Presented by Centric Parts and its StopTech performance and racing division

October 2, 2012

Ultra Rare Porsche takes on the Historics with Centric's Help

A few months ago, we were approached by Jim Ansite, a well-known Porsche restorer in Southern California, to see if we could help with a little problem. It seems Jim was having trouble sourcing brake lines for a project he was working on. And no wonder, as the car in his care was a super rare 1959 Porsche 718/2 RSK Spyder (right), one of only four built with a central driving position.

It was an unusual request but not an uncommon one, as Centric constantly gets this type of call. After just three days, the 718 was wearing a custom set of braided stainless steel lines, researched and made by two of Centric's resident Porsche fanatics, Graem Elliott and Robbie Pyle.

The 1959 Porsche 718/2 RSK Spyder was an evolution of the 550 Spyder, but was considered Porsche's first purpose built race car. The central driving position allowed it to be campaigned as either a sports car or a single seater.

Flash forward to August and the Monterey peninsula was crawling with hundreds of collectible cars almost as rare as this special Porsche. It was Monterey Classic Car Week and the whole area was playing host to concours vehicles, newer exotics and vintage race cars. The Porsche showed up at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion held each year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. We caught up with Ansite and the Porsche and discovered that Jim had another unique vehicle in his care that week as well.

The "Not Dead Yet Racing" team also had a special 550 (above left) in their stall. This special Porsche was a survivor, with a beat up body that told tales of its long racing history. After passing through a succession of owners ill-equipped to master this car's potential, the 550 was purchased by the current owner. It had battle scars and modifications earned over 50 plus years of track duty.

The car has an alloy body and dozens of "lightening holes" (below) where every extra ounce of weight was removed to improve performance. One of the areas that wasn't drilled, thankfully, was the brake lines. They did need to be replaced however. Knowing that Centric had helped out with the brake lines for the 718, Ansite once again called on the team to help with lines for this special 550 - and Centric once again met the challenge.

Classic cars aren't the usual application for StopTech high performance brake components, but it was nice to be represented at one of the most prestigious historic racing events in the world by a very special pair of Porsches.