www.QV500.com - Dauer 962 LM Part 1: 962 LM
Converting fully fledged racing cars into road-going specials is nothing new. Up until the late 1960's it was relatively straightforward, attach a set of number plates and off you went, but as sports racing cars began getting more specialised the job became time consuming and expensive. With their relatively high numbers and excellent parts availability, Porsche 962's have inevitably come in for more attention than most Group C cars. Nearly 150 were sold and because of such a large customer programme, every component was available off the shelf direct from Porsche.

This left the way open for a variety of specials to be built, DP, Schuppan and Koenig all trying their hand with 962's. Clearly though, the most successful exponents of this fine art have been Dauer. Jochen Dauer was the 1988 European Sports Car Champion and a master at the wheel of any 962. In 1991 he conceptualised a road-going 962, the finished article being displayed two years later at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1993. Dauer Sportwagen GmbH was created to build and sell 962 road cars, Porsche having been helpful in an unofficial capacity by sourcing parts and even providing technical advice. This collaboration was stepped up a gear after the car had been launched, Porsche and Dauer joining forces to manufacture a contender for the 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours. The resultant 962 LM Sport duly won Le Mans outright and was banned from participating in 1995. Since then, the standard conversion has been continually updated and improved, more than a dozen having been completed so far. Each one is based on an original Porsche 962, the donor car being completely stripped and rebuilt. Reworked suspension is via double wishbones with adjustable anti-roll bars and dampers, special hydraulics allowing the driver to raise and lower the car at the touch of a button. This is mandatory as the 962 in standard trim is far too low to meet the minimum ride height in Germany.

The suspension also automatically lowers the car from its raised height if you exceed 50mph (80kmh). Brakes are enormous 330mm Brembo drilled and ventilated discs with four piston calipers, the 18-inch Speedline forged alloy wheels being 10 and 11-inches wide front/rear respectively. They're shod with 265/35 and 285/40 ZR 18 tyres. Engine-wise the same 3-litre water-cooled Porsche flat-six from the race car is utilised, this being mid-longitudinally mounted and equipped with two intercooled KKK turbochargers offering three alternative levels of boost.
Displacement remains unchanged at 2994cc thanks to a bore and stroke of 95 x 70.4mm, softer cams being fitted along with racing-style open-loop catalytic convertors. Tag Motronic 1.7 engine management makes it tractable enough for urban driving and with compression set at 9.0:1, output is 730bhp at 7400rpm. Another unique feature is a special transmission that combines the normal 962 gearbox and clutch with Tiptronic S-style buttons on the steering wheel. Unlike most converted 962's, Dauer's have their original shells discarded and replaced with a new carbon kevlar body designed by Achim Storz. The result is a cx value of 0.31 compared to 0.5 for the original. Inside, the snug new leather-clad cockpit has two carbon fibre seats, a detachable steering wheel for easy access and full racing harnesses. There's also an extremely effective air-conditioning system and rectangular luggage compartment built into the left-hand door sill. This is just large enough for a pair of custom-made carbon-fibre suitcases. Practically any individual alterations can be specified, some cars being equipped with rear view cameras whilst others have rather bizarrely been fitted with DVD players. Typically weighing in at between 1030 and 1180kg depending upon the final spec, this compares to 900kg for the orginal 962 but is still enough for a better power-to-weight ration than the McLaren F1.

0-60mph takes just 2.6 seconds whilst a top speed of 252mph set on VW's Ehra-Leissen test track ensured the Dauer 962 became the fastest street legal production car. Introduced during September 1993 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the 962 LM arrived with a stratospheric $853,000 list price, but this was slightly less than McLaren's slower F1. One reliable customer has been the Sultan of Brunei who reputedly owns no less than six Dauer 962's as part of his 5000-strong premium car collection. Production continues at the rate of about one or two cars each year.


Click here for more