Time-warp Porsche 956 race car set for 70th anniversary sale

RM Sotheby’s is to sell this highly original 956 Group C – the only example to achieve victory on US soil – at its Porsche auction in Atlanta on October 27

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A time-warp 1983 Porsche 956 Group C – the only example to have achieved victory on American soil – is to be offered at the RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Sale in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 27.

Chassis 110 was one of just nine privateer cars built by the factory to compete in the 1983 World Endurance Championship season, and debuted at the Le Mans 24-hours that year. Although it retired, it went on to win at the Can-Am Road America, finished third at Can-Am Mosport, first at the 1000km at Brands Hatch, second at the 1000km Imola, and third overall at 1000km Mugello and Silverstone.

In 1984 it returned to Le Mans – and immediately after the race it entered a private collection. It’s had just three owners since, and is thought to be the most original 956 in existence. It’s been in the hands of its current owner for 16 years, and is expected to sell for $5,250,000-$6,750,000.

More on Porsche’s 70th...

Having started out with the famous Fitzpatrick racing team, its driver line-up has included John Fitzpatrick, Derek Warwick, Thierry Boutsen and Alain de Cadenet. It’s currently in 1983 Le Mans livery, but was raced in the liveries of J David, Skoal Bandit and Rollei. RM Sotheby’s points out that this makes the Porsche ‘an ideal candidate for preservation class concours entry or for vintage competition at the Le Mans Classic and 24 Hours of Daytona historic races’.

‘The 956 is an important addition to our Porsche 70th Anniversary Sale line-up,’ says Alexander Weaver, car specialist at RM Sotheby’s. ‘The 956 model was a highly successful sports racing car, and is considerably rarer and more user friendly than its Group 6 sister car, the iconic 917.

‘Given that the car was raced by one of just two privateer teams to ever beat the Works Rothmans team with a 956 in a 1000km championship race, and the only 956 to win in the US, it is especially fitting that the car be offered at the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta during the 70th anniversary year. This is a rare opportunity for Porsche racing enthusiasts that won’t soon repeat itself.’

The 956 was the first Porsche race car to feature monocoque construction, as well as the first to boast so-called ground effects. It was hugely successful from the start, taking a 1-2-3 finish at the 1982 Le Mans 24-hours in just its second race and going on to dominate the next few seasons.

This 956 will be offered at the RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Sale on October 27 at the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta, adjacent to the runways of the city’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. It will also be advance-displayed at RM Sotheby’s Monterey preview and auction, August 22-25 at the Monterey Conference Center in California.

Other Atlanta auction highlights

Two significant Porsche 959s: The 1985 Paris-Dakar rally car and a 1985 road car prototype, one of just three built. The Dakar car is estimated at $3,000,000- $3,400,000, and the prototype at $1,300,000-$1,600,000. Read about the two cars here.

A matching-numbers barn-find 1958 Porsche 356 A ‘Super’ Speedster recently unearthed after being put into storage in the mid-1980s: It’s estimated at $125,000-$150,000, and offered without reserve. Click here for the full story.

A 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS: One of just 33 lightweight-specification examples and the only one finished in Guards Red.

A 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0: The final example produced, and built specifically for Jerry Seinfeld.

For the full details on the Atlanta sale so far, visit this list of auction lots.

Classic Cars for Sale