Being completely candid with you, this video was forwarded to us by a PR firm. That’s not to say that the video isn’t worth watching, because it is. Or, that the history of the car isn’t fascinating, it is. It’s just that the purpose of the video is to bring attention to the car as it is on offer to be sold. If you’re in the market for a 962, then perhaps this is one you might want to pay attention to. Even if you’re not, the video is worth a watch.
We’ve covered the Hotchkis Racing 962 in the past, as part of our Auction Preview for 2014’s Monterey festivities, as RM Auctions brought the car up for sale just over a year ago. You see, the car did not sell at auction, as it is still in the hands of the Hotchkis family. At auction, the car just didn’t bring the excitement, as it was previewed to sell for $800,000 – 1,000,000, but failed to sell after bidding plateaued at $575,000. The Hotchkis’ won’t say what they’re looking to get out of the car, but it’s safe to say more than that.
Here is the history of Chassis 962-F01 by Fabcar, as presented by RM Auctions in preparation for their attempted sale of the car.
Est. 750 bhp, 3.2-liter SOHC air-cooled horizontally opposed turbocharged six-cylinder engine with Bosch electronic engine management and fuel injection, five-speed manual transaxle, independent front and rear suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 104.3 in.
Owned from new by Hotchkis Racing since July 1986
Impressive race record in IMSA’s Camel GTP series and vintage racing
750-brake horsepower 962 engine prepared by Porsche Motorsport North America
Tested and driven by Al Holbert and Paul Newman
Raced extensively by the Hotchkis family for decades
Porsche’s amazing 962 endurance prototype coupe, which was introduced in 1984, must certainly be ranked as one of the most successful and dominant racing designs in history. It was derived from the earlier-type 956 Coupe that was created for Europe’s World Sportscar Championship Group C, and as it was much-improved in all its variants, it proved to be tough to beat for almost a full decade, which is an almost unheard-of accomplishment.
When the 962 was introduced as an entry for IMSA’s GTP series, it was initially powered by a derivative of the highly successful 2.8-liter, air-cooled flat-six 935 engine with a single KKK turbocharger. By 1985, IMSA had eased its restrictions to create more competition, allowing the sleek Porsches to run larger 3.2-liter engines. By 1988, again in the interest of leveling the playing field, 962s were allowed to run twin turbochargers and water-cooled cylinder heads, although their air intakes were limited to 36 millimeters.
Between 1984 and 1991, a total of ninety-one 962s were built by Porsche’s racing department, with seventy-five of them being built as customer cars. During their impressive lifespan, a number were modified by various racing teams for improved streamlining and chassis performance. Among them was Holbert Racing, of Pennsylvania, which began modifying its own team cars and then began producing a small number of improved tubs for customers. Their cars were labeled from 962/HR1 to 962/HR7. Fabcar Engineering Inc. also got into the game, building new tubs for Porsche. Dave Klym’s new Fabcar chassis incorporated aluminum honeycomb with an aluminum sheet and stronger bulkheads, to improve stiffness and crashworthiness.
This 962 IMSA prototype, numbered F01 (HR3F), was purchased new from the Porsche factory by the Hotchkis family and its racing team. The car, carrying sponsorship and the livery of the Wynn’s Engine Oil Products Company, was tested at Watkins Glen, New York, by the late Al Holbert prior to the mid-season Camel Continental 500 on July 6, 1986. There, the car, driven by Jim Adams and John Hotchkis, qualified 13th and finished 8th. However, early in its IMSA career, the car was in an accident at Miami, and the original tub was taken back to the team’s shop, where it was disassembled and set aside until it was extensively repaired in 1989. A new tub, F02 (HR3FR), was ordered from Holbert Racing, the car was reassembled, and the Hotchkises went back to racing. In 1990, the original and newly rebuilt tub, F01 (HR3R), debuted at the 24 Hours of Daytona and raced for the rest of the 1990 and 1991 seasons. After the 1991, the Wynn’s 962 was retired from active duty until 1997, when it returned to the track as a formidable vintage racer.
It appeared regularly at Historic Sportscar Racing events on the East Coast from 1998 to 2001. Following an accident at Road Atlanta in 2002, the car was rebuilt once more, using a new Fabcar tub (still as F01). Most recently, it won the GTP category race at the 2009 Monterey Historics, and in 2011, it was running near the front of the pack at Laguna Seca’s Rennsport IV Porsche festival until its older tires began to overheat and lose grip.
This car is currently powered by what the consignor describes as a period-correct, latest-spec 3.2 single-turbo 962 engine built by Porsche Motorsport North America. The powerplant utilizes new Porsche 911 GT1 technology, including a forged crankshaft and lower end. With its two-valve heads, Garrett turbocharger, air-to-air intercooler, and Bosch Motronic fuel and ignition management system, the engine is estimated to produce a healthy 750-plus horsepower. The power is delivered through a Porsche five-speed transaxle and Metalore axles, and it is said to be stronger than Porsche’s original equipment. The four-wheel disc brakes are from Brembo, and the shock absorbers are by Penske Racing. A new body shell, which replicates the original 1986 IMSA long-tail design, was fabricated by Pete Ebell and Porsche Motorsports.
The consignor states that the car is one of the best-prepared 962s. It is described by the owner as being fully race-prepared and actively maintained for the track, and it also remains a highly competitive and successful vintage racing entrant. The car will be supplied with its original tub, and the consignor will make a spares package, which will include a spare engine, available to the buyer.
It would be hard to imagine a more exciting vintage race car than this fully developed 962, which has shown that it is still capable of running at the front of any group of prototypes. Hotchkis Racing offered to provide the appropriate gearing, correct turbo, and chassis set-up details.
This Porsche won’t be making it back to Rennsport Reunion this weekend (we’re not quite sure why, as almost any potential buyer would be there), but it was there last time, and here’s an onboard video of the car beating up on some unsuspecting RS Spyder LMP2 cars.
For the car’s competition history, check out its entry over on racingsportscars.com.