The $1m Leyton House Porsche 962by Graham Keilloh on 13th February 2019
Kremer Racing's 962 features famous Leyton House livery and is on sale at Amelia Island
Almost any motor sport fan’s heart beats a little faster at the mention of the Porsche 962 and its predecessor, the 956. They are among the most iconic machines in the history of endurance racing, bestriding the famous sports car Group C era in the 1980s.
And one of the most visually striking and technically distinctive examples of the 962 is leading a strong line-up at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island auction in Florida, which takes place on March 8. It’s expected to sell for $1,000,000 – $1,250,000.
In addition to the famous ‘Rothmans’ factory effort, Porsche built machines for a host of private entries. And one of the most notable of these was the original owner of this car being sold: Erwin and Manfred Kremer of Kremer Racing, which won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1979.
This 962C going under the hammer was specially built for Kremer’s 1987 Le Mans effort. Rather than purchase a 962 Kremer took the unusual option of constructing one, with a new Thompson-built aluminium honeycomb tub renowned for its rigidity and lightness.
The innovative machine got its rewards, finishing fourth in that year’s French endurance race with George Fouché, Franz Konrad and Wayne Taylor driving. The car returned the following year and finished eighth – Fouché was back and this time joined by Kris Nissen and Harald Grohs. The 1987 Le Mans proved to be the last won by the 962/956, completing a run of seven straight Le Mans victories for Porsche.
More: Porsche 956/962
Kremer’s 962 raced in ‘Miami blue’ Leyton House livery that became iconic in that period, thanks also to it featuring on the Formula 1 March, later renamed Leyton House. That aerodynamically-advanced series of cars made the name of star F1 designer Adrian Newey and often gave front-runners plenty to worry about.
The 962 is joined at the Amelia Island sale by another Le Mans car, and one even more unusual – a kids' version of the Ferrari 330 P2 – intended to be driven by children attending the Le Mans 24 Hours!
The 1967 Automobile S.C.A.F. Ferrari 330 P2 was designed and built by François Mortarini with the cooperation and authorisation of Ferrari, and the five-eighths scale is a wonderfully detailed and faithful version of a car that was raced by greats such as John Surtees.
It has a beautiful fibreglass body over a tubular chassis as well as a 200cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, capable of 5bhp, and rear drum brakes. Its offered without reserve and is expected to fetch between $30,000 and $40,000. The seller warns however that it’s sold only as a collector’s item and it may not actually be suitable to be operated by children!