Barn Find Porsche 962-106b...
Update: Restoration Photos can be found here: http://dempseymotorsports.com/porsche-962-106b-restoration/
Time Lapse restoration video:
Here's a neat story I would like to share with everyone here. We've heard of and some of us have had our own "barn find" stories to tell. I remember when I was younger, I drove by an old 914-6 at a storage yard for more than two years when I worked at Hughes Space and Communications in El Segundo. One day I went in there and asked the fellows at the storage center what the deal was on the car - some guy was paying $50/month to store it. I gave them my card and told them if he ever stopped paying that I would come take the car. Two years later I got a call, and I picked the car up for $200!
Anyways, the car in question here was originally put up for auction in Monterey in August 2011 by Bonhams at the Quail. When I checked the website to look at their catalog, I thought there was a catalog error, as there was a 962 listed twice (they didn't have descriptions up yet, only the photos). I called my buddy David Swig over there to inquire about this car and to find out what the story is (I like to keep track of all of the 962s that are available and/or on the market). Turns out there were two 962s available, lot 29 which was labeled as RLR 962-106b (or 962GTi-106b), and another car which was labeled as Lot 30. For this car, the description included this not-so-clear wording:
The other car, we'll call it the "Japan Car" was presented with the following description:
The car certainly did look like it had been raced in 1991 and then immediately placed in storage. The tires were flat, the stickers from Japan were worn and falling off of the car, and it had good racing "patina", looking like it had indeed been run. It did have some Japanese racing club stickers on it, and the tires had date codes of what appeared to be around 2001, so I suspect it had been run in a few club races and then put away and forgotten about.
As you can see, at the Quail / Monterey auction by Bonhams, the two cars looked pretty much exactly alike. This, understandably, caused much confusion amongst the people looking at the car. I was up there with reknowned 962 experts Henry Pearman, Jerry Molitor, and Kurt trying to figure out what exactly was the story on these two cars. It was very confusing at the time.
Thus began a multi-month investigation by myself to figure out exactly what this car was and where it came from. At the auction, I placed a bid on this "original chassis / German Car", the lot did not meet reserve and did not sell that day. The other car, the "Japanese Car" did not meet reserve either and both cars remained in the possession of Bonhams after the auction.
It's not a terribly huge secret that after-auction deals are an important way for auction houses to sell cars that don't meet reserve during the event. So, these two cars went into storage for a few months after Quail. The "Japan Car" went to the Pacific Northwest, and the other car went to Sears Point. I kept in touch with the folks at Bonhams (David Swig and Mark Osborne) to see what the status was on the cars (even made them a low-ball offer, which wasn't close to what the current owner wanted for the pair).With a little bit more time to research the car, I took some closer looks at the photos that Bonhams sent me, and they also uncovered some additional documentation which I hadn't seen prior to the original auction. For those who are interested, I have posted this photo archive here:
In the racing world, I don't think it's terribly common to have a "spare" chassis just floating around. A chassis is typically constructed for a particular car and race teams typically don't spend money on spares expecting to wreck one on the track. If they purchase a spare chassis, and then don't use it, then it could be a lot of money flushed down the drain, as next year's competition will most likely bring out improvements to existing designs and they would be stuck with an older chassis design. So, the question on my mind was "where did this spare chassis come from?" Well, some documentation provided by the current owner of the car (Jun Harada in Japan) was found inside one of the cars upon further inspection after the auction in Monterrey had concluded. This documentation read as follows (verbatim):
So, a statement like this is very interesting, but it's really not worth too much by itself without backup documentation or photos (which were given to me prior to the auction). Here are some of the photos that I looked at in my review:
So, here is a photo of the crashed chassis in the back of a blue pickup truck. You can clearly see damage on the right side of the car. Not too much, but obviously this would need lengthy repairs prior to racing again. So, they apparently stripped the chassis and put it on a shelf for later on. This is the most interesting photo of the bunch, as it clearly shows a crashed chassis - not a "spare" chassis as was originally assumed.
Here are a few photos showing the crashed chassis being repaired on a jig. You can clearly see the sections that have been removed and repaired on the right-hand side of the car, as well as all of the rear sections. The left-hand side of the car essentially remained intact and was not replaced, as was the front right section. I examined the chassis very carefully in Scottsdale for specific marks that would validate this one as being linked to the photos - more on that later.
In this photo, you can see a 1.7 water-water engine in a crate with some clear accident damage to the right side. The intake manifold is badly bent. This indeed indicates that this engine was installed in the car at the time of the crash.
