Canepa’s 950-hp Nissan NPT-90 “is a perfect storm for a GTP race car”

As a well-preserved, all-original car—and the first of only six chassis produced for 1990—the Nissan NPT-90 GTP race car for sale through Bruce Canepa is a rare ticket into the fastest league of the Group C era. Based on the Nissan R90C, chassis #90-01 packs a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, which is good for over 950 horsepower once the air is dense enough to carry extra-loud bangs. Mastering the NPT-90’s Hewland five-speed manual in period were Geoff Brabham, Chip Robinson, Bob Earl, and Derek Daly, a combination that led Nissan to the IMSA GTP constructors’ championship in 1990 and ’91.

Having raced an NPT-90 at Laguna Seca (chassis #90-06), Bruce Canepa confirms its “mind-boggling power, high downforce, [and] excellent handling dynamics,” adding that as reliable as it is, “the NPT-90 package is a perfect storm for a GTP race car.”

birds eye front three-quarter

Canepa explains where the NPT-90s came from:

“To understand the success of the NPT-90 platform, it’s important to know the driving force behind the team that made it happen. A past winning racer, Don Devendorf was a tenacious scientist, engineer, and racer, designing electronic fuel management systems in 1975 that many manufacturers wouldn’t start using for close to a decade later. Wanting to move up in the racing, Devendorf set his eyes on the IMSA GTP series. With Lola interested in producing a chassis, Devendorf joined forces with Wes Moss and Yoshi Suzuka to create the GTP-ZXT, the precursor to the NPT-90. From 1984–90, the cars made countless upgrades and enhancements as real-world racing revealed design inspiration among the engineers and mechanics alike. By the end of the 1988 season, Geoff Brabham was the GTP driver champion and would continue to win with Nissan GTP cars for another three years. In order to remain ahead of the curve with its competition, the quest began to make the next generation of Nissan GTP car, the NPT-90.”

This particular car, the first NPT-90, entered the scene in May 1990 at the Topeka 300 Kilometers and kept racing all the way until its second-place finish at the Del Mar 2 Hour GTP race in October 1992. This also means it was upgraded to the latest spec by Nissan Performance Technology Incorporated in ’92, a state in which it remains today.

With a racing history that includes two victories, nine seconds, and five thirds, #90-01 is ready for a vintage racing enthusiast to fire up its twin-turbos, grab that five-speed with a firm hand, and show the world how fast these Nissans can be, 30 years into the future.

Looking for even more details? Check out Canepa’s extensive gallery, also available on Flickr.

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