The Porsche Museum’s Sound Night event saw this very special race car, making its first public debut a few weeks ago. It was also a momentous occasion for famed German race car driver, Hans-Joachim Stuck, also known as Strietzel. He was personally involved in the car’s development and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, twice at the helm of a 962.
The restored 962 C was finally seen in its original Shell livery, which was a sponsor at the time. It donned the colors black, yellow, and red. It wore the #17 from the SuperCup’s second round, during the 200 Miles of the Norisring in 1987.
The 962 Story
Hans-Joachim Stuck had to wait nearly 35 years to see his fully restored Porsche 962 C at the Weissach development center. Stuck, now 70, won the renowned ADAC Würth Supercup with the Porsche 962 C over three decades ago, in 1987.
With a smile, Hans-Joachim Stuck touches the car’s left-wing and adds, “It’s like coming home.”
Having earlier tested Porsche’s then-new, dual-clutch transmission, the PDK (Doppelkupplungsgetriebe), in the first race series of the Group C class prototypes, the PDK went on to become one of Porsche’s most significant contributions to technology and racing.
“I’m a big fan of the Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission and proud that I was allowed to test it in the 962 back then. Being able to keep my hands on the steering wheel when changing gears at full throttle felt great right from the start,” – Stuck
This was a novel semi-automatic gearbox concept that replaced the usual shift lever with two buttons on the steering wheel, one for upshifting and the other for downshifting. Today, this gearbox technology is popular, especially on race cars, but when you realize that the Porsche 962 clinched the 1986 championship with PDK, you can appreciate how forward-thinking the Germans were at the time. The car was later used as an aerodynamics test vehicle in Weissach before eventually becoming part of the automaker’s collection.
“We kept passing this car in the warehouse. Then, about a year and a half ago, we decided to get it out of there, transfer it to Weissach and start working on it,” says Burger.
The classic Porsche 962 C was completely rebuilt by Armin Burger and Traugott Brecht. Everything had to be rebuilt from the ground up, including the underbody, redesigned flat bottom, radiator layout, and numerous other body modifications.
While the staff from back then were delighted to help, some components, such as the cylinder heads, had to be remanufactured. Especially because the 962 C’s technology is being altered as part of its restoration – the crew is reconstructing the underbody.
Burger then goes on to take former livery designer Rob Powell and veteran race engineer Norbert Singer onboard. Powell brought in layers of tape, stencils, and sketches from 35 years ago. Powell places the 962 C back into its red and yellow shell.
“This is very important, for example, so that the painters can plan the cut-out correctly. By the way, I still think the color combination of yellow and red looks modern,” says Powell
Apart from the restoration of the 962 C, a second surprise awaited Hans-Joachim Stuck a few meters away from the Weissach track. He found his 1987 racing outfit and was ecstatic to see that it was still in good condition.
The classic race car has been not only dusted off but has been brought back to its former glory, thanks to Armin Burger and Traugott Brecht from the “Historic Motorsport” department.
Over the coming year, the fully restored Porsche 962 C will make many more appearances. Plans for driving and presentation events are underway for the upcoming ‘40 years of Group C’ anniversary. With this 962 C’s restoration, Porsche aficionados might be giddy at the prospect of what else might still be lying around underutilized at the plant grounds in Weissach.
Watch the 962 C’s restoration in the video below
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