Built in 1981, the Porsche 936 Junior is a 1/2 scale replica of the 1981 Le Mans winning 936 driven by Jackie Ickx and Derek Bell. Apparently, Porsche commissioned these to celebrate their win(s) at Le Mans and somewhere between 50 and 100 were built and presented to Porsche VIPs, drivers and team members (various sources given different production numbers).
Said to be a very detailed replica, the Porsche 936 Junior is powered by a 5 hp Briggs and Stratton engine. Power makes it way to the wheels via a 3-speed manual transmission (2 forward gears + reverse) allowing the 936 Jr. to reach top speeds of 30 to 35 mph. Rounding out the build were disc brakes, a limited slip rear axle, adjustable rear wing, hydraulic suspension, rack and pinion steering, working high/low beam headlights, turn signals, horn, tail lights and brake lights. Originally meant as a child's toy, for a time, the 936 Jr. could be purchased directly from Porsche (Porsche Part Number WAP170000 and priced around $7500).
Today, the Porsche 936 Jr. is said to be a very desirable collector's item. While there may have been others since, the last one we saw sell at auction was in 2013 at Mecum for $22,000.
— Mecum Auctions (@mecum) August 17, 2013
We've never seen one in person, but we knew that Wayne Dempsey (CEO, Pelican Parts) has one in his collection, so we reached out to get his thoughts. He's actually driven his 936 Jr. and while he said it was fun, he found it to be a bit heavy and difficult to start if they've sat for a while as you need to remove the body to get to the engine. As you can see from the video below, it's a tight squeeze.
Wayne went on to say that, in his opinion, these are pretty rare and don't come up for sale often. In fact, he thought that they "seem to be rarer than the (full-sized) Porsche 962s I have". That's quite a statement.
Porsche 936 Jr. For Sale
So why all this interest in the 936 Jr. on our part? Simple, we were browsing the catalog for the upcoming Bonhams' auction in Paris next week and lot #301 jumped out at us. The catalog description doesn't give much more than what we already knew or found out. In fact, as interested as we are, our first thought was how could you verify the provenance? We've seen others with VIN plates and different steering wheels. Is this a real Porsche 936 Jr? However, when we went back to Pelican to ask Wayne about provenance he said something that made perfect sense. "It's pretty obvious to me that no one in their right mind would bother making an exact replica of these, so if you see one, it's real." Pretty valid point. While expensive for a collectible and what was once a child's toy, you probably couldn't build one of these, considering the detail in the fiberglass work, for what this will ultimately sell for.
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[Special thanks to Wayne Dempsey at Pelican Parts for taking the time to talk to us about his Porsche 936 Jr.]
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