When they're not building 800-horsepower Porsche 959s, Northern California-based Canepa sells cars that make even the finest Stuttgart collectors go nuts. And right now, it is offering something even more special: a Coca Cola-liveried Porsche 962, which is one of the most recognizable Porsche race cars of its era.
This iteration of the Porsche 962 was created to adhere to the IMSA's new Grand Touring Prototype class standards (similar to the Group C Le Mans class). Essentially an update to the Porsche 956, the 962 sported a longer wheelbase to move the pedal box further back from the front wheels, a steel roll cage mated to its aluminum chassis, and a single turbocharger to replace the now-banned twin-turbocharger setups.
This 1984 car, chassis 962-102, is one of 16 factory-built, privateer-delivered examples created for IMSA's new rules. In all, it's one of just 91 Porsche 962s ever built. It's powered by a turbocharged 2.8-liter flat-six and features a five-speed manual transmission.
Chassis 962-102 was campaigned in the 962's debut year in the IMSA GTP class by Bob Akin Racing, the soft drink-sponsored private team headed by IMSA Camel GT champion Bob Akin. With Akin, Hans Stuck, and Jim Mullen at the wheel, 962-102 participated in a number of endurance races, placing fourth overall at the 1985 24 Hours of Daytona and winning the 12 Hours of Sebring. Unfortunately, 102 went into early retirement after a crash at Charlotte Motor Speedway soon after.
“My father loved the 962,” said Bobby Akin in an interview with IMSA about the car. “He enjoyed the 935, but it was the 962 that he really loved to drive. It gave him the most fun he ever had in a race car. And the car with the all-red Coca-Cola livery was the one he loved best.”
After its big crash, 102 spent some time in Roger Penske's private collection before it was sold in 2005, beginning a four-year restoration process. The mighty Coca Cola 962 came out of retirement after its rehabilitation, making its first public appearance at the 2009 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. It's been participating in historic racing showcases ever since, most recently at Rennsport Reunion VI last year.
Now it's looking for a new caretaker to continue the tradition.