Here's a close-up shot of the damaged intakes. On the car right now, it appears that they cut off one pipe and rewelded
it, and then simply tapped out the other from the inside.
Here's a really neat photo showing the original 962-106b chassis assembled with the rollbar on a jig. This is one of my favorite photos. The chassis clearly shows the "battle scars" in the front, particularly where the windscreen mounts. You can see the new panels that were attached to the rear of the chassis during the repair process (shiny looking). The rear panels behind the seat were replaced. This is difficult, painstaking work that requires a lot of patience. Supposedly, the assembly of the car to get it to it's current state (85% complete) took four years.
This is also a neat shot. Here the engine has been installed and they are starting to hang the suspension on the car. The 962 chassis consists of only the front part of the car - the engine and transmission assembly actually are structural members of the chassis and support the weight of the car. This was done to save weight and increase stiffness.
Another shot of the chassis on the stands:
Here's another neat shot of the complete chassis with the engine installed (no bodywork):
So, with these photos in hand, it appeared to back up the documentation provided by the current owner of the two cars. Just to recap the story, 962GTi-106b was raced in Germany and won the Norisring race and a few other races. Then it was sold to the Trust team in Japan where it raced, but the chassis was damaged and replaced sometime between 1988 and 1991. At that point, the original 962GTi-106b chassis was replaced with a new chassis. The subsequent replacement car / chassis performed reasonably well in Japan too. Then, semi-recently, a restoration began on the damaged, original 962GTi-106b chassis (the actual chassis that won the races in Germany). So in summary:
- Richard Lloyd Racing build 962GTi-106b for the 1987 season and raced it successfully
- The car was sold to the Trust team in Japan
- The car was damaged sometime between 1989-1991 and a *new* chassis / car was built up from the leftovers from the accident
- A restoration of the original chassis of 962GTi-106b was began (about 85% complete)- Car was sold to Pelican Parts Inc.
It has been mentioned to me both by Klaus from Amalfi Racing, and Trevor from Group C LTD that the water-water engine and BOSCH 1.7 Motronic system was not available until the 1988 year, and then only the factory had that configuration - it was not available to private entries. So, the history on the "original chassis" must include all of the 1987 *and* 1988 results, as the car clearly had a 1.7 water-water motor installed in it when it was crashed.
It's also important to note that there is another car, 956-106b out there (Canon livery) that was crashed and also replaced in a similar manner. That car is a 956 (not a 962), and is not related to either of these two cars (yes, it can be very confusing). There is actually a pretty good Wikipedia page on Richard Lloyd Racing that documents some of the history of the company / team:
In 1987, the car was most known for its Liqui Moly livery,which is cool and very distinctive. It was even featured on a factory Porsche poster for its win at Norisring. Here are some period photos I snagged off the Internet:
The car (well, actually now these two cars) had fairly good history, with the original chassis winning the Norisring and SuperCup as well as the 500 km of Kyalami that same year. The original chassis no doubt has ownership of some of the races in the early part of the Japan contests, but one of the issues that we are continuing research on is exactly when the chassis was replaced (more on that later).Here are the results that are attributed to these two cars:
Original 962GTi-106b Chassis:
8th - 1987 FIA WSPC 3/22 Jarama RLR LIQUI MOLY (Baldi / Palmer Driving)
DNF - 1987 FIA WSPC 3/29 JEREZ R RLR LIQUI MOLY (Baldi / Palmer Driving)
DNF - 1987 FIA WSPC 4/12 Monza R RLR LIQUI MOLY (Baldi / Giacomelli Driving)
DNF - 1987 FIA WSPC 5/10 Silverstone R RLR LIQUI MOLY (Baldi / Palmer Driving)
DNF - 1987 FIA WSPC 6/13/14 Le Mans R RLR LIQUI MOLY (Palmer / Weaver / Cobb Driving)
