Want to own a fleet of Group C Porsche Le Mans racers?
Sister of the winner
The Porsche name will forever remain associated with the Group C era, such was its dominance at Le Mans with the 956 and later 962 sports prototypes. New Classic Driver dealer Historic Classics, owned by Henry Pearman of Eagle E-type fame, is now offering two of these Works cars from his private collection. First is one of the three 1983-spec Rothmans 956s built exclusively for use by the factory team for its follow-up to the famous podium lock-out the previous year. Driven by Jochen Mass and Stefan Bellof, Porsche 956 chassis 8 was to lead the race for the first four hours before developing problems and ultimately retiring. Agonisingly, Mass and Bellof were forced to look on from the pits as the sister 956s crossed the line first and second in the most dramatic manner.
Robbed of victory... again
The second Stuttgart Works car to be offered by Pearman’s company is Porsche 962-007, one of two lightweight Rothmans cars built for the 1987 campaign. Damaged during practice with no time for repair, it would be replaced by the ‘spare’ team car, which famously went on to win the race. But ‘007' would be given a second chance the following year, albeit now wearing the Shell Dunlop livery in German flag colours and with an updated specification. In the year of Porsche’s final Works effort in the prototype class, the car would lead the race by a lap at midnight before engine gremlins intervened.
Five more for good measure
As well as the Works cars, Historic Classics is offering no fewer than three more privateer ex-Le Mans Group C Porsches: a Brun Motorsport 962 (chassis 003 BM), a Kremer 956B (chassis 115) and a Richard Lloyd Racing 962 (chassis 200) – the latter being referred to as the ‘British Porsche’ in period. Also offered is a pair of ‘true Brits’ with intentions of La Sarthe domination: a Group 44 Jaguar XJR-5, and one of two XJR-6s to wear Jaguar livery. While neither ultimately made it to Le Mans, they both proved their competitiveness in other events – and can trace their stock right down to the Le Mans-winning XJR-9 and XJR-12.
Photos: Historic Classics