Iconic Endurance Racing Porsche 962C at Pebble Beach Auctions

Iconic Endurance Racing Porsche 962C at Pebble Beach Auctions

1988 Porsche 962C

Estimate $1,400,000 - $1,800,000
Chassis 962-139

Highly Developed 962C with Shorttail Bodywork
Campaigned by Bruce Leven’s Famous Bayside Disposal Racing Team
Placed 3rd Overall at the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Daytona
Raced in Period by Klaus Ludwig, Bob Wollek, Jochen Mass, and James Weaver
Competed in The Stuttgart Cup Race at Rennsport Reunion IV and V

A Porsche Endurance Racing Icon with Just Two Private Owners from New

Technical Specs
2,994 CC DOHC Water-Cooled Flat 6-Cylinder Engine
Bosch Motronic Fuel Injection
Twin KKK Turbochargers
Estimated 700 BHP at 8,200 RPM
5-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Ventilated Disc Brakes
Front and Rear Fully Independent Suspension with Shock Absorbers

The Porsche 962 and its predecessor, the 956, are among the most important models in the history of endurance racing, ranking alongside other motorsport icons such as the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, Jaguar D-Type, Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, and Ford GT40.

The success achieved by this series of Porsches is unrivaled in the history of sports car racing. Between 1982 and 1987, the Porsche 956 and 962 won Le Mans six times, finishing 1-2-3 every year except 1987, when they were a mere 1-2. In North America, the Porsche 962 won 48 of 68 IMSA GTP races between 1984 and 1987, including 1-2-3 finishes at both Daytona and Sebring for three consecutive years.

Campaigned by the Porsche works team and well-funded privateers, the 956 and 962 captured the World Endurance Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Championship (1982–1985), the World Sports Prototype Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Championship (1986–1987), the IMSA GTP Manufacturer’s Championship (1985–1988), and the IMSA GTP Driver’s Championship (1985–1987) along with numerous other important victories and series championships.

Following a pattern established by the 956, the 962s built for the works team were numbered beginning with chassis 001, while customer models started with chassis 962-101. The 962C presented here, chassis 962-139, was built in June 1988, making it one of only three works and four customer 962s built that year.

Sold new via Porsche North America, 962-139 is believed to have been the first 962C to race in the US. In addition to its sophisticated water-cooled, three-liter, four-cam, twin-turbocharged engine, this late-production 962C was built with distinctive bodywork, featuring a short tail section and separate rear wing, similar in style to the cars campaigned in Europe by the works-supported Joest Racing Team.

This special 962C was delivered new to Bruce Leven, the Seattle businessman whose Bayside Disposal Racing Team had been competing at the highest levels of North American motor sports since 1977.

Mr. Leven’s affinity for the Porsche marque was cultivated in the 1970s when he raced several models in local SCCA competitions, earning the 1977 B-Improved Production-class regional championship. He subsequently participated in Trans Am, and then began competing in the IMSA Camel GT series driving an ex-Brumos Porsche 935.

A gentleman driver in the traditional sense, Mr. Leven always sought out the most competitive cars and surrounded himself with the best professional drivers, enlisting the talents of endurance racing legends such as Peter Gregg, Hurley Haywood, David Hobbs, Al Holbert, Scott Pruett, Hans-Joachim Stuck, Klaus Ludwig, and Bob Wollek. Under his direction, the Bayside team captured three overall wins at the 12 Hours o
f Sebring (1981, 1987, and 1988) and six victories during the 1987 IMSA GT Championship season, while competing against major factory-backed efforts from Jaguar and Nissan.

Beginning in 1984, Mr. Leven successfully raced Porsche 962s, starting with the first customer chassis, 962-101, followed by chassis 962-109, chassis 962-121, and a Holbert Racing-built car, chassis 962-HR2. The Bayside team first ran 962-139 at the IMSA Columbus 300 Km in October 1988, where it was driven during practice sessions by Ludwig. Later that month, the 962C made its official competition debut at the IMSA Del Mar 2 Hours in Southern California, where Ludwig placed 2nd Overall behind Jaguar’s Castrol-sponsored XJR-9.

Mr. Leven’s success during the 1987 and 1988 seasons helped him secure major sponsorship from Texaco for 1989, and 962-139 reappeared at Daytona that February wearing its new Havoline Star livery. Driven by Ludwig, James Weaver, and Sarel van der Merwe, the Porsche finished 4th Overall in the grueling 24-hour race.

After placing 8th at the IMSA Miami 3 Hours, 962-139 was entered in the 12 Hours of Sebring, where Weaver and Dominic Dobson drove it to a fantastic 3rd Overall finish behind the winning Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo and the 2nd Place Jaguar XJR-9. Other results for the Porsche in 1989 include Jochen Mass’ 8th Overall finish at the IMSA Portland 300 Km and a DNF at the IMSA San Antonio 2 Hours.

For the 1990 season, 962-139 was refinished in a more dramatic Texaco livery, with black bodywork and the red Havoline Star emblazoned on the nose and tail sections. At the 24 Hours of Daytona, Mr. Leven’s Porsche qualified in pole position and was driven by Wollek, van der Merwe, and Dobson to a 3rd Overall result, beaten only by Jaguar’s brand-new XJR-12s. The 962C’s final outing in period took place at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March 1990, where engine troubles forced an early retirement.

Following the conclusion of its racing career, 962-139 remained a fixture in Bruce Leven’s private collection for over 25 years. In 2011 and 2015, he entered the 962C in Rennsport Reunion IV and V at Laguna Seca and raced it in The Stuttgart Cup Race for 956, 962, GT1, WSC, and RS Spyder models.

After Bruce Leven passed away in September 2017, the 962C was sold to its current owner, an American collector whose impressive stable contains many significant Porsche racing cars. Since joining the consignor’s collection, this historic 962C has been carefully maintained and seen sparing use, aside from its appearance at the 2018 Monterey Motorsports Reunion and occasional track days. Today, the car presents magnificently and still bears traces from its illustrious career, including the original IMSA tech inspection sticker from the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1990.

Boasting a superb period racing record, iconic Texaco Havoline Star livery, and just two private owners from new, 962-139 is an altogether outstanding example of Porsche’s dominant endurance racer. An eligible and competitive entry into an increasing number of important historic events, this highly developed, late-production 962C represents an exciting opportunity to acquire a best-of-category motor sport icon.

*Please note that this vehicle is sold on a Bill of Sale.

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