Porsche restores 1987 962C race car

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The Porsche 962 was one of the most prolific race cars of the 80s, but of the 91 examples built only 16 were campaigned by Porsche itself. Now, one of the official works 962s has been restored to its former glory.

The car had many guises during its career, but Porsche is restoring it to the yellow and red Shell Oil and Dunlop Tires livery that it sported when it won the 1987 ADAC Würth Supercup. It was the sole year Porsche's factory team competed and won that Group C championship, with legendary driver Hans-Joachim Stuck behind the wheel.

The 962 was notable for many motorsport-y reasons, but as it relates to production cars, it served as the testbed for Porsche's then-new Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, or what we know more commonly as the PDK dual-clutch transmission.

After retirement, the car returned to Porsche's Weissach Development Center, where it was built. There, it was used in the aerodynamics department before becoming a reference vehicle for Porsche's corporate collection. Eventually, it ended up in storage.

"We kept passing this car in the warehouse," said Armin Burger from Porsche's Historic Motorsport division. He and colleague Traugott Brechtare credited with overseeing the project. "Then, about a year and a half ago, we decided to get it out of there, transfer it to Weissach and start working on it.”

Soon the team recruited Norbert Singer, the race engineer at the time, and designer Rob Powell, who penned the livery. "We learned an incredible amount from two witnesses who were right there when it all happened,” said Burger.

Of course, many of the parts had long been out of production. The restorers were forced to re-make them from new sand castings. Porsche clearly understands the importance of its heritage and several divisions pitched in. “The cooperation with the other departments from Porsche was great. We found almost everything we needed within a radius of just 30 metres,” says Burger.

Porsche invited Stuck to take the completed car out for a few laps at the Weissach test track. “The car automatically ... brings back many fond memories. I will never forget the atmosphere at the race tracks,” said Singer.

Stuck himself had warm remarks for the car. "The 962C was one of the few cars I was allowed to drive on my own, without teammates and with exactly the setup I wanted," he recalled. "You never forget a car like that.” The car will be part of a 40th Anniversary of Group C celebration next year.

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