The “barn find” that tops all of our other barn finds, perhaps once and for all!

Some of you may remember my other “barn find” threads – my first one on the Liqui Moly Porsche 962-106b, or the one where we rescued the Dauer Victor Computer Porsche 962-112 from a workshop in Germany, or the most recent one where we are currently bringing 962-108b back from the dead. Well, looking back, those are hard to beat, but I think this one may do it.

I am excited to announce that Dempsey Motorsports has acquired what we believe to be the very first Dauer 962 car produced by Dauer Racing GmbH in the early 1990s. What does that mean exactly? Well, it’s best to start with a definitive history of the Dauer 962 Le Mans. Note: this history and the entirety of this post is information that I gathered from various experts, historical documents, notes, and discussions with various owners.


The Dauer 962 Prototype Car

 

History

In the early 1990s, Jochen Dauer decided to create a venture that would transform the venerable Porsche 962 race car into a street-worthy road car. He wasn’t the first to do this (and might not be the last), as Vern Schuppan with the 962 CR, and Koenig with their C62, and a few others also attempted this, with varying levels of success. What makes Dauer’s car (officially called the ‘Dauer 962 Le Mans’ – sometimes abbreviated as ‘962 LM’) different was the implicit de facto support from the Porsche factory. Also different was the fact that Dauer used actual 962 race cars for his road conversions – not a newly minted chassis. Every Dauer 962 was built upon an existing race car that had actual real race experience.

Some time after Dauer began development of his road car, Norbert Singer (from Porsche Motorsports and the overall designer of the original Porsche 956/962) got wind of the project and came up with an idea for Porsche AG to capitalize on the Dauer cars for the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The rule books had instituted a new class of competition called the GT class at Le Mans, which specified that the car had to be based upon a road car, but only had to have a production quantity of one in order to qualify. Singer’s idea was to take the Dauer 962 Le Mans road car and “convert it” back into a race car that then would compete at Le Mans within the GT class.

The program was begun, and although supposedly kept ‘top secret’, word quickly got back to the governing body drafting the rules for the Le Mans race. They changed the rules a bit, trying to exclude the 962 (for one, by disqualifying the ground effects flooring that had made the 962 and other Group C cars so competitive in previous races). But some of the other GT rules stuck, like allowing the cars to run with a much larger fuel tank, which does generate a significant advantage. The bottom-line? Although the Dauer 962s were slower than other competitors, the added GT category advantages combined with the rock-solid reliability of the race-proven Porsche 962 platform allowed Dauer to take first place at Le Mans in 1994 over the highly favored Toyota 92C-V cars.


The Dauer 962 Le Mans winning car with the #3 finishing car in the background

 

The 1994 victory was a great success for both Porsche and Dauer, and it pretty much cemented the Dauer 962 Le Mans as *the* Porsche supercar to own (at least until the Porsche GT-1 came along). In 1993, the Dauer 962 Le Mans held the record for the world’s fastest production car (251.4 mph), a record that was only bested by the Bugatti Veyron (253.81 mph) more than a decade later (some record books don’t consider the Dauer 962 to be a “true” street car, having been built on the race cars, so they credit the 221 mph McLaren F1 with the title during those years).

Dauer continued to produce the 962 LM for more than a decade, although for various reasons, very few cars were actually produced. During the late 1990s, Dauer Racing GmbH purchased the remains of Romano Artioli’s reboot of the Bugatti nameplate, Bugatti Automobili, at auction and subsequently built and marketed EB 110 cars. To say this was a distraction was probably an understatement – Dauer Racing GmbH went bankrupt in 2008, and Jochen Dauer himself ended up in prison for while due to a conviction for tax evasion. The assets of Dauer Racing GmbH were all auctioned off piecemeal and parts, molds, cars, and tooling disappeared around the globe.


