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Dauer Porsche 962 LM GT #001

Lined up in the pit lane before the 1994 Le Mans 24-Hours, is (from L-R): #36 962 Dauer LM GT, the street-legal 962 Dauer, and the #35 962 Dauer LM GT
Lined up in the pit lane before the 1994 Le Mans 24-Hours, is from the left: #36 962 Dauer Le Mans GT driven by Mauri Baldi, Yannick Dalmas and Hurley Haywood; centre is the street-legal 962 Dauer with rather appropriate Boeblingen region (Weissach) registration plate ‘P 962’; on the right is the #35 962 Dauer Le Mans GT driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck, Thierry Boutsen and Danny Sullivan

As the Dauer Porsche 962 LM GT celebrates its 25th anniversary (1994-2019), PORSCHE ROAD & RACE looks back at how this car came to exist at all.
It wasn’t built in the spirit of the regulations ACO race director Alain Bertaut argued, as they tried everything in their power to get the car outlawed. But the Dauer Porsche 962 LM GT was built to the letter of the law. Porsche engineer, Norbert Singer, had spotted a loophole in the regulations that allowed just a single road-registered car to be built in order to qualify for the GT1 class at Le Mans in 1994, and the Dauer Porsche would work perfectly.
Here is an extract from our interview with Hurley Haywood:

 
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But why use the 962 chassis which, by 1994, was more than a decade old? The idea to create a roadgoing 962 was born in Jochen Dauer’s mind as early as 1991. Dauer picks up the story, “Everything was finished and we wanted to show the car in Geneva in ‘93. But then the guy at Zakspeed burnt all the moulds so we had to start again from scratch. But we finished the car at the last minute, just in time for the Frankfurt Motor Show where we had a big presentation, and from this day on, everything went in the right direction.”

#36 Dauer Porsche LM GT photographed at the Porsche Museum
The #36 Dauer Porsche LM GT photographed at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart in May 2019

1993 Frankfurt Motor Show

In order for a car to be deemed road legal, it had to be shown at an international car show, and so the display at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1993 was crucial. The price tag of DM 1.725-million, which was in excess of US$1-million, was beyond the reach of most folk back then, but Norbert Singer saw it differently. Porsche had last competed at Le Mans in 1988 with an official factory team, and the only race car they had available with which to compete in the French race was the 911 Carrera RSR 3.8. This was of course a strong GT contender but the factory would not be able to contest an overall win with that model.

The roadgoing version of the 962 Dauer Le Mans GT on the stand at the IAA in Frankfurt, Germany in September 1993
The roadgoing version of the 962 Dauer Le Mans GT on the stand at the IAA in Frankfurt, Germany in September 1993

The Frankfurt Motor Show is one of the world’s biggest motor shows, and most of the motor manufacturers take the opportunity to introduce their latest models there. It is not uncommon to find elaborate and impressive displays there, with numerous celebrities on hand to bring some additional glamour to the occasion. The Dauer stand was no exception, and being a racing driver himself, Jochen Dauer was able to call on some well-known names to attend his unveiling. “There was my friend Henri Pescarolo and also John Winter who drove for Joest Racing. In Frankfurt, all the manufacturers want to have a big opening presentation and everybody was very busy. The guy who was making our presentation was wondering if in fact we would have a car to present because he was there one day before and there was no car! But the car came at 08h00 in the morning and our presentation was something like 10h00. It was on the limit, but in the end the presentation was wonderful,” Dauer added laughing.

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