Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had a bit of Porsche 956 content. Raced during the legendary Group C era of the 1980s, it’s a car that’s been described as “the greatest Le Mans car ever.” The 956/962 won the 24 hour race six times in a row from 1982–1987.
But it was more than that, the 956 dominated sportscar racing. At the hands of Stefan Bellof in 1983 the 956 lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6 minutes 11 seconds; still the fastest recorded lap at the Ring.
To help you get a better understanding of the 956 and the subsequent 962 here’s a short video from Porsche which was filmed at Salon Privé in London earlier this year.
One man synonymous with the 956 is Derek Bell. He won Le Mans five times and in 1982 was the first to do so in a 956. Today is Derek Bell’s 70th birthday, so it’s nice that we get to hear from him in the video too.
In 1983 Australian Vern Schuppan formed part of the winning 956 team at Le Mans. It was the spark for Schuppan to later try and produce a 962-based road car; the 962CR. Ultimately, high production costs and an extreme purchase price, at the time reported to be US$1.5 million, quickly saw its demise after only a handful were built. Although, we can’t think of too many people that would knock back 600hp in package weighing less than 1100kg.