Seven Porsche 956/962s go on show in Los Angeles

The seven-car display, called “Prototype Giants”, is the second of two air-cooled exhibits, replacing “Pfaffenhausen Speed ​​Shop ― The RUF Gallery” which celebrated the work of famous Porsche tuners RUF.

The Porsche 956, built to comply with the 1982 FIA World Sportscar Championship new Group C regulations, featured an aluminum monocoque chassis and ground effect aerodynamic elements. It was a near-immediate success, finishing 1-2-3 in that year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, while the following year a 956 driven by Stefan Bellof set the overall lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which stood for 35 years until finally beaten by Timo Bernhard in a Porsche 919 Hybrid in 2018.

To meet IMSA GTP safety standards of the time, the 956 evolved into the 962 [962C in WSC’s Group C format] complete with longer wheelbase – to move the driver’s pedal box behind the front axle – and over time the 2.65-liter flat-six engine evolved into 2.8-, 3.0- and 3.2-liter forms.

Photo by: Petersen Automotive Museum

The 962 became one of the most dominant race cars ever, winning the WSC in 1985 and 1986, the IMSA GT championship from 1985 through ’88, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1986 and 87 and ’94 (a heavily modified customer car) , and several other racing series across 10 years.

“We are delighted to share our second air-cooled exhibit, which features some of the most iconic 956s and 962s ever produced,” said Petersen executive director Terry L. Karges. “This gallery will explore the rich history of these racecars and shed some more light on why they were so dominant on track.”

Cars on display include a white Porsche 956, the Coca-Cola livered 962 driven by Bob Akin and Hans Stuck, the Copenhagen 962 campaigned by AJ Foyt, the Miller High Life/BF Goodrich 962 that won the 1989 Rolex Daytona 24 in the hands of Bob Wollek, John Andretti and Derek Bell, a three-time race-winning, factory Rothmans 962C driven by Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass, a Leyton House 962C built by Kremer and the 0123/Art 962C driven by Hurley Haywood.

The display runs until November 19 and tickets are available here.

For more information about other exhibits and programs at the Petersen Automotive Museum, located on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, visit

Photo by: Petersen Automotive Museum

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