|Porsche 962-112 started life as a replacement for Porsche 956-102. Sold new to John Fitzpatrick Racing in 1983, the car was raced until 1985 where it suffered an accident at Silverstone. The parts were transferred to 962-112 and the chassis was later sold to Brun and then rebuilt.
962-112 was campaigned by John Fitzpatrick racing from 1985 through 1988 with the following results (race records courtesy of www.racingsportscars.com):
Results courtesy of RacingSportsCars.com
In 1985 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the car was damaged in practice. The chassis/tub was then sent to Thompson composites for repair. As such, the chassis has a very unique configuration right now – the front is a honeycomb structure, and the rear remains from the original Porsche chassis. With this configuration, it’s very identifiable as the original 962-112 car.
Following its career with John Fitzpatrick Racing, the car was sold to Dauer Racing. There the car raced under the Victor Computer livery (I’ve personally never heard of Victor Computer until I started looking at this car). Under Dauer’s direction the car had a few good results, turning a first place finish in the 2nd heat at Osterreichring InterSeries in 1987, and a handful of 2nd and third place finishes.
In mid-1988, the car was sold to Dahmen Racing and campaigned into the early 1990s. As with Dahmen’s other cars, 962-112 was renumbered as 962.009/88 and campaigned extensively over the next four years:
Results courtesy of RacingSportsCars.com
|The history of Porsche 962-112
The history of Porsche 962-112 began with its predecessor, Porsche 956-102. Sold to John Fitzpatrick / J. David by the Porsche factory, 956-102 first raced at Zolder on March 20th, 1983 (2nd place). The car was raced throughout the 1983 season, the 1984 season and the first part of the 1985 season, where it was crashed on May 12th at Silverstone. A large portion of the parts from the remains of 956-102 were recycled and built into Porsche 962-112. The leftover chassis from Porsche 956-102 was sold to Siggi Brun in 1988 and subsequently rebuilt. [source: John Starkey Golden Era Part II, Page 451]
More info on Porsche 956-102: Chassis 956-102 – Racing Sports Cars
Porsche 956-102 – Photo taken hours before it crashed:
Letter from Porsche discussing 956-102 and its subsequent sale to Brun, along with the purchase of 962-112 by Fitzpatrick Racing:
|Porsche 962-112 is a Porsche factory-built chassis that was supplied by Porsche in 1985 to Fitzpatrick Racing as a replacement for the crashed 956. As stated previously, Porsche 962-112 was constructed and built using a mix of parts from 956-102. The new Porsche 962 chassis was considered superior at the time, having been designed and constructed primarily to comply with the more stringent requirements of the American IMSA circuit. These changes primarily consisted of extending the 956’s wheelbase in order to move the front wheels ahead of the pedal box, and the integration of a steel roll cage into the aluminum chassis.
Porsche 962-112 debuted at Le Mans in 1985, but was crashed during the pre-race practice sessions and heavily damaged. Fitzpatrick Racing disassembled the car and sent the damaged chassis to John Thompson’s company, TC Prototypes in Northampton, UK for repairs. The subsequent repairs to the chassis consisted of the addition of a honeycomb front and top panel, plus a honeycomb spine section placed between the two seats. At the time, the Porsche chassis were constructed of bonded aluminum sheet metal, and TC Prototypes was one of the non-factory chassis builders that were trying to improve upon the original Porsche design by integrating stronger aluminum honeycomb material into each chassis. Porsche 962-112 was (and still is), a Porsche factory delivered chassis that has been repaired with these honeycomb panels. As such, it is somewhat unique within the Porsche 962 world, and is easily identified because no other Porsche factory chassis has been repaired in this manner.
