 is part of a proud heritage of Porsche ‘giant-killers’ that dominated the mid-century sports car races. The flat-four air-cooled engine produced 170hp at 7800 rpm while the double wishbone rear suspension and lightweight design delivered superb handling.
Bonnier/Herrmann took this RS-60 to victory in the 1960 Targa Florio with a 6 minute 2 second margin over the Ferrari Dino 246 S of Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips.
Bonnier again raced the car two weeks later in the Nurburgring 1000km with co-driver Gendebien, but fell 2 minutes 52 seconds behind winners Moss and Dan Gurney in their Maserati Tipo 61.
The last flourish for this racer was at the hands of Graham Hill and Moss in the 1961 Nurburgring 1000km. After starting on the grid in second position and dropping down the running order early due to a gamble with rain tyres, Moss quickly regained his position when the rains returned – only to retire with engine failure.
The RS-60 is now housed in the exquisite collection at The Revs Institute of Naples, Florida; known to be the premier destination to study and explore automotive history.
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Photography & story by Matthew Emmer