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Three outright wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours (seven if you include its closely-related predecessor the 956). Two World Sports Car Championship victories. Four consecutive wins in the IMSA GTP Championship (1985-1988). European InterSeries champion from 1987-1992, and winner of the All-Japan Sports Car Championship from 1985 to 1989.

Yep, it’s time to get a bit beardy. The Porsche 962 is one of the company’s all time great racing cars, no small claim for a manufacturer who has produced the 935 and 917, along with that 956, the racer that eventually morphed into the gorgeous, downforce-happy 962 you see in the pictures above.

And now a particularly lovely 962 is coming up for auction, and if you needed any more reason to sell everything you own/rob a bank/donate precious internal organs in exchange for cash, other than the tally of wins detailed above, then here are a few.

It’s a single owner car, purchased and campaigned since new by privateer team Obermaier Racing, in whose custody it has remained for the past 25 years. It made its race debut at the Nürburgring in 1991, finishing fourth overall. Later that year it would also compete in the second Zeitweg-Hinterstoisser in Austria, a round of the European InterSerie Championship, winning ‘Heat Two’.

Then in 1993, the car would face the traditional hunting ground of the 962 (and 956 before it), the Le Mans 24 Hours, where after a kerfuffle over its ‘Les 24H du Mans’ livery, it raced and finished seventh overall.

You might think that’s a poor finish, but consider that in 1993, the 962 was a nine-year old design. And this privateer 962 finished behind three factory-backed Peugeots, and three works Toyotas. It was therefore, the highest-finishing Porsche at Le Mans that year (incidentally, another privately campaigned 962 would go on to win the 1994 Le Mans 24hr race outright, so there).

But less of the beardy race stuff. You’ll like to know that Obermaier Racing 962 features the later, 750bhp-ish 3.2-litre flat six engine (the early 962s ran 2.8-litre sixers). It’s the original engine, too, and has only been run for 11-12 hours since its last full-factory rebuild. Porsche estimates the engine life at around 60 hours between builds, so you can run it for, well, a couple of 24-hour races at least.

This 962 also features carbon fibre brakes, and a Le Mans-specific suspension set-up. And, most important of all, it looks bloody gorgeous.

Bonhams is offering up chassis number ‘962-155’ at its Spa sale on 24 May, with an estimated price tag of somewhere between £1 million and £1.3 million.

Top Gear can attest to its excellence, too, having had a ride in Derek Bell’s 962 around a wet Dunsfold. Is this the world’s greatest racing car? The fight starts below…

Top Gear drives Derek Bell’s Porsche 962

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