Jochen Dauer with two Dauer 962 Le Mans cars – both of which were sold to the Sultan of Brunei

 

The Dauer 962 Le Mans Cars

There’s a bit of mystery and mystique surrounding all of the Dauer 962 Le Mans cars. Unlike Dauer’s competitors, Koeing or Schuppan, indeed, all of the Dauer 962 LM cars were constructed / reimagined out of retired race cars with real racing history. How cool is that? Obviously, that limits the supply of available chassis and Dauer started with and used many of the chassis that Dauer Racing had itself raced in various venues.

It’s not completely clear how many Dauer 962 Le Mans cars were constructed. For that matter, since they were all built upon retired race car chassis, then one could argue that they weren’t even really built at all – they simply modified race cars (which is one of the contentions of the outfits who don’t give the 962 LM the world’s fastest production car speed record). Some cars were constructed and then subsequently dismantled when the 1994 Le Mans opportunity with Porsche arose. The best method to ascertain how many cars were built then might be to count the number of Dauer 962 LM bodies that were constructed.

The road cars’ bodies were constructed out of carbon fiber and were a somewhat complex and complicated undertaking. The car was designed to have a fit and finish that would rival what customers had expected with refined cars like the Porsche 959. With the exception of the very first “wind tunnel” body, all of the bodies were constructed by Lola Composites LTD – a company well-versed in creating race cars.


LOLA Composites LTD tag that adorns one of the molds used to make the Dauer 962 Le Mans

 

The “Wind Tunnel Car”

It’s not clear whether or not this body that is shown in a promotional Dauer video is in fact a “real” body or whether it was just made for wind tunnel testing. One can see in the video that the car is not a fully assembled car, and is missing several important items (like an engine). In addition, the rear decklid shown in the video lacks the distinctive “962 Le Mans” script that adorns the rear. This script is molded into the bodywork and can be seen on nearly every other car shown in promotional photos and videos thereafter. This “wind tunnel car” body has not surfaced anywhere else that we know of, and it may have been destroyed, or recycled in the ten years that Dauer was producing these cars. There’s also the theory that the wind tunnel bodywork is manufactured out of fiberglass or may even be a partial clay mockup – in the video it takes four people to lift and position the rear bodywork which hints at a non-production setup (a typical 962 rear tail can be fairly easily lifted by two people).


The Dauer 962 wind tunnel body

 

When I showed this to Steve Austin of Austech Design he added, “This might simply be a very heavy clay model, you can see how many people it is taking to lift the front and rear tail sections in the video. I suspect they used this clay model to make the tooling from. This I suspect rendered it useless afterwards and why there isn’t a wind tunnel body anywhere. Also, the rear spoiler support pylons are wire struts on the wind tunnel model. The Prototype at Frankfurt has the correct ‘vented’ pylons fitted. These channel air to the underbody for what I believe to be for gearbox cooling. See here:

1994 Dauer 962 Le Mans | Porsche | SuperCars.net
The Dauer 962 Prototype Car with the intake vents incorporated into the rear wing – very cool!

 

“The Prototype Car”

The first commercial body produced by Dauer was displayed at the IAA Frankfurt auto show in 1993 – there are several promotional videos of this unveiling and presentation currently uploaded on YouTube. One can see that this car was different from the wind tunnel car because the ‘962 Le Mans’ script that was incorporated into the rear tail only appeared on the Lola-produced cars. In various promotional videos, photographs, advertisements, and press kits, the car used the German plate number N CM 962 often and consistently.


The Dauer 962 Prototype Car as unveiled in 1993 at the IAA Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany

 

We believe that this first prototype car is the one that we just acquired. In the same promotional and press photos, you can see a small script that is located on the lower left corner of the body that says “hand made”. This script is currently present on the body that we have, and is identical to what was displayed in various photos of the time. In addition, the press photos show a black carbon fiber strip that runs across the taillamps in the rear of the car – this is unpainted carbon on this prototype car, and matches what we currently have. The other cars built by Dauer have a body-color matched stripe that runs across the back of the taillamps.


Photo that shows the Dauer Prototype with the distinctive sticker “hand made” on the fiberglass. Inset photo shows the Dempsey Motorsports car with the same writing. The black carbon retainer strips are identical as well.

