Homebuilt Porsche RSK
When 3D scanning was in its infancy, an engineer set out to create the most accurate ever Porsche 718 RSK replica. After a decade of blood, sweat and tears, this is the result
Not all replicas are born equal. It wasn’t so long ago that the lexicon was rather more straightforward: a road car was real or it was a replica. Nowadays, thanks to the determination to differentiate between the various castes of replicas, to elevate some above others or just to hype up a car for sale, we have a Roget-baffling range of descriptions: from recreation and homage, via reimagining and all the way up to the usually lamentably misused ‘tool-room copy. All mere garnish to Jenks’ original categories of resurrection, reconstruction, facsimile et al, of course. Almost as confusing is the social acceptability of replicas – whether scratchbuilt or involving the ritual sacrifice of a less desirable model – even beyond the throngs who refuse to countenance them at all.
I am fascinated by them simply because I admire engineering and craftsmanship almost as much as any other aspect of motoring, and to see something built in the modern day to look precisely as it did in period, especially if it uses the same methods, can be mesmerising. Lynx Jags are terrific, but even better is something done by one man, allowing you to draw a timeline straight back to the men-in-sheds of the 1950s. And the icing on the cake comes when that artisan genius, with a background in building hotrod Beetles and outlaws, creates a six-figure car as perfect as this.
Take a bow, Paul Foreman.
This electrical engineer from Rochester started with ’bikes and is still into them, but then became obsessed with air-cooled VWs – owning, building and modifying Campers, Beetles, beach buggies and Baja Bugs – before following the seemingly almost natural progression to 1950s Porsches. He started with 356 reps – and will return to them for his next project, an outlaw 356 – and then a 550 Spyder, but, though he modified the chassis, these were the usual glassfibre fare. For his next project he wanted to do his ultimate Porsche, the RSK RS60/61, and he wanted to do it in metal.
‘I’ve always liked the shape best and I thought it would be more of a challenge,’ he says. ‘I think it has a better look than the 550, which is readily available off-the-shelf in kit form. There were a few companies that made what I would call a “likeness” to them, but nowhere near correct enough for me.’
It’s difficult to counter his thinking; thanks to the cult of James Dean and his premature end in his 550 Spyder, the RSK has been totally overshadowed by its predecessor, which also shared some 356 architecture.