New reached DSC this morning of the passing of sportscar racing legend Preston Henn on Sunday at 86.
As a driver, and as a car owner he posted some very significant chapters in the history of the sport scoring an overall win at the Daytona 24 Hours in his ‘Swap Shop’ Porsche 935 together with A.J. Foyt, Bob Wollek and Claude Ballot-Lena in 1983.
In 1985 he won it again, this time as a car owner with his Porsche 962, again Foyt and Wollek featured, this time with Al Unser and Thierry Boutsen also on board.
Foyt and Wollek won at Sebring in Henn’s 962 as well that year the double success coming after the 1984 Le Mans 24 Hours that saw his previous 956 came very close to taking the overall win, John Paul Jr and Jean Rondeau coming home second.
He contested the Le Mans 24 Hours 5 times as a driver himself too with a best finish of tenth.
All of his race cars promoted Henn’s core business, ‘Swap Shop’ – a combination of drive-in cinema, fairground attractions and flea market with several sites in South Florida but based principally just outside Fort Lauderdale.
Amongst the attractions there are Henn’s large collection of supercars and race cars, famously not including a Ferrari LaFerrari, Henn having filed suit against Ferrari when his name did not appear on the list of approved buyers. The suit was later withdrawn.
Henn is survived by his wife of over 60 years Henn is survived by his wife Betty; his children Byron, Jeff and Cathy Henn and Chrisy Cathers; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
To learn a little more about his extraordinary history take a look at the tribute posted on racer.com from Robin Miller and Marshall Pruett.