 

The car body we have currently has Michelin stickers placed on the front and rear corners of the car. Michelin sponsored the test of the car at the Volkswagen test track in Ehra-Lessien where the Dauer 962 Le Mans set the speed record, so it is believed that this prototype car was the one that was used for the speed record. Joachen Dauer himself is quoted in an EVO Magazine article saying, “The car has been independently measured at 404.6kph. That’s 251.4mph, recorded on the Ehra-Lessien VW test track in Lower Saxony.” This was reported in the July 2003 issue of “AUTO BILD test & tuning”, but we are still chasing down photos and details of this speed record attempt to confirm these details.

It is important to note that the underlying chassis for these cars was passed around and moved in and out of various bodies – we do not know what the original race car chassis was that was mated to this body, but we believe it may have been 962-169 (which was the homologation car and test car used at the 1994 Le Mans).


Press Photo of the Dauer Prototype, N CM 962

 


Our Dauer 962 Le Mans as it sits, partially disassembled, today (February 2021)

 


Photo of our Dempsey Motorsports Dauer 962 LM with the distinctive ‘962 Le Mans’ writing on the back. This indicates the body is most likely not the ‘wind tunnel’ body and is the prototype body.

 


Press Photo of the Dauer Prototype, N CM 962

 

 

More on our prototype project car later on. In the meantime, I’ll talk a bit about the other Dauer 962 Le Mans cars.

 

“The Le Mans Race Cars”

There’s a very famous photo of Dauer’s three cars at Le Mans on pit row with the Dauer homologation car sitting in the middle in-between the two race cars, one dressed in Shell livery, and the other in FATurbo livery. In order to prepare for Le Mans, Dauer had to completely redesign the body work to adapt the road cars for racing. In addition, some last-minute rule changes were implemented as an unsuccessful attempt by the rule-making body to disqualify the cars – Porsche and Dauer simply redesigned the body to accommodate those changes.

Some books and webpages state that there were two race cars and one road car at Le Mans. This is both incorrect and correct at the same time. The reality is that the car in the center, the road car present at scrutineering, was subsequently converted back to a race-worthy car in the week prior to the race, and used as a “T-Car” or spare. Thus, there were three race cars at Le Mans, but only two raced, and the third one was both a road car and then a race car a week later.

All three of these cars were built out of three original spare chassis that Porsche made available to Dauer. For Le Mans, they were renamed. Our best records seem to indicate the following:

GT003 – built on spare Porsche chassis 962-176 – FATurbo car – winner 1994 Le Mans. This car was given to Joest from Porsche after the race, and has been displayed in the Le Mans museum. Red banner across the top. The car supposedly exists now in Florida under the care of Kevin Jeannette and Gunnar Racing.


Dauer Le Mans winner, car GT003

 

GT002 – built on spare Porsche chassis 962-173 – Shell livery, and perhaps also the unpainted car shown in photos being tested at the track (carbon fiber brown/grey #35). 3rd at Le Mans in the GT1 class, supposedly retained by Porsche. Blue banner across the top.


Dauer Le Mans 3rd Place Finisher, car GT002

 

GT001 – built on spare Porsche chassis 962-169 – Test car at Le Mans. Had the yellow bodywork installed on it for scrutineering and then was converted back from the road car body work into race trim. Was painted white, similar to the Shell car, and had a yellow banner across the top. Following the race, Porsche retained possession of the car and repainted to look like the FATurbo (Le Mans winner) car and is now currently on display in the Porsche museum.


Dauer Le Mans Test Car, car GT001

 

It is interesting to note that the three Le Mans chassis appear to be extra / spare chassis that Porsche had on hand at the time. All three of these chassis appear to have been manufactured for Porsche by Fabcar, who was an official supplier to Porsche for these chassis for many years.

