Witness Ben Collins in action as he takes the wheel of a rare 1985 Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C race car, which is set to be auctioned. This iconic vehicle, adorned with the renowned Rothmans livery, is too valuable for everyday use, making this outing all the more special. RM Sotheby’s has entrusted Collins, the former Stig from “Top Gear,” to showcase the car’s prowess before it goes under the hammer on June 9.
For Collins, the 962 holds a special place as his hero car, and it’s not hard to understand why. During the golden age of sports car racing in the 1980s, the 962 emerged as the most dominant vehicle in two prestigious classes: Europe’s Group C and North America’s original IMSA GTP. Its superiority in both championships made it the car to beat.
As an evolution of the Porsche 956, the 962 retained the mechanical package of its predecessor. Powered by a twin-turbo 2.6-liter flat-6 engine producing around 630 horsepower, this lightweight chassis weighing less than 2,000 pounds proved to be a formidable contender. Combining this with the ground-effects bodywork shaped by the legendary Porsche engineer Norbert Singer, the 962 became an unbeatable force.
The 962’s achievements are numerous, including consecutive victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1986 and 1987, extending the winning streak initiated by the 956 from 1982 to 1985. Its success continued well into the 1990s, and some chassis even underwent conversions for road use. This distinction allowed the 962 to secure its final Le Mans victory in 1994, competing in the GT class for production cars rather than as a prototype.
In the accompanying video, Collins highlights some of the car’s era-specific limitations, such as turbo lag and steel brakes that require additional consideration compared to modern hardware. Nevertheless, he also praises the 962’s old-school charm. Its cockpit, while simplistic, bears a striking resemblance to a vintage Porsche 911, making it familiar and user-friendly to anyone who has driven a similar model.
The featured chassis is a Group C version that participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times, achieving a fifth-place finish in 1988. As one of the six original Rothmans works cars, it holds a unique position in automotive history. When it goes up for auction on June 9, it will be the first works 962 Group C car available to the public. Previous examples that raced in IMSA have been offered for sale in the past.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C racer
What is the significance of the 1985 Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C racer?
The 1985 Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C racer holds great historical significance as one of the most dominant cars in the golden era of sports car racing. It was the car to beat in both the Group C class in Europe and the IMSA GTP class in North America.
Who is driving the 1985 Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C racer?
Ben Collins, the former Stig of “Top Gear” fame, has been chosen to take the wheel of the 1985 Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C racer for a rare outing. His expertise and experience make him the perfect driver to showcase the car’s capabilities.
What is the condition of the 1985 Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C racer?
The 1985 Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C racer is in excellent condition. It is a valuable vehicle and has been well-maintained over the years. However, it is primarily intended for display and auction rather than regular use.
When will the 1985 Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C racer be auctioned?
The 1985 Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C racer is set to be auctioned on June 9. This will be a unique opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to acquire such an iconic and historically significant race car.
How powerful is the 1985 Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C racer?
The 1985 Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C racer is powered by a twin-turbo 2.6-liter flat-6 engine, producing approximately 630 horsepower. With its lightweight chassis and aerodynamic design, it is a formidable and high-performance racing machine.
More about Porsche 962 Rothmans Group C racer
- RM Sotheby’s Auction
- Porsche 962 – Wikipedia
- Group C – Wikipedia
- IMSA GTP – Wikipedia
- Ben Collins – Official Website
- Top Gear – Official Website