“Sebring 1983 – The Warhorse and the Hitchhiker” – the latest book by all-around motorsports enthusiast, author and the recognized expert on the history of the 12 Hours of Sebring, Ken Breslauer – is now available for immediate orders. As the oldest active sports car race and one of the most revered motorsports events in America, the 12 Hours of Sebring has produced some of the most exciting moments in international sports car endurance racing over the past seven decades. 

The legendary circuit, which originated from a World War II B-17 combat crew training base, has produced thrilling and sometimes bizarre races, but nothing can top the 1983 edition of the 12-Hour classic. Both on and off the track, Sebring 1983 would be unforgettable.

After 23 lead changes among eight cars, a well-worn GTO class Porsche 934 that was 11 laps behind at one point ended up winning the race. When driver and car owner Wayne Baker crossed the finish line, he didn’t even know he had won overall. Co-drivers Jim Mullen and Kees Nierop drove brilliantly, but Baker’s road to victory was nearly derailed during his final stint in the dark when a hitchhiker suddenly appeared on the racing circuit.

The Warhorse – Porsche 934, nee 935, [Breslauer Collection]

The 144-page softcover book with 80 color photos chronicles the unique history of Sebring Florida and it’s 12-hour race, leading up to the 1983 IMSA season. An hour-by-hour description of that year’s Sebring 12-Hour chronicles the Warhorse’s unlikely route to victory and the numerous competitors that fell victim to the brutal Sebring circuit.

The winning Porsche 934 originated from a Porsche 935 that finished second at Le Mans four years earlier. Dubbed the “Warhorse,” the chassis ended its career in 1987 after 70 races covering over 40,000 competition miles, but it was the 1,097 miles it covered at Sebring that forever earned a place in endurance racing lore. 

A stolen pace car, the circuit nearly running out of fuel, cars getting lost on the runways and alligators on the track only added to the drama of Sebring 1983.

Breslauer served as Media Director and Track Historian at Sebring International Raceway 1986-2021. His 1996 book on Sebring’s history won the Automotive Book of the Year Award in 1996. Breslauer specializes in commercial archeology and roadside attractions and has written several topics on Florida tourism history and the material culture of Florida travel.

The Sebring 1983 book is available beginning today on eBay.com – please click here for orders. It will also be available at this month’s season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona at the Roger Warrick Automotive Art display.


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