The bodywork used on these GT cars is very different from the “regular” road cars. If you look closely, one can see that the rear tail has a notch in it on the GT body work, and the “regular” cars are straight like on a more traditional 962. The reason the rear tail section on the race cars is longer is due to the dual element rear spoiler having to be used to give better downforce due to the removal of the ground effect floor to the flat floor. The notch which one can see from the side profile of the tail section, and the difference between the road LM car and the race GT car, was because one had to be able to see the rear tail lights from the side of the car to pass road car approval.

In addition, the front nose on the GT cars is flatter and more angled. The differences are subtle and may be unnoticeable to the untrained eye, but once you know what to look for, it’s completely obvious to see the differences.

Interesting tidbit: If you look on eBay for models of the Dauer 962 Le Mans – they only show cars that have the “GT-style” bodywork – not the original and road-car body work. Some of these models are painted red and black – no cars were ever produced in those colors with that body work. In fact, the bodywork is unique to the Le Mans cars and is technically incorrect for the road cars. The models are still very cool, but every one is unfortunately incorrect. I suppose that the model car companies just made a mold for the race car models and then painted it in solid colors and called it a “road car”. Still cool, but technically incorrect.


These photos compare the two types of bodywork – the early-style body shown on our car, and the later-style GT bodywork that was used for Le Mans

 

“The GT road car from Le Mans”

As mentioned in the previous section, the now famous Le Mans photo of all three cars showed a yellow prototype road car with the newer-style GT bodywork in the center. This body was removed and replaced with “race ready” bodywork in preparation for it’s possible use at Le Mans.


Shown here is the GT-style Le Mans bodywork car on the street in presumably Germany.

 

This particular body was also included as part of the bankruptcy sale of Dauer Racing GmbH, and now currently exists on the East Coast of the United States where it is being resurrected back into the Dauer 962 Le Mans road car that was shown in the Le Mans pits.

 

“The Sultan of Brunei cars”

The Sultan of Brunei (also known as Hassanal Bolkiah) is legendary for his car collection. It’s a huge collection of supercars, regular production cars painted in different colors, and a lot of one-off custom productions from the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, Rolls Royce, and other high-end manufactures. Rumor has it that the Sultan saw Dauer’s prototype car #1 on display at either the Dubai or Singapore car show in the early nineties and ordered a few on the spot. In the end, a total of five Dauer 962 Le Mans cars were ordered and shipped to Brunei where they remain today. All five of these have been verified to be in the Sultan’s collection from photos that have leaked out on the Internet here and there. There is also a database of all of the Sultan’s cars that has been released and the five Dauer cars’ VIN numbers have been confirmed on that list as well. The leaked photos match what is known regarding each VIN. Here are the five:

Brunei plate: BP962 VIN: TP99620175 962-175

Dauer built two race cars for the 1991 Daytona race, both featuring unique bodywork that incorporated a large rear wing. The bodywork was produced by the Arrows F1 team, and both cars only raced once, only with this new bodywork, and were retired after this one race. Dubbed a “grudge match of racing”, the two Dauer cars were driven by two racing families the Andretti’s, and the Unsers. Andretti’s team consisted of Mario, Michael, and Jeff Andretti, and the Unser team was stocked with Al, Al jr, Bobby and Robby Unser. This car, chassis 962-175 was painted white for Daytona, and retired during the race when Robby Unser suffered an accident shortly after 1 AM.

The car was subsequently repaired and turned into a Dauer 962 Le Mans that was sold to the Sultan. The car was painted red, and had a red and black interior, and was featured in quite a few of Dauer’s press photos before being shipped off to Brunei.


Porsche 962-175 as raced at Daytona with the Unser clan at the wheel.

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-175 rear view

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-175 front view

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-175 front view with Jochen Dauer

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-175 as seen in the Sultan of Brunei’s garage

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-175 as seen in the Sultan of Brunei’s garage

 

Brunei plate: KF9911 VIN: TP99620172 962-172

The sister car to 175, the 962-172 car was built upon the other chassis that ran at Daytona (driven by the Andretti team). This car did in fact finish the race 5th at Daytona, however it was not able to finish the race due to overheating. The car was subsequently converted into a Dauer 962 Le Mans road car following the race, and painted black with a black interior.

