1993 Schuppan 962 CRA
ustralian motor racing driver Vernon 'Vern' Schuppan was born in 1943 and drove in various racing series throughout his career, including the Indianapolis 500, Formula 1, and sports car racing. Perhaps the highlight of his career was in the factory-backed Rothmans Porsche 956 where he co-drove with Hurley Haywood and Al Holbert to victory at the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Porsche 956 was a Group C sports-prototype racing car designed by Norbert Singer and built by Porsche in the early 1980s to contest the FIA World Sportscar Championship and the North American IMSA GTP Championship. Regulations differed between these two series and the 956 was later banned in the US series based on safety concerns as the driver's feet were ahead of the front axle center line. To resolve these issues and make it eligible for IMSA competition, Porsche extended the 956's wheelbase which allowed the front wheels to be positioned ahead of the pedal box. Thus, the birth of the 962. Power was supplied by a Porsche 934-derived Type 935 2.8-liter flat-6 with air cooling and a single turbocharger, as twin-turbo systems were not allowed in IMSA's GTP class at the time. During the Porsche 962 first three seasons, it captured 14 championship races, including the 1986 and 1987 Le Mans 24-hour endurance events.
From 1984 through 1991, Porsche built ninety-one examples of the 962 with seventy-five of them built as customer cars. Several of the cars were modified by various racing teams for improved streamlining and chassis performance.
The inspiration for the Schuppan 962CR
was the LeMans-winning Porsche 962 which Schuppan owned and raced. Design elements from the Porsche 962 were incorporated into the Schuppan 962CR. The carbon monocoque chassis was built by Reynard Motorsport and the body was by Schuppan. The assembly and final construction took place at Modena Cars in Buckinghamshire, England. The mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive car weighed just over 1,000 kg and was powered by a water-cooled 3.3-liter Type 935 flat-6 engine fitted with twin KKK turbochargers. The engine was nearly identical to the standard Porsche 962 engine used in the North American IMSA GT Championship but with a slight decrease in displacement size. A five-speed manual gearbox was mated to the engine.
The front and rear lights from the Porsche 911 were incorporated into the vehicle's design. The passenger interior featured leather bucket seats and a Williams safety harness. Unlike the Schuppan 962's minimalistic racing siblings, it was given air conditioning, parking sensors, power windows, rear mirrors, and an internal navigation system.
Production was planned for 50 examples of the 962CR and funding was provided by a Japanese investor who supported Schuppan's race team that competed in the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of the car's construction, a worldwide economic recession, the high cost of the vehicle, and a failed payment for two cars from Japan, Schuppan was forced to declare bankruptcy and close his car company.
The Schuppan 962CR was certainly one of the most exciting, exotic, and technologically advanced supercar of its era. Its price tag of over $.5 million (US), its price tag was identically impressive and among the most expensive vehicles ever to put rubber to the road.
Of the six examples built, chassis number was the prototype chassis. Currently, only four examples remain as one was destroyed in a fire.by Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2019
Chassis Num: CR-006
The late 1980s and early 1990s were a halcyon time for supercars. Most had some form of racing pedigree, but only a select few could claim the rare title of being based on the ballistic Group C monsters which dominated international sports car racing....[continue reading]