The Porsche 956 that won the 1983 Le Mans 24 Hours will be among the headline entries at the Gooding and Company Pebble Beach 2015 auction, scheduled for August 15-16 in Pebble Beach, California during the Monterey Classic Car Week.
The 956 was developed for the new Group C regulations by engineer Norbert Singer and developed by Porsche in-house at their motorsport facility in Weissach. The 956 and its successor, the 962, are regarded as the most successful line of racing prototypes ever produced, with 120 victories over a 13-year span.
One of ten works 956s, the racing career of 956-003 started at the 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans when driven by Jochen Mass and Vern Schuppan, it placed second overall as part of a Porsche sweep of the top three positions. After that initial result, this 956 went on to win the next four races in which it was entered and was piloted by Jacky Ickx, Jochen Mass and Derek Bell, among others.
In 1983, 956-003 was again pressed into duty as one of three cars entered by the Porsche factory team for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Vern Schuppan was paired with Al Holbert and Hurley Haywood, American drivers with lifelong connections to the Porsche marque and winners of multiple championships. After 24 hours of competition, 956-003, with Al Holbert aboard, crossed the line in first place, 63 seconds ahead of the 956 of Bell and Ickx.
When Porsche finally retired 956-003 from active duty, the car was sold to Vern Schuppan and it remained in his hands for over a decade. Since leaving Schuppan’s collection in the 1990s, this 956 has been restored to its 1983 Le Mans specification and has had four private owners. Each of its subsequent owners is a collector who has maintained and preserved this important piece of racing history. In recent years, 956-003 has been a favorite at historic events and has been honored with numerous accolades, including the Porsche Trophy at the 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance (Estimate $7,000,000 – $9,000,000).
Gooding Pebble Beach 2015
Dates: Saturday, August 15 at 5:00pm and Sunday, August 16 at 6:00pm
Location: Equestrian Center, corner of Stevenson Drive and Portola Road, Pebble Beach, CA
Public preview: Wednesday, August 12 – Sunday, August 16
Auction catalogues: $100, includes admission for two to the viewing and the auctions
General admission: $40, includes admission for one to the viewing and the auctions