Interesting footnote: With the bankruptcy sale of Dauer Racing GmbH, the black Dauer bodywork that ran on 962-172 at Daytona came into the hands of Group C LTD in the UK, where it was rebuilt into an entirely new race car. This car was built on a spare fully carbon chassis that was designed and built for the Schuppan race and street cars. So, if you see this one in vintage racing, it’s the genuine bodywork that was built on a carbon Schuppan tub.


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-172 front view with doors open and engine lid raised.

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-172 as seen in the Sultan of Brunei’s garage.

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-172 road testing

 


Porsche 962-172 as raced by the Andretti team at Daytona 1991.

 

Brunei plate: BQ7162 VIN: TP99620141 962-141

Chassis 962-141 was a chassis that was raced quite a bit by Dauer in the early 1990s. The story of 962-141 is a bit complicated – it was crashed and supposedly replaced by Porsche with a new chassis that they were testing a V8 engine with at the factory. This new chassis, 962-8-001 was perhaps raced for a while under the chassis number 962-141, and then was transformed into the sixth Dauer 962 LM car (see “bumblebee” below). The original crashed 962-141 is likely to have been repaired and reborn into this Brunei car. In addition, there exists today at least two or three other “Tic Tac” cars that appear to have run under vin 962-141.


Porsche 962-141 as raced by Dauer Racing in the early 1990s

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-141 as seen in the Sultan of Brunei’s collection

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-141 as seen in the Sultan of Brunei’s collection, parked next to Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-175

 

Brunei plate: BQ7523 VIN: TP99620151 962-151

Chassis 962-151 was originally sold to Team Nova whom raced it in Japan until it was damaged at Fuji in 1990. The chassis was then supposedly repaired and purchased by Dauer for use as a Dauer 962 LM. The car was painted silver and sold to the Sultan of Brunei. There are very few photos of the silver Brunei car, only two that I am aware of. In one of the smuggled “Brunei photos”, you can just make out the rear of the wing in the lower left-hand corner of the photo.


Porsche 962-151 as raced in the early 1990s

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-151 as seen in the Sultan of Brunei’s collection

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-151 as seen in the Sultan of Brunei’s collection (silver rear decklid, lower left corner)

 

Brunei plate: BQ126 VIN: TP99620133 962-133

Chassis 962-133 was ordered by Dauer to replace Porsche 962-112 and to be used along with the “unnamed” Thompson chassis that he ordered and received in 1987. Chassis 962-112 was sold to Dahmen racing, and the Thompson chassis was raced under the old 962-112, while the new Porsche 962-133 chassis was raced as 133. The whole story can be found here: [insert link to story on 962-112]. After the car was retired, it was built into a Dauer 962 LM and painted bright yellow to match the other cars in the Sultan’s collection (there are hundreds of cars all painted the same shade of yellow in the collection). Sometime after delivery in Brunei, the car was shipped back to Dauer where there were some updates done (perhaps and updated semi-automatic transmission and hydraulic suspension), and the interior was swapped out for red.


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-133 as raced in the early 1990s.

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-133 as seen in the Sultan of Brunei’s collection

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-133 as seen in the Sultan of Brunei’s collection

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-133 as seen in the Sultan of Brunei’s collection (silver rear decklid, lower left corner)

 


Registration paperwork for Dauer 962 Le Mans 962-133

 

“The Bumble Bee car”

Completed and registered in late 2001, this car is the only Dauer-sold car that was not sold to the Sultan of Brunei. Currently residing in Sweden, it has the latest and greatest options installed, such as an automatic shifting gearbox similar to the F1 box pioneered by Ferrari first on the Ferrari 355. The car was left decorated in bare carbon but has yellow stripes that run down the car horizontally.

