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Go Inside the Secret Porsche Racing Room at the Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum is full of automotive history. None of their sections are as new as the Porsche Racing Prototype section of their vault. Now, we're getting a guided tour of the vehicles there, how they're different, and why they're so special.
Porsche room at the Petersen Vault 6 photos
Porsche 962Porsche 962Porsche 956Porsche 962Porsche 962
Instead of the street-legal sports cars that most of the public is familiar with, these are all race cars with serious pedigree. Every one of them saw real competition. And they're all a part of the 956 and 962 family of Porsche race cars. It's one of the most successful.

Mark Hotchkis takes us on tour, and that's appropriate. Not only is Mark an accomplished race car driver in his own right, but he personally owns a Porsche 962. The car it's based on the 956, and it was the first race car to feature an aluminum monocoque chassis and aerodynamic ground effects.

In fact, the 956 was so good that in its very first year of racing, 1982, it won at Le Mans. That's not even the whole story either because it led every single lap and actually swept the podium, coming in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The 962 evolved from it as a more refined race car.

As Hotchkis explains, many improvements were made, including some for safety. Drivers of the 956 actually had their feet working away at the pedals ahead of the front axle. In the 962, that safety concern was remedied.

Porsche actually sold a number of these racers to private teams, and many are seen in this collection. Each of those teams did their work with the car and changed elements of the design for their own benefit.

The collection is available for viewing for a short time so if you're in the L.A. area, go visit the Petersen. The entire video features tiny details of design and racing history. Have a look below!

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Editor's note: Clearly, this isn't a secret room, but it does denote what the Petersen Automotive Museum is calling it.

 
 
 
 
 

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