1st - 1987 FIA WSPC 6/28 Norisring - RLR LIQUI MOLY (Baldi / Palmer Driving)
1st - 1987 Supercup Norisring - RLR LIQUI MOLY (Baldi Driving)
2nd - 1987 FIA WSPC 7/26 Brands Hatch - RLR LIQUI MOLY (Baldi / Palmer Driving)
5th - 1987 FIA WSPC 8/30 Nurburgring - RLR LIQUI MOLY
DNF - 1987 FIA WSPC 9/13 Spa - RLR LIQUI MOLY (Baldi / Palmer Driving)
3rd - 1987 FIA WSPC 9/27 Fuji - RLR MATSUDA COLLECTION (Baldi / Thackwell)
1st - 1987 FIA WSPC 11/28 Kyalami 1st RLR Rothmans (Jochen Mass Driving)
Original chassis sold to Japan TRUST team (some results can be attributed to the original chassis, some to the replacement chassis, exact research is still ongoing):
1988 JSPC 3/6 Fuji R TRUST NISSEKI
1988 JSPC 4/10 Suzuka 2nd TRUST NISSEKI
1988 JSPC 5/1 Fuji R TRUST NISSEKI
1988 JSPC 7/24 Fuji R TRUST NISSEKI
1988 JSPC 8/28 Suzuka 15th TRUST NISSEKI
1988 JSPC 10/9 Fuji 10th TRUST NISSEKI
1989 JSPC 3/12 Fuji R TRUST NISSEKI
1989 FIA WSPC 4/9 Suzuka 13th RLR TRUST NISSEKI
1989 JSPC 4/30 Fuji 2nd TRUST NISSEKI
1989 JSPC 7/23 Fuji 2nd TRUST NISSEKI
1989 JSPC 10/8 Fuji 2nd TRUST NISSEKI
1989 JSPC 12/3 Suzuka 5th TRUST NISSEKI
1990 JSPC 3/11 Fuji 3rd TRUST NISSEKI
1990 FIA WSPC 4/8 Suzuka 7th BRUN TRUST NISSEKI
1991 FIA WSPC 4/14 Suzuka 8th COURAGE TRUST TAKASU CLINIC
1991 JSPC 5/5 Fuji 4th TRUST NISSEKI
1991 JSPC 7/21 Fuji 5th TRUST NISSEKI
1991 JSPC 8/25 Suzuka 5th TRUST NISSEKI
1991 JSPC 9/15 Sugo 4th TRUST NISSEKI
1991 JSPC 10/6 Fuji 5th TRUST NISSEKI
1991 FIA WSPC 10/27 Autopolis 8th COURAGE TRUST NISSEKI
1991 JSPC 11/3 Sugo 7th TRUST NISSEKI
So, as mentioned previously, Bonhams had both cars for sale at the Quail auction, and they also brought them back to the auction block at Scottsdale at the request of the present owner. It was at this time that I decided to take a closer in-person exhaustive inspection of both cars, to see if I could verify some of the things I saw in the photos, and get some type of confirmation of the following:
- The engine in the "original chassis car" was stated to be new / rebuilt from new parts acquired from Porsche Motorsports.
- The chassis was indeed the original chassis of 962GTi-106b that was damaged and then repaired.
Discussing the condition of the engine first - I wanted to inspect the motor firsthand to see if I could tell if the parts inside were new (or newish) as stated. The auction company was provided with a description as such, but there was no backup documentation that we could obtain to assist in the verification. When you're talking about engines that Porsche Motorsports charges $150K to rebuild, you want to try your hardest to make sure that the real thing is in the car. Besides, it was obvious that the transmission in the "original chassis car" was empty and didn't contain any internals because the gearshift input into the transmission wasn't connected to anything. I wanted to make sure that the engine case wasn't empty as well.I did have these very convincing photos that were provided to me by the owner:
But of course, these could be photos of any motor. So, I went out to Scottsdale with my borescope to have a look inside the engine. For those of you who haven't used one of these before, they are fiber optic inspection scopes similar to the ones they use during a colonoscopy. Fortunately, my scope has only been used to look inside engines and in crevices in my attic. Here's a photo for reference:
Basically, you take the spark plugs out of the car, stick the scope in, and take a look at the pistons, the valves, and the cylinder walls. I unfortunately was not able to take any photos of what the engine actually looks like inside, as I would need two people to do that, and I was by myself. The bottomline is that the engine looked like it was assembled from all new parts. It did look like it had been run at least for a very short time (dyno time?) as the spark plugs did have some very light soot / discoloration on them. But they were basically brand new, and they also where nice and neatly labeled one through six, which is a good sign. For those of you who have read my Engine Rebuilding book, you know that I advocate excruciatingly fine detail in making sure everything is clean and assembled properly. Finding spark plugs labeled is a good sign of an anal-retentive engine builder!