Some websites seem to label this car as 962-133, but photographic evidence of the car shows that Dauer labeled this car as 962 -8 001, which indicates that is a chassis that came from Porsche’s test department. In the 1990s, Dauer crashed 962-141 and needed a replacement chassis. Porsche had an extra chassis that they had been testing an 8-cylinder Porsche 928 variant in, and this chassis was labeled as 962.08.001. The history on where this chassis went is murky, as there are a few 962-141 cars in existence today, but it is presumed that the 8-cylinder test chassis was built into this “bumble bee” car because the chassis VIN plate indicates it as so.


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 -8 001 VIN plate located on the back panel between the driver and passenger’s seats.

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 -8 001 “Bumble Bee”

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 -8 001 “Bumble Bee”

 


Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 -8 001 “Bumble Bee”

 

Summary: Total number of cars / bodies produced?

The following is our best summary of how many cars/bodies that were produced over the decade or so that Dauer Racing GmbH was in business:

– The wind tunnel car (1 ? )
– The prototype car (1)
– The GT race cars (3)
– The GT road car (1)
– The Sultan of Brunei cars (5)
– The “bumble bee” car (1)

It is important to point out that over the course of creating the Dauer 962 LM, they did not actually create any completely new cars – they were all reconstructed / reimagined out of existing race cars or existing spare race car chassis. Thus, the exact number of cars produced is technically zero – unless one counts the bodies that were manufactured. With that notion, there were a total of 11 produced over the years, or a total of 12 if one includes the wind tunnel body, whose existence and providence as a real body is unknown these days. This arrangement of creating new reimagined cars from older ones is a concept that is similar to the modern-day Singer – they are constructed on the chassis and frames of older Porsche 964 cars from the early nineties.

The Prototype Car Restoration Project

Having explained the history of Dauer and the Dauer 962 Le Mans, it becomes easier to explain the project that we just acquired. In a nutshell, we acquired the prototype car that was most likely the one shown at the Frankfurt IAA auto show, and displayed in nearly all of the early press photos. This is the car that was transported to Singapore and Dubai, and also presumably the one that set the world speed record for the fastest production car. We do not know what chassis was used with this body during this time period, but it may perhaps be 962-169, the one that was used as the test car at Le Mans. We believe that the car was disassembled and reassembled many times during its tenure with Dauer, as it appeared with various updates and a variety of changing interior colors. Originally decorated with yellow leather, the folks at Dauer decided that a bright green interior would look good. We’re not sure what they were thinking. We have this entire green interior sitting on the shelf.

So what are the plans for the car? We intend to put it back together with a nod towards updating it – a la “Singer style”. What does that mean exactly? We will be installing a genuine Porsche GT-1 engine (yes, that’s correct) along with a genuine Porsche GT-1 transmission with a sequential shifter (that means that you push up to shift up one gear or push down to shift down one gear). Dauer’s later-style updates with the “semi-automatic” transmission were not very well received and considered a bit wonky. Likewise, the hydraulic lift systems installed on some of the later cars were less than reliable. We intend to keep the car as close to the original “962 style” as possible, with the obvious nod to the updated and much improved drivetrain. As an added bonus, we are using the later-style GT-1 engine and drivetrain – the same one included in the 1998 GT-1 street car. This advanced drivetrain was only available from the factory and not installed on customer cars. We’re installing all of the original GT-1 rear suspension as well.

Where did this fabulous drivetrain come from? I came directly from Porsche around the year 2000 when the factory was collaborating with Champion Motorsports on their GT-1 powered Lola B2K/10 race car (which we also have). The Champion team enjoyed unapparelled support from Weissach, and even had the car transported to Germany to have Norbert Singer and Porsche Motorsports tune, refine and test it on the track. For those of you who have been at the Pelican / Dempsey motorsports showroom over the past years, you may have seen the engine – it was used as a coffee table in our car showroom! Now, it’s going to go back on the road in this Dauer 962 LM.

