The Group C era produced some of the greatest racing spectacles in history, and some of the greatest cars. Possibly the greatest among them was the Porsche 956, an example of which is headed to auction at RM Sotheby's sale on August 14 at 2021 Monterey Car Week in California.
Powered by a 2.65-liter turbocharged flat-6, the 956 dominated the racing scene in the 1980s, when Group C was the top tier for FIA sports-car racing. The later 962 version did the same in the IMSA GTP class, sporting more forward crash structure to comply with that series' rules.
This car, which previously came up for sale in 2018, is chassis number 110. It's one of nine privateer cars built by Porsche for the 1983 racing season. Campaigned by John Fitzpatrick Racing, it was driven to victory at the 1983 Brands Hatch 1000 Kilometers and Can-Am Road America. Other highlights include a second-place finish at Imola, and third-place finishes at Mosport, Mugello, and Silverstone.
1983 Porsche 956 Group C race car - Image via Matthew Howell/RM Sotheby's
John Fitzpatrick Racing was also one of just two privateer teams to beat the factory-backed, Rothmans-sponsored 956 squad, which was the dominant team of the period, according to the listing. The seller also claims chassis no. 110 is the only 956 to compete and win on American soil when new. Porsche didn't go all-out on this side of the Atlantic until the 962 arrived.
Chassis no. 110 was also entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1983 and 1984, but failed to finish both times. Today, it wears the livery and bodywork from the 1983 Le Mans race, and is expected to sell for between $4.5 million and $6 million.
Monterey Car Week runs until Aug. 15. For full coverage, head over to our dedicated hub.