I also verified that the engine shown in the photos is the same one that was installed in the car. There were a variety of obvious clues - the labels on the wire harness were the same and written in Japanese, and the same components that were on the engine in the photos were on the engine in the car (nothing added and nothing removed). The engine in front of me matched the one in this photo exactly:
You could also tell that the intakes had been repaired, just like they were in the photo. With my inspection of everything in place, I was now confident that the engine was as represented. I still had to take a gamble that the assembler of the engine actually did a good job on the assembly, but that of course is a risk you have to take.
Part 2 of my inspection was of course to determine to the best of my knowledge if the chassis was indeed a "test" chassis, or the original German chassis from 1987. While there is no sticker or VIN on the chassis that actually says "this is the original German chassis from 1987", one can take steps to try to verify the authenticity of the current owner's remarks. The first question was as to whether the chassis in front of me was indeed used as a spare chassis (never run), or if it was indeed the repaired chassis in the photos. There were a large number of signs that the chassis had been run and raced previously, and was not a "new off the shelf" item. Little things, like the accelerator cable mounts - these were not installed on the "original chassis", but there were still significant signs of wear there.
In this photo, you can see where the accelerator linkage mount used to be connected to the chassis. The outline and wear from the square mount is visible (indicated by the yellow arrow):
On the "Japan Car", you can see the same area where the cable is mounted, and the same clip that is used to attach it to the chassis:
I found several instances like this. In particular, I took the photo of the crashed chassis in the back of the pickup truck and compared markings / scratches on it to the chassis that was in front of me. For reference again, here's the crashed tub photo. The yellow arrow points to distinctive wear marks on the tub corresponding to the four holes in the side. The green arrow points to a distinctive "palm tree like" wear mark on the side.
I thought I had a much better photo of the opposite side on the "original car", but this one is the only one I have right now for some reason. It does show the various holes and wear marks that are present in the chassis on the pickup truck, leading me to conclude that they are one and the same. I haven't been able to find any instances where there are marks / details on the damaged chassis that aren't on the "original chassis" that I inspected. The green arrow points to the same "palm tree like" marking on the car. It's a bad photo, but from a different angle it's clear that it's the same mark (caused by some rubbing from the "fake passenger seat" at one time apparently).Here's another shot of the pedal cluster area (the car is missing the pedals). It clearly shows where they were mounted at one time and the associated wear marks.
Here are some more random photos of the "original chassis":
This shows some of the new sheet metal installed on the car on the right side:
This photo shows the engine installed in the car, with the complete rear suspension, transmission transfer case, transmission housing, etc:
Here's another shot of the rear. Note the not-so-wide sway bar that sits on top of the transmission.
Here's the front and rear bodywork that came with the car. This is a set of a spare nose and rear that ran on the "Japan
Here's a shot of the left side of the rear showing where the rear suspension mounts to the transmission case.
Same photo, but includes the rear tire (new tires):
Another shot of the top of the engine / rear area:
Rear wheel / upright with brake cooling duct (no hose attached):
Front nose area. The very front nose part appears to be mostly newish:
Dash / Interior:
So, I spent about 6 hours or so going over just about every inch of the car. When I was done, I was convinced that the engine was as described, and that the chassis was indeed the same one that had been damaged and was shown in the photos. There was really no question about that. So, the photo evidence matched up perfectly with the information provided by the owner, which also matched the history and details shown on the chassis.
Therefore, I concluded that this was almost definitely the original 962GTi-106b car that competed in the World Sports Car Championship in 1987. The other car, while still significant and a neat car, is different than the one that raced in Germany, and appears to only have raced in Japan. While some people tend to say that the VIN plate is all that counts (the VIN plate was transferred to the "Japan Car" when the original chassis was crashed), I tend to be in the opposite camp - the chassis that actually ran the race represents the true car's history. In my opinion, this crashed chassis represents the 1987 Norisring Winner that won the race and is featured on the Porsche factory poster.
The day after my inspection, both cars went up for auction at the Bonhams Scottsdale auction. Both failed to meet the reserve set by the owner (again - same thing happened at Quail). I stuck around to try to make a post-auction deal with the owner (on the phone with one of the auction rainmakers), but he was stuck "thinking about it". I left the auction and came home somewhat disappointed, as I had made an offer that was near to his reserve and I thought that a deal might be likely. At home, I emailed the auction company one last best and final offer and gave the owner to close of business the following Monday to consider it. To make a long story short, he caved, and this week Pelican acquired the "original chassis" 962GTi-106b. I feel that we got a really good deal on it too, as the information I dug up about the original chassis being the actual 1987 WSCS car was not widely known. The Liqui Moly car was well known at the time, and is documented in many, many 962 history books.