We’ve been working on planning out this project for about three years now. At first it didn’t seem like time, or parts, or schedules would work for us tackling it, but in the end I threw in the towel and said “what the heck, you only live once”. The time and effort in completing a project like this are immense, but we’ve assembled a team that will assist us along the way. Our usual “coachbuilder” Trevor Crisp from Katana, LTD will be leading the project from his not-too-secret workshop outside of London. For those of you not familiar with Trevor’s craft, here’s a blurb:

Katana Ltd – Having already restored to concours condition, three of Wayne’s 962s (with another due to be completed Q2 2021), Katana LTD has earned its reputation of having “restorations by appointment and application only.” Having previously restored seven of the remaining factory Rothmans 956 and 962s we are regarded as being the world authority on these remarkable cars. No shortcuts taken – all the titanium in the right spots. You can follow updates on our current projects via our Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/katana_ltd/

In addition, we will be working closely with Steve Austin of Austech Design. Steve is the architect of this entire Dauer project, and singlehandedly rescued this car and all of the parts, drawings, molds, widgets and knowledge from the ashes of the unfortunate Dauer bankruptcy. Austech Design is an expert in the manufacture and replacement of obscure parts that are no longer produced and whose drawings and blueprints have disappeared (sounds useful for this project, huh?). Austech has reproduced the infamous Porsche 962 clutch housing which is unobtanium and incredibly difficult to reproduce accurately with all of the original casting marks and finishes. Here’s Steve’s blurb:

Austech Design specialises in providing bespoke engineering solutions for the motorsport and automotive enthusiast with the ability to undertake an ‘end to end’ process – taking a concept and turning it into something real. We use industry leading design and manufacturing technologies such as 3D CAD, Computer Tomography scanning, Finite Element Analysis, CNC machining to create a real, usable part out of literally nothing.  www.austechdesign.com

As usual, we’ll be working with the folks at Pelican (the company I founded and sold a few years ago) to keep everyone updated on this exciting project. I think some media outlets might be interested in following along too – this thing is too cool. I’ve spearheaded some unusual projects in the recent past (Probe 16, MIT Solar car, just for example), but I think this one will be the cake topper for sure!

Thanks as always for listening, hope this is at least slightly entertaining.

-Wayne

P.S some pics of our car project, plate N CM 962:

Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 Prototype as seen in 1993

 

Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 Prototype as seen in 2020

 

Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 Prototype as seen in 1993

 

1998 Porsche GT-1 drivetrain as installed in our Lola B2K/10

 

Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 Prototype as seen in 2020

 

Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 Prototype in testing

 

Our spare GT-1 gearbox – sequential shifter!

 

Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 Prototype as seen in 2020

 

Our spare GT-1 engine we’ll be installing into the Dauer 962 Le Mans Prototype

 

Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 Prototype in testing

 

Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 gauge and ugly green seering wheel.

 

Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 Prototype in testing

 

Our spare GT-1 drivetrain we’ll be installing into the Dauer 962 Le Mans Prototype

 

Genuine Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 glass

 

A large pile of parts and molds that we will use to complete the project

 

An even larger pile of parts and molds that we will use to complete the project

 

Dauer 962 Le Mans 962 Prototype – what it will look like when we finish putting it back to it’s former glory!

 

Some cool links for more info:

Nice summary of the Dauer 962 LM cars and Porsche’s efforts at Le Mans:
https://www.porscheroadandrace.com/dauer-porsche-962-lm-gt-001/

Neat site on the Dauer 962 LM cars, but contains some information we believe to be incorrect:
https://supercarnostalgia.com/index-dauer

Another nice write-up on how Porsche skirted the rules to win the 1994 Le Mans:
http://www.dailysportscar.com/2020/05/11/the-art-of-reading-a-rule-book-the-dauer-962-lm.html

Older write-up on the Dauer 962 LM cars:
https://www.autozine.org/Archive/Dauer/classic/962LM.html

The Sultan of Brunei’s cars in photos smuggled out of the garage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNBxkz4Si0I

Dauer 962 LM wind tunnel testing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DHsp7lQaic

Dauer’s 1993 IAA unveil in Frankfurt:
https://youtu.be/5DHsp7lQaic?t=142

Jeremy Clarkson reviews the Dauer 962 LM, probably in Dubai:
https://youtu.be/5DHsp7lQaic?t=391