More info on chassis 962-112:http://www.racingsportscars.com/chassis/archive/962-112.html
Here is a photo of how the car would have looked at practice at Le Mans in 1985 before it crashed. As you can see from the photo following this one, it wasn’t taken the same day (the graphics on the car are slightly different):
Ouch! Here’s a period photo of chassis 962-112 being hauled away on two tow trucks after its crash in practice at Le Mans:
Another one at the crash site:
Here’s a photo of Karl Jennings in 1985 with the repaired 962-112 chassis. Karl was the crew chief at Fitzpatrick, then Dauer, and then Joest. You can see some of the unique modifications to the chassis in the front bulkhead here:
The following three photos of chassis 962-112 here were sent to us the other day by Karl Jennings. Taken in 1987, these photos show the front bulkhead with its unique rivet pattern, the result of the patchwork from John Thompson. If you cross reference the rivet holes, the manner in which the front top wishbone mounting is fabricated and joined to the chassis (even down to the welded aluminium washers) are unique to this car. Comparing these photos to the ones below (taken a few days ago in by Trevor Crisp in his shop), one can clearly see they are indeed the exact same chassis.
These are images of factory Porsche chassis 962-112 taken the other day by Trevor Crisp in his shop. One can clearly see that the chassis and rivet pattern are unique to this car (due to the one-off repairs done in 1985) and are identical to the period photos from 1985 and 1987 shown above.
|For the 1986 season, Fitzpatrick Racing campaigned the car first at Le Mans, and then at Jerez. It would appear that the car was leased / rented out to Franz Konrad for two Supercup Nürburgring races, but the team failed to arrive at the races.
At the end of the 1986 season, Jochen Dauer bought the entire Fitzpatrick team, which included equipment, cars, spares, transport truck, etc. Dauer subsequently raced Porsche 962-112 throughout the 1987 season. The car ran almost exclusively in the “Victor Computer” livery for the entirety of the 1987 season. Our records seem to indicate that the car’s last race under Dauer was Kyalami in November 1987 (a race that was won by 962-106b running in Rothmans livery, which we just finished restoring last year).
More info on the history under 962-112: Chassis 962-112 – Complete Archive – Racing Sports Cars
Midway through the 1987 season, Dauer determined that the Porsche 962-112 chassis had reached its useful life for them, and they subsequently sold the chassis to Heinz-Jurgen Dahmen. Upon arrival, Dahman renumbered the car to be 009-88D, which corresponded to Dahmen’s 9th racing car, acquired in the year 1988. Dahmen Racing ran the car in 1988 and 1989, starting with the race at Norisring in 1988.
More info on the history as the car raced with number 962-009-88D: Chassis 962-009/88D – Complete Archive – Racing Sports Cars
This panel from the back of the car shows the SuperCup and WSPC inspection stickers installed on the car prior to restoration, as it ran under Dahmen:
Wagonpass from the Dahmen era showing the race history of car as it was campaigned under the number 962-009-88D
In 2003, the car was purchased by Jim and Penny Graham from Dahmen Racing. In 2013, Wayne R. Dempsey (owner of Pelican Parts) purchased Porsche 962-112, since renumbered to 962-009/88D by Dahmen, and initiated a multiple-year restoration with Trevor Crisp and Katana LTD.
To this day, Porsche chassis 962-112 maintains its factory chassis with the three honeycomb modifications / repairs that John Thompson’s TC Prototypes installed in 1985. Since the repairs and modifications are unique to this particular chassis, its provenance as Porsche 962-112 is easily verifiable – perhaps more than most other Porsche 962 chassis.
For more information on the restoration process see this thread: Another Barn-Find – Porsche 962-112
|Unfortunately, having said all that, there is a car currently incorrectly advertised on the Internet for sale right now. While this car is indeed a real Porsche 962, it is not 962-112 (the car that we currently have and offered proof above). The confusion is understandable as explained here with the extensive research carried out by Trevor Crisp at Katana Ltd who was the first to figure out that there were not one but two chassis 133 cars campaigned by Dauer in 1988. Trevor Crisp (Katana LTD) is the designated restoration facility for all of Pelican’s Group C race cars.
