Named ‘Prototype Giants’, it marks the second Luftgekühlt event in 2021 for the Los Angeles venue. It follows on from the ‘Pfaffenhausen Speed Shop –The RUF Gallery’ showcase, which opened in May.
Now open to the public, the Prototype Giants exhibit consists of iconic examples of the Porsche 956 and 962 sports car racers.
Pushing the motorsport boundaries
Launched for use in the 1982 FIA World Sportscar Championship, the Porsche 956 was built to comply with Group C regulations. It broke new ground with the use of an aluminum monocoque chassis, matched with ground effect aerodynamics.
The 956 would dominate the 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans, leading every lap and taking first, second, and third place.
Driven by the late Stefan Bellof, a 956 would also set a lap record around the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit. Bellof’s time would stand for 35 years.
Porsche released the 962 in 1985. Along with the Group C specification 962C, Porsche also designed the car for use in the IMSA GTP series.
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The 962 would become one of the most dominant racing cars ever made.
With a twin-turbocharged flat-six engine, the 962C would win the World Sports Car Championship in 1985 and 1986. At the same time, the 962 claimed the IMSA GT championship from 1985 to 1988.
Le Mans 24 Hours wins followed in 1986 and 1987, with a modified version also winning in 1994.
Celebrating a legend
The seven Porsches on display at the Petersen include the Copenhagen 962. This was campaigned by A.J. Foyt, the Miller High Life 962 to win the 1989 Rolex Daytona 24.
A three-time race-winning, factory Rothmans 962C driven by Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass, is also a star attraction.
Petersen Executive Director Terry L. Karges, commented: “We are delighted to share our second Luftgekühlt exhibit, which features some of the most iconic 956s and 962s ever produced”
He added: “This gallery will explore the rich history of these race cars and shed some more light on why they were so dominant on track.”
The exhibition will be open at the Petersen until November 19, 2021.