Whenever an automaker produces an iconic race car specifically for the track, builders and customers will be interested in creating a road-legal version. When Porsche built the 962 in the mid 1980s, a handful of folks did just that, including Australian race car driver Vern Schuppan. Just six Schuppan 962CR road cars were built, and one of them just rolled into Jay Leno's Garage.
Porsche dominated mid-to-late 1980s sports car racing. The charge to numerous checkered flags and podium finishes was forged on the back of the Porsche 962 Group C race car. The car continued winning races into the mid 1990s. This road car is a 1993 model.
Schuppan began development work on his vision of a 962CR with plans to build a 50-car run. He lost his investor money and produced only six. Five of those are left as one was destroyed by a fire. The sleek black car shown here had just one mile on its odometer before owner Matthew Ivanhoe let Jay take it for a drive.
In the video, Ivanhoe tells Leno everything about the Schuppan 962CR. It's an incredibly unique machine that's part Porsche but also partly the vision of Vern Schuppan and Australian designer Michael Simcoe, who just happens to be the current Vice President of Global Design for General Motors. Per Ivanhoe, this project moved forward with the backing and blessing of Porsche. The car cost $1.9 million new.
Under the carbon-fiber skin sits a carbon-fiber tub and a 3.2-liter flat-6 engine with water-cooled cylinder heads and air-cooled cylinders. It's a bit of Porsche past and present in that respect. Ivanhoe says the mill is good for 550 horsepower on low boost. Turn up the PSI and it will crank out as much as 850 horsepower, but that would only be used during a qualifying situation. This one, however, has catalytic converters and mufflers to make it street legal. The engine is also exceedingly fresh, considering it only has one mile on it. Well...had.
After the history lesson, Jay gets to take the car for a drive. It's great to see and hear the car running. It's an amazing experience even for a car lover of Leno's stature. He clearly enjoys the drive, though he could use some ventilation as the Schuppan 962CR has none.
Check out the video to hear the sound of the Porsche and for a lot more history on a great piece of Porsche's past.