It is with heavy hearts that we let you know of the passing last month of another automotive great. R.W. “Kas” Kastner (August 30, 1928 – April 11, 2021) was a well-known production car driver in the late 1950’s and class Champion of the California Sports Car Club in 1959 as well as winner of the Championship for the SCCA during that same year. The championships were won driving a 1958 TR3A Triumph.
Kas was the Chief Instructor for the California Sports Car Club at the Riverside Raceway for several years, as well as the National Licensing Chairman for the SCCA. He also participated in sailboat racing for 20 years and was the National Champion in two classes along with many regional and divisional titles.
Kastner was an acknowledged expert in racing team management with a winning history of National and International racing events. He has wins in various classes and prototype competitions for many well-known automotive manufacturers and privately-owned racing teams.
Kas started the USA Triumph Competition Department for the Triumph factory in the early 1960’s, and became very well-known for his pursuit of power increases for the Triumph cars with long experience in engine dynamometer testing.
When flooded with requests for information in the early ’60s on the preparation of Triumph cars, Kas wrote a series of small individual by model Triumph Preparation manuals distributed by the Triumph factory in the 1960 – 1972 era of production car racing.
Kas is well-known for his pursuit of power increases for the Triumph cars with long experience in engine dynamometer testing. These assisted multitudes of Triumph owners to get their Triumphs off to a head start in racing. These manuals are still looked upon as the must-read for any enthusiast preparing his Triumph for competition.
Kas followed his early writings about Triumph cars starting in 2003 with four great books that cover the mechanical aspects of Triumph chassis and engine preparation and also follow his adventures, mishaps, and victories in amateur and International racing events while he was the USA Triumph Competition Manager.
In 2014 Kas completed a lengthy project to update and convert all of his books to electronic eBook format These books are available for purchase through his website as instant downloads. Each book contains updates to the content as well as high-resolution color photos replacing the lower resolution black & white photos that were used to print the paperback books.
Kastner also had many videos on YouTube.