As the crew chief who ran the Porsche 962 owned by the late Preston Henn that won the 1985 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring with A.J. Foyt behind the wheel, Kevin Jeanette had an interesting decision to make.
The IMSA GTP machine wore different liveries for both wins, and with Foyt named as grand marshal for this weekend’s Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, and the death of his cantankerous friend and boss Henn last year, the renown Porsche restorer went with his gut and had chassis 962-104 wrapped to carry both race-winning schemes.
“I’ve done it before with Porsche 962-103, which had a split Rothmans and Mac Tools livery, and we wrapped it right down the middle,” Jeannette told Road & Track. “I wanted to celebrate Preston, so I asked his widow Betty if it would be okay to do this split personality thing with the car, and she said to go for it.”
Foyt, best known as one of only three men to win the Indy 500 four times, is regarded as one of the all-time greats, and despite a CV that’s overwhelmingly represented by open-wheel racing achievements, the last two wins of his five-decade career came in sports car competition with Henn in 1985.
With Super Tex set to be honored throughout the Sebring event, Jeannette wanted to make sure 962-104 represented Foyt’s fine days at the 12 and 24 Hour races.
“The only problem was the vinyl for the orange wrap was too thin, so the Valvoline livery showed through; it’s pretty opaque, so my son-in-law had to do a mad dash to repaint half the car without the lettering and stuff in about six hours, so that added some complications,” he said.
“And then my friend Dave came yesterday and did the wrap. Who knows where we all go when we leave this life, but I know Preston is looking down asking, ‘how much is that wrap gonna cost me?’ It will be interesting to get A.J.’s reaction because it’s the car where he had his last wins. He was a big part of Preston’s life.”