GeneralR.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.
Automotive ExperienceKas's experience in the automotive industry spans over 50 years. He has particular experience in the field of performance vehicles and automotive racing and racing team management.
He designed various automotive performance parts, systems and methods of increasing the performance of standard production cars.
RacingR.W. Kastner is 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.
He was the past owner/manager of independent companies such as Arkay, Inc., Kastner-Brophy, Inc., Kastner-Brophy Racing and Roy Woods Racing. Under the flag of these companies he was the team manager of the Formula 5000, Can Am and Indy car teams. These teams were raced under the Kastner-Brophy Racing & Roy Woods Racing names, and sponsored by Carling Black Label Beer, Goodyear, Champion and others.
Kas was also involved with the design, manufacturing and sale of performance components and systems such as; engine high performance parts, suspension parts, turbocharger systems, brakes, and aerodynamic improvement of body parts and design.
For a short story on these days, read Triumph and Nissan: How It Happened.
The Nissan YearsR.W. Kastner was the Motorsports National Manager for Nissan of North America from 1986 through 1990. He then moved on to be Vice President, Operations of the new Nissan research and development facility, Nissan Performance Technology, Inc. (NPTI) in Vista, California.
At this facility, Kas and his team of over 225 experts were responsible for the design, development, construction and racing of the Nissan prototype cars predominate in the International Motorsports Association (IMSA) series of road racing events. During this period he led the team of Nissan Prototype cars to four consecutive Drivers Championships for Geoff Brabham and three consecutive Manufacturers championships for Nissan. The 12 Jours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Daytona and 24 Hours of Le Mans were all on the long schedule of events.
AuthorKas 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 60's on 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.
Writing about these great cars has always come easy to Kas. He won the Sports Car Club of America's annual award for the Best Technical Article in 1963. It was written as the SCCA and the Cal Club merged and used the Cal Club production car rules where Kas was an expert. The article is called "The Quarter-inch Drill Faces Life." It was published in the SCCA magazine and awarded at the annual SCCA convention (he beat out the editor of Road & Track magazine, Jim Crow, for the prize). This, added to the many articles and magazine stories about his career give an overall view of winning in competition. (Credit to Jenny Ambrose Head Archivist/Acting Executive Director, International Motor Racing Research Center for providing the scanned article.)
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.
- Kas Kastner's Triumph Preparation Handbook
- Kas Kastner's Historical and Technical Guide for Triumph Cars
- Kas Kastner's Racing, Winning and Other Myths in Triumph Cars
- Kas Kastner's Triumphs, Race Cars, Street Cars and Special Cars
And, in 2014, Kas completed a lengthy project to update and convert all of his books to electronic "eBook" PDF format, available for purchase through this 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. Visit the the Books page for more information and to purchase.