1987 & 1988 12 Hours of Sebring Overall Winner and the winningest 962 of the 1987 season
1986 Porsche Typ 962 IMSA GTP
Chassis no. 962-121
Engine no. 361
To say that Porsche's 962 series was the most successful endurance racer of all time might not be an understatement. Introduced in 1984 as a replacement for the already successful Type 956 prototype, the 962 provided a slightly longer wheelbase which allowed the driver's feet to remain behind the front axle centerline. This was critical, because it gave the 962 entrée to IMSA's GTP category, and thus opened the door to one of Porsche's most dominant performances. The 962 made its first American appearance at the Daytona 24 Hours in February 1985, sweeping the top four finishing positions. With 962s claiming wins at 15 of the next 16 races, Porsche ran away with the manufacturer's championship that year. Despite new engine restrictions and more competition the following year, 962s still racked up a dozen wins in 17 races to repeat as champions. 962s won 13 of 16 races in 1987, but by 1988, IMSA's efforts to end Porsche's dominance by restricting its horsepower left the 962 with only 3 victories in 14 races. The score was just 2 for 15 in 1989 and 1 for 14 in 1990. The 1991 season opener at Daytona seemed to offer hope, as a 962 led the way home...but there were no more wins for the 962 that year...or the next. 1993 the last full season for GTP - saw a 962 claim but a single win. The 962 in all its forms had been a true champion, but like the immortal 917, it had proven too fast for the competition.
962-121 was one of the most successful 962s to compete in IMSA racing. Built as a customer car in 1986 to IMSA's GTP specifications, 121 was sold to Bruce Leven's Mercer Island, Washington-based Bayside Disposal Racing in June of that year. First run by the Bayside team at Watkins Glen in July 1986, 962-121 ran a total of 22 GTP races in its impressive career, winning an astonishing six of 11 entered in 1987, a record that no other 962 ever equaled.
Among the many highlights of 121's career, back to back wins at the Sebring 12 Hours in 1987 and 1988 are undoubtedly its crowning achievements. Running with Budweiser sponsorship in 1987, Jochen Mass and Bobby Rahal led the way home for a 962 podium sweep. Under Havoline livery in 1988, Klaus Ludwig and Hans Stuck drove to a crushing defeat, a full nine laps ahead of the 2nd place finisher, with 962s exerting their dominance having taken the first five positions.
After 121's IMSA career ended, it was sold to Kevin Jeannette (Gunnar Racing), the car's former chief mechanic, and Jeff Hayes, of West Palm Beach, Florida. They in turn sold the car to Tim Vargo of Cordova, Tennessee, who vintage raced it in the mid-1990s. The car then passed to Phil Bagley at Klub Sport Racing and thence to its current owner, Dr. Jerry Molitor of Chester, New Jersey, in March of 1999. Dr. Molitor entrusted 121 to Kurt Hoffman at Hoffman Vintage Racing for a full restoration prior to running the car in a number of vintage events. After an engine failure, the car went back Hoffman for freshening, while the damaged engine was shipped to Porsche Motorsports North America in Santa Ana, California, for a complete drivetrain overhaul.
After a two-year restoration to its 1988 Sebring appearance, Dr. Molitor displayed -121 at major Concours around the country, including Greenwich and Amelia Island, where it was awarded the "Spirit of Sebring" trophy. It has been invited to appear at Amelia Island again this year to help celebrate Sebring's 60th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of its first Sebring victory. Dr. Molitor and his son have raced 962-121 at many club events and vintage races including the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion to show that this Porsche prototype is still much more than just a pretty face. It represents the high point of the 962's IMSA program and would make an important addition to any collection of racing champions.
Offered on a Bill of Sale.