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Cars

February 5th, 2018

The Porsche 962 and its near identical predecessor, the 956, dominated sports car racing for the company throughout the 80s. Essentially a modified 956 built to comply with IMSA/US regualations, the first 962 was built in 1984 and came with a stretched version of the 956’s aluminum monocoque. This was done to move the front suspension 120mm forward to comply with regulations.

The 962 used a Porsche type 962/70, 2869 cc, flat-6, single turbo engine derived from the 935. This was also chosen over the twin turbo from the 956 to make the car legal in the IMSA/US events. The engine was good for 680 hp and 487 lb./ft while a 5 speed manual handled transmission duties. A newer 3.2 litre was developed by Andial, but that was quickly made obsolete by regulation changes. The suspension used double wishbones all around. The 962 was also known for being one of the earliest sports car prototypes to employ ground effects. This tech had been around in F1 for sometime and was now being developed for use in this form of motorsport.

Porsche produced 91 962s between 1984 and 1991. Of these, 16 were factory cars and 75 were built for customers. This extended production run means that the sheer number of achievemts of this car are unending. Some major wins by teams running the 962 included the World Sportscar Championship in 1985 and 1986, the IMSA GT Championship every year from 1985 to 1988, the Interserie championship from 1987 until 1992, all four years of the Supercup series (1986 to 1989), and the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship from 1985 until 1989, thisapart from its dominance in the IMSA series well into the 90’s. The 962 also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1986 and 1987.

This particular Porsche 962 from 1988 powered by the rarer 3.2 litre motor raced for the Trust Racing Team in Japan for the All-Japan Sports Prototype Championship (JSPC) between 1988 and 1991. It notched up multiple podium finishes in this competition before being added to a private collection. It is now available for sale by Duncan Hamilton Rofgo.

The fact that the Porsche 962 remained competitive over such an extended period of time is a testament to the car’s technological brilliance, reliability and efficiency. It is one of a small breed of racing cars which seem to have brilliance developed into them, helping them dominate the competition with ease.

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