We were lucky in that post-auction, the cars had been shipped to Gardena, which is about five miles away from the new Pelican HQ. So, we went out there with my trailer (specially designed for 962s) to go pick it up. Unfortunately, this car was / is set so low to the ground (lower than the other ones), that getting it into and out of the trailer proved to be a big issue. We had to jack up the ramps to the trailer, and then use a forklift to raise / lower the whole ramp of the trailer.
What should have taken about 20 minutes ended up taking about an hour and a half to load and then another hour and a half to unload. Some pics:
Here's a neat photo of it in its new home:
|29.3.1987||1000 km Jerez||15||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Palmer / Baldi||Britten - Lloyd Racing||DNF|
|12.4.1987||1000 km Monza||15||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Baldi / Giacomelli||Britten - Lloyd Racing||DNF|
|10.5.1987||1000 km Silverstone||15||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Palmer / Baldi||Liqui Moly Equipe||DNF|
|17.5.1987||Le Mans Test||15||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Equipe Liqui Moly||DNA|
|14.6.1987||24 h Le Mans||15||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Palmer / Weaver / Cobb||Equipe Liqui Moly||DNF|
|28.6.1987||Supercup Norisring||15||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Mauro Baldi||Liqui Moly Equipe||1st|
|28.6.1987||200 mile Norisring||15||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Baldi / Palmer||Liqui Moly Equipe||1st|
|26.7.1987||1000 km Brands Hatch||15||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Baldi / Dumfries||Liqui Moly Equipe/BLR||2nd|
|30.8.1987||1000 km Nürburgring||15||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Baldi / Palmer||Britten - Lloyd Racing||5th|
|13.9.1987||1000 km Spa||15||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Palmer / Baldi||Britten - Lloyd Racing||DNF|
|27.9.1987||1000 km Fuji||15||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Baldi / Thackwell||Britten-Lloyd Racing||3rd|
|28.11.1987||500 km Kyalami||15||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Jochen Mass||Richard Lloyd Racing||1st|
|3.3.1988||500 km Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Schuppan / Fouché||Trust Racing Team||DNF|
|10.4.1988||500 km Suzuka||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Schuppan / Fouché||Trust Racing Team||2nd|
|1.5.1988||1000 km Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Schuppan / Fouché||Trust Racing Team||DNF|
|24.7.1988||500 mile Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Schuppan / Fouché||Trust Racing Team||DNF|
|28.8.1988||1000 km Suzuka||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Schuppan / Fouché||Trust Racing Team||15th|
|9.10.1988||1000 km Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Schuppan / van der Merwe||Trust Racing Team||10th|
|12.3.1989||500 km Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Trust Racing Team||DNF|
|9.4.1989||480 km Suzuka||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Richard Lloyd Racing (Trust Racing Team)||13th|
|30.4.1989||1000 km Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Trust Racing Team||2nd|
|23.7.1989||500 mile Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Trust Racing Team||2nd|
|8.10.1989||1000 km Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Trust Racing Team||2nd|
|3.12.1989||1000 km Suzuka||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Trust Racing Team||5th|
|11.3.1990||500 km Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Trust Racing Team||3rd|
|3.4.1990||1000 km Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar / Kasuya||Trust Racing Team||NC|
|8.4.1990||480 km Suzuka||17||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Brun Motorsport (Trust Racing Team)||7th|
|22.7.1990||500 mile Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Trust Racing Team||2nd|
|26.8.1990||1000 km Suzuka||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Trust Racing Team||5th|
|16.9.1990||500 km Sugo||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Trust Racing Team||3rd|
|7.10.1990||1000 km Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Trust Racing Team||DNF|
|10.3.1991||500 km Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Nisseki Racing Team||7th|
|14.4.1991||430 km Suzuka||13||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Barilla / Elgh||Courage Competition (Nisseki Racing Team)||8th|
|5.5.1991||1000 km Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Nisseki Racing Team||4th|
|21.7.1991||500 mile Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Nisseki Racing Team (Trust)||5th|
|25.8.1991||1000 km Suzuka||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Nisseki Racing Team||5th|
|15.9.1991||500 km Sugo||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Nisseki Racing Team||4th|
|6.10.1991||1000 km Fuji||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Nisseki Racing Team||5th|
|27.10.1991||430 km Autopolis||12||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Courage Compétition (Nisseki Racing Team)||8th|
|3.11.1991||800 km Sugo||100||Porsche 962 C GTi #106B (RLR)||Fouché / Andskar||Nisseki Racing Team||7th|
Results courtesy of RacingSportsCars.com