At the early part of 1987 Dauer purchased two new chassis from John Thompson’s TC Prototypes. One of these new Thompson chassis was built into a new car which started racing in April 1988 with the chassis number 962-133. At this point Dauer also had two new Porsche-built factory cars on order from Porsche with the first one due for delivery in June 1988. This car was numbered by Porsche as 962-133. It was not uncommon in the day for race teams to swap and exchange chassis numbers from time to time, as this made it easier to move the cars around Europe with a single Wagonpass. The historical records indicate that a car or cars numbered 962-133 were raced from November 1987 through the end of 1989 although this is incorrect / not possible as Dauer did not build the first 962-133 car until the early part of 1988.
In interviews with John Thompson, Trevor Crisp has confirmed that Thompson built two (non-factory) chassis for Dauer. As mentioned previously, the first one was numbered 962-133 by Dauer. The second chassis was sold to Fritz Gebhardt to build 962-001GS (known as the MOMO car). However, these two chassis were a lighter-weight version of Thompson’s 962 chassis and mostly consisted of sheet metal mixed with a few pieces of honeycomb panels. The other, more common TC Prototypes chassis built by Thompson were nearly complete honeycomb and were run by Brun and Kremer in 1987 and later. These two light-weight Thompson chassis are unique in this respect and are relatively easy to identify. The lighter sheet metal was used in the construction of the chassis instead of full honeycomb on these chassis to keep the weight down. The full honeycomb tubs were a lot heavier and in those days the weight limit was 850kg (which later went up to 900kg – which was about the min that you could achieve with a full honeycomb tub). It would appear that Dauer preferred the limited modifications that were done to chassis 962-112 and asked Thompson to replicate the same for the two new chassis in order to keep the total weight down. Again, this meant only that the front, top and center spine were manufactured out of honeycomb (versus straight aluminum sheet metal).
For those who are not too sure what “aluminum honeycomb” is exactly, here’s an old Ford factory racing photo:
Here’s a photo of the center support section of Porsche chassis 962-112. You can see the center section is thicker and also has been patched in the center with a “riveted on” panel:
The historical records indicate that chassis 962-133 was raced from November 1987 through the end of 1989. However, there is a disconnect in the official record, as the Porsche factory chassis 962-133 was not supplied to Dauer until June 1988 – a date that corresponded with the factory’s release of the more modern Bosch MP 1.7 engine management system to factory customers. Since the official record shows chassis 962-133 being raced prior to its actual delivery, there exists little doubt that there were two separate cars running under the 962-133 chassis number at one time. The period photos up to and through June 1988 show a chassis that is an earlier Bosch MP 1.2 car. Photos after June 1988 show a chassis that is the later Bosch MP 1.7 car. There are fundamental differences between the two engine configurations that make them easy to spot and differentiate.
Here is an example, the Bosch MP 1.2 cars have longer side exhaust panels with the louvres that cut into the roof section and the side pods go all the way back to meet the exhaust panel. This is shown in this photo here. This is a photo of one of the two”962-133″ chassis running in May of 1988. This shows the car to be the MP 1.2 chassis:
This next photo shows the MP 1.7 chassis – the one that was purchased directly from Porsche, and later converted into a Dauer street car. The photo was taken in August 1988. The MP 1.7 chassis has shorter exhaust exit panels with the exhausts exiting further out the back. The side pods are much shorter, ending at the lower edge where the door meets the downward rear slope of the door. In addition, the roof section is fitted all the way down to the underbody:
It is also noteworthy to point out that both cars running the number 962-133 ran with the later-style Premier fuel fillers, as opposed to the early-style, factory Sinus versions. It is very uncommon for these fuel fillers to be swapped out or changed from their original configuration. Porsche factory chassis 962-112 in our possession still maintains its original Sinus fuel fillers. Note: in this photo of factory Porsche chassis 962-112 you can also see the Thompson patchwork that was done on the center panel separating the two “seats”:
In addition, Porsche factory chassis 962-112 has early push-button door latches. Both 962-133 cars have the later-style, more-sophisticated 928 door latch assembly that requires substantial modifications to fit (including modifying the roll cage). You can clearly see these later-style door latches in the two photos comparing MP1.2 and MP 1.7 side pods above. There are none of these modifications on chassis 962-112, and it maintains the original push-button door latches:
Adding to the confusion is the fact that Dauer apparently temporarily renumbered the first 962-133 car as 112 for a couple of races in 1988. While the official records indicate that in some of these races Dauer ran 112, the fact of the matter is that the car had already been sold to Dahmen and renumbered. One example of this is the 1988 Norisring race – the 112 car indicated in the photos from the race is clearly one of the newer 962-133 cars. In addition, Dauer also ran the newer 1.7MP car at the same time. A third car, the original Porsche factory chassis 962-112 (renumbered to 962-008-88D) was also run at the same race by Dahmen.
