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Revved Up Over Porsche From the Golden Era of High-Speed Motorsports

This 956 Group C racer is the only example to achieve victory on U.S. soil.

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In Hollywood, the Golden Age lasted from the late 1920s to the early 1960s.

In comic books, it spanned from the late 1930s to about 1950.

And in television, it lasted from the late 1940s to the early 1960s – although many would argue it is being revived as we speak.

In high-speed motorsports the Golden Age was relatively shorter, which, given the speed level of the medium, actually makes sense in an odd sort of way.

Introduced by the FIA in 1982, Group C was a category of sports car racing that survived for a dozen years until the checkered flag flew on the group following the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C race car you see here, chassis No. 110, did not participate in that particular race, but it did run at Le Mans in 1983, the year that Porsche took 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 10th places.

The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C car which is being offered at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (Matthew Howell 2018, RM Sotheby’s)
The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C car which is being offered at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (Matthew Howell 2018, RM Sotheby’s)
The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C car which is being offered at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (Matthew Howell 2018, RM Sotheby’s)

Unfortunately for No. 110, despite its marque’s ridiculous dominance in ’83, it was the only one of the 956 Group C racers that didn’t find glory at Le Mans and failed to finish the race thanks to a fuel pump failure.

The car returned to Le Mans again in 1984, but again failed to finish the race, retiring Sunday morning after climbing as high as 11th overall in the field.

In between its pair of Le Mans appearances, No. 110 achieved its most famous milestone by winning the 1983 Can-Am Road America over a Chevrolet-powered Frisbee by 12 seconds.

The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C car which is being offered at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (Matthew Howell 2018, RM Sotheby’s)
The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C car which is being offered at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (Matthew Howell 2018, RM Sotheby’s)
The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C car which is being offered at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (Matthew Howell 2018, RM Sotheby’s)

From there, chassis No. 110 went on to notch a third-place finish overall at Can-Am Mosport, take first at the 1000 KM at Brands Hatch, nab second at the 1000 KM Imola, and snatch third overall at the 1000 KM Mugello and Silverstone.

With the win at Can-Am Road America in ’83, No. 110 became, and still is, the only Porsche 956 to have won on American soil.

The car retired from racing following its second Le Mans appearance and entered into a private collection. Since then, it has had only two owners including its current one, the Historic Porsche Collection.

The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C car which is being offered at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (Matthew Howell 2018, RM Sotheby’s)
The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C car which is being offered at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (Matthew Howell 2018, RM Sotheby’s)
The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C car which is being offered at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (Matthew Howell 2018, RM Sotheby’s)

Now presented in its 1983 Le Mans livery, the car is said to be the “best and most original time warp example of a 956 in the world.”

Thanks to its excellent the condition, the model is well-suited for Concours or museum display and could also be returned to the track at historic races like the Le Mans Classic or Daytona 24.

It might not be capable of topping out at speeds in excess of 250 miles per hour like it did in its golden era, but the Porsche 956 still has plenty of giddyup thanks to an engine rebuild that included the installation of an OEM 3.2-liter crankshaft.

The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C car which is being offered at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (Matthew Howell 2018, RM Sotheby’s)
The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C car which is being offered at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (Matthew Howell 2018, RM Sotheby’s)
The 1983 Porsche 956 Group C car which is being offered at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction in Atlanta on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (Matthew Howell 2018, RM Sotheby’s)

In the hands of its current owner for 16 years, the car will be offered at the upcoming Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction on October 27 and is expected to fetch anywhere from $5,250,000 to $6,750,000.

For more more information about the car or to register to bid for the auction, head over to the RM Sotheby’s website.