The only Porsche 956 to have won on American soil is on offer at the RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Sale in Atlanta in October 2018.
A time-warp 1983 Porsche 956 Group C racing car, campaigned by the John Fitzpatrick Racing team, is the most-expensive car yet announced for the RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta, USA, in October 2018. This 956 participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in both 1983 and 1984 but is most famous for being the only Porsche 956 Group C car to have won a race in the USA. It is also one of only two customer Porsche 956 cars to have won a race ahead of the works cars. This Porsche is preserved in it post-1984 Le Mans race condition, but presented in the 1983 race livery, and considered a very highly original example. The estimate is $5,250,000 – $6,750,000.
RM Sotheby’s Porsche Center in Atlanta Sale 2018
RM Sotheby’s is arranging a Porsche single-marque sale at the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta, USA, on 27 October 2018. The sale will feature 70 Porsches to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the German sports car brand.
1983 Porsche 956 Group C, Chassis no. 956-110
The latest top car announced for the RM Sotheby’s Porsche Atlanta sale is a 1983 Porsche 956 Group C, chassis no. 956-110, estimate $5,250,000 to $6,750,000. It is one of only 9 customer 956 cars built and was campaigned with success by the John Fitzpatrick Racing team.
This 956 famously was the only Porsche 956 Group C car to have won a race in the USA – the 1983 Can-AM Road America – and to have won ahead of an official Porsche Rothmans Works 956 – victory at the 1983 1000 KM at Brands Hatch.
Porsche 956 Group C Racing Car
Few race cars of the Porsche pantheon are as universally acclaimed as the 956. The car is a brilliantly engineered aesthetic wonder, born of another round of FISA changes that ultimately resulted in the emergence of several marque innovations.
The 956 was the first Porsche race car to feature monocoque construction, as well as the first to feature so-called ground effects; the aerodynamic channeling body features that maximize cornering force. Hugely successful from the start, the model took a 1-2-3 finish at the 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans in just its second race and would go on to dominate the next few seasons.
Racing Record of the 1983 Porsche 956-110
This 1983 Porsche 956 Group C, chassis no. 956-110, is a true time-warp example. One of just nine privateer cars built by the factory to compete in the 1983 World Endurance Championship season, no. 110 was originally bound for the legendary Fitzpatrick racing team and debuted as their lead car at the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans with John Fitzpatrick, Dieter Quester, and David Hobbs at the wheel. Though the car retired due to fuel-pump failure, success was not far off.
Just three races into its career, this 956 landed its first overall win at the Can-Am Road America in July 1983 at the hands of John Fitzpatrick, who secured a commanding 12-second lead over the second place Frisbee GR2 Chevrolet. Podium finishes were abundant from there, with chassis no. 110 achieving 3rd overall at Can-Am Mosport, 1st overall at the 1000 KM at Brands Hatch, 2nd overall at the 1000 KM Imola, 3rd overall at 1000 KM Mugello and Silverstone, and contending the 24 Hours of Le Mans one last time in 1984.
Hugely successful on the track and the only 956 to compete and win on American soil in period, the Porsche joined a private collection immediately following the 1984 24 Hours of Le Mans and has had just three private owners since this time. Offered from its current owner of 16 years, the 956 is presented in its 1983 Le Mans livery and is likely the most original example of the model in existence. With an excellent driver lineup that includes John Fitzpatrick, Derek Warwick, Thierry Boutsen, and Alain de Cadenet, as well as the well-known liveries of J David, Skoal Bandit, and Rollei, the Porsche is 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 auction lineup,” says Alexander Weaver, Car Specialist, 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 1,000 KM championship race, and the only 956 to win in the U.S., 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.”
More Porsches Announced for Atlanta 2018
Additional recently early highlights for the auction include:
- A very complete and matching-numbers barn-find 1958 Porsche 356 A ‘Super’ Speedster, recently unearthed after being put into storage in the mid-1980s (RM Sotheby’s Estimate: $125,000 – $150,000, offered without reserve);
- A 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, one of just 33 lightweight specification examples and the only one finished in Guards Red (Estimate available upon request);
- A 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0, the final example produced and built specifically for Jerry Seinfeld featuring numerous bespoke options (RM Sotheby’s Estimate: $850,000 – $1,000,000).
Porsche 956 Prices at Public Auction
Porsches 956 cars are rare and very seldom come to public auction. The 1983-Le Mans winner – a 1982 Porsche 956 in Rothmans livery – sold for a marque record $10,120,000 at the Gooding Pebble Beach 2015 sale. This works team car was the first Porsche to have achieved over $10 million at auction and held the marque record until the 1970 Porsche 917 with no race record but a Steve McQueen connection increased the record to $14,080,000 at Gooding Pebble Beach 2017.
A 1982 Porsche 956 Group C Sports-Prototype sold for a more modest $3,175,373 at the RM Auctions Paris 2014 sale.
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