1986 Porsche 962. Photos courtesy of Mecum Auctions.
Along with the stunning and all-conquering 1972 Porsche 917/10 we previously told you about, Mecum Auctions is set to send six other Porsche race cars with significant history across the block at Monterey. Whether you want to keep them hermetically sealed in your private museum or to flog them mercilessly on the track (our choice, by the way – always our choice), there are a number of restored and race-ready examples of some of Porsche’s most dominant types from the 1970s and 1980s.
All from the collection of Steve Goldin, the cars might not be the most famous of each model, but each is an excellent example of the type. Steve Goldin is an avid collector and racer from Florida who was first exposed to sports car racing as a 15-year-old when he started hanging around and working with a group in the IMSA series. Among the highlights of the Goldin cars are a pair of ex-Bob Akin 962s.
Akin, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Jo Gartner drove chassis number 962-113, above, to an overall victory at the 1986 Sebring 12 Hours, perhaps Akin’s greatest triumph as a driver and team owner. Sporting sponsorship from Coca-Cola, Domino’s Pizza and Yokohama, the 962 is instantly recognizable to fans of IMSA’s glory days in the 1980s and early 1990s when factory efforts from Porsche, Jaguar, Nissan, Toyota and others gave sports car racing fans something to cheer for.
1987 Porsche 962.
Another Akin 962, this one chassis number 962-C04, a later production car from 1987, did not provide as much success for the Ossining, New York-based team, but the popularity of the 962 – at least 91 were made – and a large network of support from both Porsche and historic racing specialists make the 962 an excellent historic racing platform for those that can afford it. This 962 changed hands a few times but has since been restored to the Coca-Cola/Yokohama livery when the Akin team raced it in 1987, with notable drivers Hurley Haywood and Vern Schuppan.
When the FIA announced the Group C rules in the early 1980s, Porsche set about reclaiming the sort of glory they have found with the mid-engine 917 a decade earlier and following plenty of success with production-based racers in the 1970s. The 956 featured a twin-turbo 2.65-liter flat-six with water-cooled, four-valve heads. Immediately successful out of the box in 1982, the car not only won Le Mans, but took the first three positions. The 956 became the dominant force in Group C. No one else was as fast, consistent or reliable.
In 1983, Porsche explored taking the 956 across the Atlantic to compete in the IMSA GTP category, but IMSA boss John Bishop balked because Porsche had designed the 956 chassis which left the driver’s feet over the mid-point of the front axle. Also, Bishop, noting the absolute dominance of the 956 in worldwide competition, did not want to see the twin-turbo, water-cooled, 24-valve dominate in his series, which included the Daytona 24 Hours and the Sebring 12 Hours, two races that mattered on the world stage.
Porsche went back to the drawing board and lengthened the wheelbase of the 956 just enough to get the driver’s feet back and they installed the 2.8-liter, single-turbo, air-cooled flat-six from the 935, a production based racer to satisfy. IMSA teams typically fitted engines up to 3.2 liters, giving them a reliable 600 to 650hp in a package that was built to exactly the 850kg (1870 pounds) minimum weight, including the built-in air jacks. Depending on gearing, the top speed of the 962 was as much as 220 MPH.
Porsche eventually adopted the 962 chassis for competition in the rest of the world, albeit with the engine featuring water-cooled heads, as the 962C. Even more than the mold-breaking 917, the 956/962 dominated top-level sports car racing from the early 1980s through the early 1990s, both via factory and customer satellite teams. A factory-backed, Dauer-entered 962 even won Le Mans in 1994. There has simply never been – and likely never will be again – a model of race car so dominant for such a long period of time.
1977 Porsche 935.
Another ex-Akin team car for offer is this 1977 935, further modified by the German Kremer outfit and featuring the flowing, exaggerated bodywork and Coca-Cola sponsorship as raced by Akin in 1980 and 1981, their best result a second place at the 1981 Daytona 24 Hours, down by 13 laps.
1977 Porsche 935.
A second 1977 935 from the Goldin collection on the Mecum list for Monterey is this Desperado, a car purchased from noted California Porsche dealer Vasek Polak to run in the Trans-Am series. After just a handful of races, the original buyer sold it to Cliff Kearns, who race it in both IMSA and Trans-Am with the word “Desperado” emblazoned across the hood and rear flanks. A subsequent owner took the car to a fifth place finish at the Daytona 250 Finale race at the end of the 1980 IMSA season.
1974 Porsche 911 RSR IROC.
One of our favorites is this 1974 Porsche 911 RSR prepared for the original IROC series. One of just 15 IROC Porsches from 1974, Its race history started out with a bang, Emerson Fittipaldi winning the pole in the inaugural IROC race at Riverside. After that, it’s probably a race Fittipaldi would like to forget. Showing up five minutes late to the driver’s meeting, Fittipaldi was docked 10 places and started 11th. Aggressively trying to work his way back up through the field, Fittipaldi went off and punctured the gas tank in the process. With only a handful of drivers moving on to the next round, the car was not needed and was sold just a few days later. It was campaigned extensively in SCCA and IMSA racing in the 1970s until it was eventually sold to Pablo Escobar. Yes, that Pablo Escobar of more than just a little notoriety. Who needs Al Capone’s Cadillac? The car was transformed quit a bit, with a much larger win and front splitter. After returning to the United States, the car has been extensively restored to original RSR IROC condition and is ready to race once again. If you really want the full gamut of the IROC experience, there’’s always this 1996 Pontiac Trans Am, which will undoubtedly not draw nearly as much interest nor money as the RSR.
1977 Porsche 934/5.
The final Porsche in the Goldin collection at Monterey is this 1977 934-1/2 (sometimes referred to as a 934/5) that was a Porsche designed specifically for IMSA. Bob Hagestad was the original owner who drove a bit, but it was Hurley Haywood at the wheel who piloted the machine to an IMSA title in 1977, scoring several wins in the process.
Mecum’s Monterey auction will take place August 16 to 18 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa. For more information, visit Mecum.com.