MAY 12th 2015

Legendary Le Mans Porsche Heads to Auction

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Some adjectives fit with some cars better than others. ‘Iconic’ and ‘legendary’ seem to go well with the Porsche 962, which carried on the good work of the 956 by winning at Le Mans (which had itself taken on the winning mantle from the 936 and 935 before it) and generally being competitive wherever it was raced. 

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Introduced in 1986 (where it won at Le Mans) the car was a front runner in the IMSA GTP series, the World Sportscar Championship, the Interserie Championship, the Supercup Series, and the All-Japan Sports Car Prototype Championship. Let’s also not forget also that five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell won an incredible 21 races with 962s between 1985 and 1987. Strong competition from Jaguar, Nissan, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot eventually blunted the 962’s effectiveness, but by then it had cemented itself in endurance racing folklore.

Porsche 962

By 1993 the 962’s star was somewhat one the wane at Le Mans (although a heavily-modified Dauer 962 won again in 1994 as a road-based GT car) and the  lead contenders that year were the Toyota TS010 and the spectacular Peugeot 905 Evo 1B. With the most successful of those machines filling the first six places (with a 1-2-3 for Peugeot) the car you see here came home in seventh. Not bad, although due to its controversial paint scheme it almost didn’t race at all …

Porsche 962

Chassis number 962-155 was sold with a works 3.0 motor in 1990 and, incredibly, is still owned by the same individual who acquired it back then. After scoring some decent results early on in its life it was taken to Le Mans in 1993 even though the team (Obermaier Racing) had no major sponsor. As such it was decided that the car would be finished in the official ‘Les 24H du Mans’ organiser’s colours. Nice touch if you ask us, but the notoriously strict Automobile Club de l’Ouest was not impressed at all and refused the team a starting place on the grid.

Porsche 962

Historically this would mean that either you remove the offending decals or you go home, simple as that. Incredibly, the team stood firm in the face of the mighty ACO and refused to change the car’s appearance. Even more incredibly, the ACO eventually backed down and allowed the 962 to become what we think might be the last Porsche 962 to race at Le Mans (excluding of course the Dauer car in 1994).

Porsche 962

Bonhams will be selling it at the Spa Classic Sale on the 24th May with an estimate of £1,000,000 – 1,300,000. A one owner from new Porsche 962C with a Le Mans pedigree? Add this to the ‘Find Another One’ files …

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