|The car that is currently for sale would appear to be one of the first of the two 962-133 chassis. Here are some photos from when it was restored / reassembled at Courage near Le Mans in France:
In this photo here, you can see how the front bulkhead is different on this Thompson chassis than the factory Thompson-repaired chassis of 962-112:
This photo shows the inside cockpit and the center section of the chassis. It’s also noteworthy to observe the different door latch arrangement and the bracket welded to the roll cage above the gear lever for the door location pin. Other small details visible here include the seat belt mounting brackets. They are not factory standard as they have “doubler” plates added around the holes and the brace behind the drivers seat that is there to stop the fuel tank from expanding due to this chassis having a single skin (this is also not the same construction as the factory chassis). The dashboard is made from carbon fiber whereas 962-112 has a chopped strand fiberglass part that Karl Jennings confirmed he made in his workshop.
This photo here shows the rear of the chassis. Note that on this car, there is only access hole on the lower left for fuel lines, etc. This makes this chassis (along with its sister chassis, the MOMO car) quite unique in that nearly every other chassis has two large access holes of the same size (on chassis 962-112 there are two).
On this car, the front bulkhead is quite different than the Thompson-repaired one of Porsche 962-112:
Finally, here’s a shot showing the door mechanism and the fuel filler (Premier-style):
Another photo of the front of the 133 chassis. It’s completely different than 962-112:
|This chassis would appear to be the first 962-133 chassis that Dauer ordered from Thompson, and the sister car to the MOMO car discussed previously. The other 962-133 Bosch MP 1.7 car was converted into the first Dauer street car and currently resides in the collection of the Sultan of Brunei.
We’ve been communicating with the company that has this chassis for sale, and they have been forthright and have removed the sale posting with the inaccurate information. As with just about anyone who owns a Porsche, they are more than welcome to advertise the car in our “for sale forums” – where a few “plastic Porsches” (Porsche race cars) have been sold in the past.
November 2018 Update:
We have investigated further the three separate chassis that have run under 962-112 and 962-133 over the years.
For the purposes of explanation, we will distinguish the three Porsche 962 chassis discussed here in with the following nomenclature:
- Porsche-built 1.2 chassis (this is the chassis that was provided new to Fitzpatrick racing in 1985)
- Thompson-built 1.2 chassis (this chassis was purchased from Thompson with delivery in 1988)
- Porsche-built 1.7 chassis (this chassis was purchased from the Porsche factory and delivered mid-1988)
The early history of the Porsche-built 1.2 chassis is fairly well known and undisputed. Fitzpatrick racing ordered the brand-new Porsche-built 1.2 chassis directly from the factory, numbered as 962-112, and promptly crashed it in testing at Le Mans in 1985. The car was repaired at TC Prototypes by John Thompson where some additions and modifications were made, making this chassis unique among all 962s and easily identifiable. These modifications are detailed in the photos above.
