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1992 Schuppan-Porsche 962 CR

This is the most extensive ever road test of the fire-breathing Schuppan-Porsche 962 CR. Octane puts Dickie Meaden behind the wheel of a road-legal, race-bred unicorn.

Editor's comment
The lengths we’ll go to
More often than we would probably like to admit, amazing stories fall into Octane’s lap and a tentative email with a picture attachment sets in motion a chain of events that ends with you reading about a very special car. Every one of those easy wins, however, is counterbalanced by something that takes a lot more time, effort and, inevitably, money to put together. And in 28 years in this game I cannot remember a more fraught process than our collective quest to get a Schuppan 962 CR into Octane. The reason for wanting to is obvious – great car, great story, plus the compulsion finally, and for the first time, properly to tell the world how this remarkable Le Mans car for the road measures up to its billing.
The reasons we had to go the extra mile were myriad, but with a pool of fewer than ten cars to choose from it was never going to be easy. The first car we lined up was actually the one we ended up featuring, but when under a previous ownership. Photographing it and writing about it were fine, but driving it, we were told, was a strict no-no. Now, I don’t want to come across as all prissy here but, though we were extremely grateful for the offer, we reckoned we were probably only going to feature a Schuppan once and not to drive the thing on a public road would leave the biggest – to my mind, the essential – question, unanswered. It would be to deny the car’s raison d’etre.
Next up was the final car, tracked down in the USA. An excellent example as it turns out, but such was our fanaticism by then that the fact it was built as a prototype and later converted was enough for us to discount it. With hindsight, we were being overly pedantic. Then came the freshly restored winner of the 2023 London Concours. We chased, followed, harangued, a date was set to drive it between its concours victory and its shipping to the US – then it rained on the day and it wasn’t allowed out to play. After that the trail went cold. I had just about given up when Simon Kidston, not noted for letting any car stand idle regardless of its rarity, value or mileage, wondered aloud to racer-writer Dickie Meaden whether Octane would be interested in giving that very first car we set out to drive a proper seeing-to (on track as well as dream roads) in Wales. Unsurprisingly, we were. So what you see in Octane this month may look like other stories on the surface, but it is actually the product of more than five years of work and at least three times the investment of a normal article (shhh, don’t tell the bosses). Because you are worth it.
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1992 Alpine A610 vs. 1997 Venturi Atlantique 260

In the 1990s, France produced a showdown between two glassfibre-bodied supercoupés with boosted Renault V6s: the Alpine A610 and Venturi Atlantique. Do they deserve to remain in perpetual obscurity?

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1992 Alfa Romeo 155 GTA Stradale

I had threatened to produce a road going 155 GTA Stradale but only got as far as a single prototype. So, to hell with still — born projects of which the automotive world has amassed sheds full over the years.

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3.2 BJS 24v VR6 engined 1992 Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk3

While VW really seems to have got its act together these days with its new-wave hot hatches, there are some — like Melis Julevic — who believe you still can’t beat the old-skool way. We tend to agree…

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Turkish Blue 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 964 restomod

It’s one of the most amazing backdates to grace these pages for a very long time, although you’d be hard-pressed to guess this eye-popping 911 started life as a 964 Carrera 4 Targa...

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1992 Volkswagen Corrado VR6

By the late Eighties, performance-car magazines regularly persisted with rumours that Porsche was collaborating with VW with the intention of building a front-wheel-drive coupé. In reality, covert photographers had snapped the Herbert Schäfer-penned VW Corrado on test. It didn’t actually contain any Porsche parts, but it did mark a corporate sea-change. Given VW’s engineering origins there had always been moments of co-operation between the two companies, and as the Audi-engined Porsche 924 was dropped from Porsche showrooms in 1985, a gap opened up for a sub-Porsche über-VW coupé, something more sparkling than the dated Scirocco. Something a generation of yuppies weaned on Golf GTIs might move up to instead of the ubiquitous BMW E30 3 Series.

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1992 Ferrari 512 TR vs. 1996 Ferrari 550 Maranello

They are two Ferraris at the turn of the last millennium, two grand tourers for an audience that can't do without twelve cylinders. And yet, they are so different! The Testarossa successor, the 512 TR, is a result of racing evolution, while the successor 550 Maranello follows in the lineage of the elegant 365 GTB/4 Daytona.

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BMW 850Ci E31-based 1992 Koenig Specials KS8

The BMW E31 KS8 is a legendary machine, a modified rarity few people have ever seen with their own eyes. But a lucky group of friends unearthed one of these mythical beasts and brought it out of hibernation to share with the world. This is the story of their encounter with this incredible 8 Series E31.

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1992 Jaguar XJR XJ40

The first saloon car to bear the XJR name might not have been supercharged, but that doesn’t stop it being a true sports saloon.

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1992 Porsche 968

Porsche needed a car to hold the fort after the demise of the 944 and before the launch of the Boxster, which makes the 3-litre four-cylinder 968 a relatively rare beast — but here are two of them.

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1992 BMW 525iX SE Automatic E34

This cherished E34 525iX has been owned by the same family since 1996. A perfect car to help us consider the significance of BMW’s first all-wheel drive 5 Series…

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Ex-BTCC 1992 BMW 318iS Coupe E36/2

Few race cars are quite as loved as Tim Harvey’s 1992 BTCC 318iS E36/2. Today, the car lives on as a period-perfect racer in New Zealand…

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1992 Daimler Double Six Series 3

Final flourish The XJ12 Series 3 remained in production for over two decades, only finishing in late 1992. We revisit the very last example on its 30th anniversary

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