Dauer racing chassis 962-141 (Tic Tac):
https://youtu.be/5DHsp7lQaic?t=467

Non press video of the car at the IAA Frankfurt show:
https://youtu.be/aWzNF6RRSzU?t=119

Bumble Bee car on display:
https://www.facebook.com/drivstoffet/videos/10153743744549917/?__so__=serp_videos_tab

Autobionics / Austech’s recreation of the 962 clutch housing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbU-zS376PU

 

Update 2/13/2021 – I spotted car GT002 (the third place Le Mans car) in some photos from Speed Hunters (Mark Riccioni) that they took of some of the cars in Porsche’s ‘overflow’ facility for the museum:

This is is photographic evidence that this Dauer 962 Le Mans GT race car is still in Porsche’s collection.
Full link here: The (Not So) Secret Porsche Museum Storage Facility – Speedhunters

 

Update, this video here, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIDBfhbbClY) taken in the Porsche museum appears to show the T-Car (GT003) and not the actual Le Mans winner. Note – Porsche has done this before with the 1970 Le Mans winning 917 – the car painted in the red “Salzberg” livery that is in the museum collection is a real 917, but a different one that has been painted to match the Le Mans winner. With this car too, this appears to be the case as shown here. The re-liveried car is slightly different than the one that ran in Le Mans. If you look at the FATurbo script, it’s in a slightly different location, and if you look at the word “EXPRESS” – it overlaps into the red stripe on the “real” Le Mans winner – not on the placeholder car that the factory has in the museum.  The banner across the top of the windscreen is black too – not the correct white.  Since the 1994 Le Mans winner was only built for and ran one race, it’s not likely it was ever reliveried – more likely whomever did this one didn’t pay super-close attention to the details.

Here is the “real” Le Mans car on display – looks like this is at the Le Mans museum:

Here’s the video of the “non-real” Le Mans winner:

 

Part 2 – More Research

We’re very excited about this project, and have been working with a number of people to plan what we’re going to do with the car. In the meantime some new information has evolved regarding the car that we acquired. A kind fellow, Chris created some really cool 3D renderings of the car and sent them to Steve @ Autobionics (the previous custodian of the project). Here are some of those renders:

Very cool stuff. I’ll ask him if it’s okay to post his email, as he may be able to do some free lance work on rendering of your car too, if you’d like.

Anyway, while modeling the car, Chris discovered that there are some key differences between our yellow prototype car and the other cars that were produced for the Sultan and the Bumble Bee car. The front headlamps are completely different on the prototype car, making it very unique. These headlamps had a distinctive notch in them that was eliminated on the cars that were built after. We’re not sure why this change was made, but it may have been for TUV headlamp / roadworthiness requirements.

Here’s a handy image that Chris whipped up for us:

On the left side of the image, you can see our car, the yellow prototype. On the right side are the various other cars that came into production thereafter. You can see that the headlamp position is much higher on the prototype car, and also the actual shape of the headlamp surround has changed. This makes it very easy to match the period photos of the car to the prototype body that we currently have.

There are some erroneous reports on the Internet that say that the Sultan of Brunei saw the yellow prototype car at a car show (probably in Singapore or Dubai) and bought it on the spot.  We’ve always been doubtful of this story because as a car manufacturer, one would never want to sell off their prototype that they use for fitment, or for selling to other buyers.  Well, it turns out that all of the Sultan’s cars have the later-style lowered headlamp, which means that they are not the prototype car that we currently have. One can see the headlamp differences in this secret photo, taken of the Sultan’s yellow 962 Le Mans:


This is an amazing discovery that easily maps nearly all of the photos of the yellow prototype car to the prototype body that we have – there is very little doubt now. We’ve been previously been told that the first body kit was manufactured by a company other than Lola Composites. This adds to the evidence that our car is indeed the prototype car – the door hinges are also different and more in line with the early style. So far, this new data meshes 100% with what we’ve previously discovered. Seeing that there are so few of these cars out there, and most people who worked there 20 years ago can’t recall that much, this new photo evidence is awesome. Thanks Chris!