The Porsche-built 1.2 chassis was sold to Dauer at the end of the 1986 season. Dauer campaigned the car throughout the entire 1987 season. At Kyalami in 1987, Karl Jennings confirmed they only had one car which was the Porsche-built 1.2 chassis which was 962-112 even though they entered it in the race as 962-133. The exact reasons for this are unknown, but at a guess Dauer had a large sponsorship fund from Victor Computer for a new car which they had not yet built. Otherwise it would make no sense to enter it as anything but 962-112? Again, the Thompson-built 1.2 chassis and the Porsche-built 1.7 chassis were not delivered to Dauer until after the conclusion of the 1987 season, so the car raced at Kyalami must have been the Porsche-built 1.2 chassis.
During the 1987 season, it was determined that the chassis was not stiff enough and/or worn out. Klaus Fischer, working on the Dauer team at the time dubbed the chassis “zwitter” (which translates into hermaphrodite!), and had the following non-complimentary things to say about the Porsche-built 1.2 chassis, assembled excerpts from emails written in June 2013:
We ( Dauer) threw out the “zwitter” (half Porsche half Thompson) and built up a brand new car, that became the new 112 which was later sold to Belgium including its chassis number and Wagenpass. Dahmen got the old “zwitter” chassis and built up his own car and registered it with his own number now Dahmen 008 or something like that.
133 was an addition to 112. There was one (1) # 133 and one (1) # 112, then a new 112 was built and the worn out chassis was sold to Dahmen without chassis number.
These emails were from correspondence between myself (Wayne R. Dempsey) and Klaus prior to Pelican Parts purchasing the car from Jim Graham. The car was subsequently repaired at the chassis level to correct some of the issues that Klaus mentions above, and this is the chassis currently located at Katana, LTD in the UK.
As mentioned by Klaus above, Dauer ordered a new chassis from Thompson, but specified some changes to Thompson’s typical design, which would lighten the chassis a bit. Dauer ordered two chassis in this specification, one of these would be the Thompson-built 1.2 chassis. The other identically-constructed chassis was sold and used for the MOMO Porsche 962-001GS. It is noteworthy to mention that this MOMO Porsche 962 is also currently owned by Jean Verchere and it was previously pointed out to him that the construction of this chassis is identical to the Thompson-built 1.2 chassis that is discussed here.
In 1988, Dauer sold the Porsche-built 1.2 chassis (the “zwitter”) to Heinz-Jürgen Dahmen (Dahmen Racing). As part of the deal, Dahmen renumbered the Porsche-built 1.2 chassis to be labeled as 962-009/88D, which we believe roughly translates into Dahmen’s 9th car, purchased in 1988, with the ‘D’ standing for Dahmen. After selling the Porsche-built 1.2 chassis to Dahmen, Dauer continued the season racing the Thompson-built 1.2 chassis.
There are two races at the beginning of the 1988 season where it is unclear whether the Porsche-built 1.2 chassis was raced or the new Thompson-built 1.2 chassis was raced. These are:
- Interserie Budapest on April 3rd
- Nurburgring Supercup on May 1st.
We are still hunting for period photos of the Dauer Victor computer car that ran in these two races, as that will easily determine if it were the Porsche-built 1.2 chassis or the Thompson-built 1.2 chassis that was raced.
The second race of the 1988 season was the Interserie Hockenheim, on April 24th. The fourth race of the 1988 season was the Supercup Hockenheim, on May 29th. The car campaigned in these two races was definitely the Thompson-built 1.2 chassis running under the label 962-133. See the two photos below from these two races that show the Thompson-built 1.2 chassis with the Premier-style fuel fillers, the later-style door handle pulls (which require major changes to the chassis if one wishes to change the style), and running the 1.2 Motronic-style exhaust.
Sometime in mid-1988, Dauer received the Porsche-built 1.7 chassis from the factory, numbered from the factory as 962-133. This Porsche-built 1.7 chassis ran the new 1.7 BOSCH Motronic engine management system and is easily distinguished from the cars that ran the 1.2 BOSCH Motronic system by the way the exhaust is configured to exit the side panel of the car (see the thread above).
