It’s A Rare Thing To Find An Example Of The Fearsome IMSA-Spec Porsche 962 For Sale
Porsche has been active in numerous forms of motorsport since its earliest days but it is in the toughest endurance disciplines that it has shined brightest of all. The combination of solidly engineered cars and relentless development has seen it achieve stellar results in everything from the 3 Hour Miami endurance races to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Porsche 962 introduced in 1984 was one of the marque’s most successful racers and contributed its fair share to the trophy cabinet thanks both to the factory team and privateers. Of the 91 cars built, 16 were used officially by the factory. Seeing one come up for sale is an extremely rare event.
The car you see here was the second of approximately 16 IMSA-spec 962s delivered to privateers. To meet IMSA regulations the driver’s feet needed to be moved behind the front axle, which was done by extending the wheelbase. Based on the already successful 956, these cars were dominant on the track from the very beginning and were still competitive into the early ’90s.
This early 1984 962-102 has a chequered history and was originally raced by Bob Akin; having won the IMSA Camel GT Endurance series the year before he was keen on running this new car but needed to find a sponsor. An agreement with Mike Valentine, recently cashed out co-owner of Cincinnati Microwave, was struck and the 962 was campaigned under Valentine Racing in its distinctive red Coca-Cola livery.
During the 1984 and 1985 seasons, Akin and the 962 achieved two fourth-places at the 24 Hours of Daytona and 600km Riverside races, as well as a very impressive pole position at the 12 Hours of Sebring. An accident at the 500km Charlotte race in May 1985 put an end to the 962’s racing career and it finally found its way into Roger Penske’s collection repainted in Miller colors and decals. It stayed there until 2005 when it was sold to Jim Torres and a restoration project was undertaken to return it to as-raced specification.
It eventually made its debut at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion of 2009, nearly 25 years after its final race with Bobby Akin Jr., with Bobby’s son at the wheel. 962-102 has been with its current owner ever since and has been extensively campaigned in historic races around the US. Maintained and supported by specialists Canepa for over half a decade. It is now looking for a new owner to enjoy what is one of the most significant and collectible endurance racing Porsches ever built.
Images courtesy of Canepa