The Porsche 956-001 Works

The first

In Paris 2023 at the Retromobile a very special Porsche is offered for sale. It is the first, the first Porsche 956, which was to be followed by far more than 100 other Porsche 956/962s in the course of time. The first 956-001 was built in Weissach and was first driven on the test track by Jürgen Barth on 27 March 1982.

Afterwards, the 956-001 was extensively tested by Jürgen Barth, Jacky Ickx, Roland Kussmaul and Derek Bell. According to information in the book “Excellence was Expected”, the drivers covered 4,244 test miles before Porsche set off for the 6 Hours of Silverstone on 16 May. With the dream team of Bell and Ickx at the wheel, Porsche should have won the race comfortably. But the Porsche covered more kilometres in the 6 hours than it was allowed to use on fuel. 

The Lancia LC1 of Riccardo Patrese and Michele Alboreto crossed the finish line first because it had competed in Group 6 last season and was therefore exempt from Group C fuel regulations. So while Lancia could use as much fuel as they wanted and go full speed, the Porsche 001 was destined to be proverbial economical and finished second.  With a lap time 10 seconds slower than the original race pace and only three laps behind Lancia, the race was still a resounding success for Porsche, with victory in the Group C race car class.

The Porsche 956-001 then headed back to Weissach for testing. There it underwent a 30-hour Le Mans test. Its sister cars were allowed to take victory in France in return. 

The car contested only one race, a DRM race at the Norisring, where Jochen Mass eventually took a well-deserved victory. The Porsche 956-001 was subsequently retired and presented to Jacky Ickx as a farewell gift at the end of 1985.

In Paris, the racing car stands in its original bodywork and a 2.65-litre boxer engine in the rear. The Porsche still has many of its original parts, even though it has one or two minor imperfections in many places. The dashboard is also unique to the car, all other Porsche 956/962s had a curved version fitted instead of the straight dashboard shown here. But this is only a small footnote in the history of the 956-001. Oh yes the car is for sale 7.500.000 pounds are called! But what is that for the first Porsche 956.