After receiving the new Porsche-built 1.7 chassis, this new factory chassis would subsequently use the 133 Porsche factory assigned chassis number in the races it was entered in by Dauer. The Thompson-built 1.2 chassis was then raced by Dauer with the 112 chassis plate in both the Norisring Supercup on June 26th and finally Ostereichring Supercup Oct 16th, where Dauer also raced the newly-delivered Porsche-built 1.7 chassis (confirmed by photographs from the race). For the remainder of the races where they raced only one car, Dauer appears to have run the Porsche-built 1.7 chassis with the more powerful engine. Therefore it can surmised that the Thompson-built 1.2 chassis competed in period during a total of five races, twice using the chassis number 112 and three times using the 133 chassis number.
An interesting race to note is the Supercup Norisring 1988 event, held on June 26th, where all three of the cars were in attendance:
- Porsche-built 1.2 chassis – ran labeled as 962-009/88D with the Dahmen Racing Team (this was the first race for this chassis with the Dahmen team)
- Thompson-built 1.2 chassis – ran labeled as 962-112 with the Dauer Racing Team
- Porsche-built 1.7 chassis – ran labeled as 962-133 with the Dauer Racing Team
These race entries can be seen here: http://www.racingsportscars.com/entry/Norisring-1988-06-26.html . In addition, historical photos from the event confirm Dahmen’s car (Porsche-built 1.2 chassis) in attendance along with two Dauer cars (Thompson-built 1.2 chassis and Porsche-built 1.7 chassis). The race results indicate that the Dahmen car (Porsche-built 1.2 chassis) retired and did not finish the race, and that one of the Dauer cars finished in 5th place, but it’s not known at the moment if that was the Thompson-built 1.2 chassis or the Porsche-built 1.7 chassis.
The paperwork that I have seen provided by Jean Verchere indicates that the Thompson-built 1.2 chassis was purchased in January 1989 from Dauer Racing for the sum of 200,000 DM. At that time in history, the Porsche-built 1.2 chassis had already been sold to Dahmen racing and was being raced under the chassis number 962-009/88D.
Currently these three cars are located as follows:
- Porsche-built 1.2 chassis – This is the car that is the original Porsche factory-supplied 962-112 chassis, raced by John Fitzpatrick, sold to Dauer and raced in 1987, sold to Dahmen and raced in 1988-89. Currently owned by Dempsey Motorsports (formerly Pelican Parts Inc.) and resides at Katana, LTD in the UK.
- Thompson-built 1.2 chassis – This car was manufactured by T C Prototypes (John Thompson), sold to Dauer, participated in five races in 1988, sold to Jean Verchere, and restored by Courage in a John Fitzpatrick livery (even though the historical evidence indicates that it never raced in that particular livery). This car is currently owned by Jean-Pierre Clouzeau.
- Porsche-built 1.7 chassis – This factory chassis was purchased by Dauer, raced in the 1988 and 1989 seasons, and then was converted by Dauer into a Dauer road car in the 1990s. Is currently listed as one of the cars in the Sultan of Brunei’s collection (listed on their inventory as DAU DAUER BQ126 99620133).
July 2019 Update
In late 2018, we received a note from a new owner of the “Thompson-built 1.2 chassis” who wanted to bring by Jürgen Barth to take a look at 962-112 and verify the details of our investigation. On December 6th, Mr. Barth visited Katana LTD in the UK with the new owner and was able to confirm and agree with the details on the three cars that we have presented here. At the time, the new owner stated that he was glad that the history was sorted out, and that he planned to put the car back into its proper livery (the Victor Computer livery).
As of July 2019, the “Thompson-built 1.2 chassis” has been re-liveried into it’s correct 1988 configuration.
These are the photos of the restoration and current condition of Porsche 962-112 (the Porsche-supplied 1.2 chassis), currently located at Katana, LTD in the UK: