Even though they don’t generally get the big headlines, arguably the Porsche 934 and 935 were the most important car in developing the racing history and reputation of Porsche. While the 356 and early 911s were certainly notable, it was in the mid-1970s with the introduction of turbocharged 911 in 935 form that Porsche developed a sizable following of independents who raced the all-conquering Turbos. In turn, it was these race successes that convinced enthusiasts that the Porsche 930 was THE car to have. The 935 was, in many ways, a development of the earlier 934. Wide flares coupled with wheels and brakes from the prototype category 917 and 936 gave a purposeful and classic look. While the roofline and doors remained effectively the same as the production cars, few other details matched what you could buy at the dealer. One of the biggest developments was the aerodynamic “Slantnose” developed with help from Kremer; it would become the signature look for not only the 935s but also the most expensive versions of the 930 in the 1980s. The 935 also helped breach the gap in between the 917 program and the start of the 956/962; while the 936s were the direct transference between the two, it would be the 935 that would carry the Porsche flag around the world. Amongst the notable wins for the 935 were around 150 international victories including all-out victory at Le Mans in 1979 and multiple wins at both Sebring and Daytona. All of the top-tier racers of the day drove them, and top teams that still race today cut their teeth on the 935, such as todays example run by Reinhold Joest:
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If you were a sports car racing enthusiast in the 1980s, Group C might have been the top of the heap but there was some great action in the Firehawk support series. Here was a category of cars you could actually go buy, in very close to their original specification. Looking back, they are the cars we often write up today – BMW M3s, Volkswagen GTis and Corrados competing against everything from Camaros and Firebirds to Honda CRXs and even the occasional Peugot 505. The names that raced the cars were just as famous – and some are still active. Jack Baldwin, for example, ran Camaros back then and I believe it getting ready for another run at the Pirelli World Challenge with his Porsche Cayman S in 2015. Names like Scott Sharp, Randy Pobst, Dorsey Schroder, Andy Pilgrim and even Paul Newman weren’t uncommon sights in 1988. But there were other notable race names from the 1980s; BMW fans would recognize David Hobbs, Ray Korman and TC Klein, for example, and for Porsche fans Dave White combined forces with Bob Akin. Both had extensive race history with Porsche, and they took some Porsche 944s with the paint still wet to Sebring in 1988:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 944S Firehawk on eBay
From time to time we come across cars with an interesting ownership history, usually something owned by a famous athlete or actor, or the occasional car owned by a highly-regarded builder or racing driver. This car here, however, a 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 4, painted in a very subtle Silver Purple Metallic, takes all of that to a different level. This particular 964 was the car built for Dr. Ferdinand Porsche’s daughter, Louise Piëch, which gives it a cool factor that is difficult to surpass. Of course, some buyers care little for these sorts of details, and as such this probably isn’t the car for them, but at least it provides other interesting details like a rarely seen exterior color and unique interior trim. All of these things combine to make this Carrera 4 a car that clearly is set apart from the pack.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 on Springbok Sportwagen
For many, the Paul Walker story is one of tragedy and loss – it was a senseless death of a movie star and his friend, or if you’re quite cold it was a senseless death of a Carrera GT. But recently I was watching a Formula 1 documentary talking about Francois Cevert, killed in qualifying at Watkins Glen in 1973. One of the drivers mentioned how then team owner Bernie Ecclestone asked why he was upset, to which the driver replied that Cevert was dead, of course. Ecclestone’s reply was that Cevert, right up to the moment that he died, was doing exactly what he loved to do – as were Senna, McLaren, Clark – indeed, every driver that has died in racing was doing exactly what they loved to do at the moment they perished. If there can be any moment of solace in the feelings of loss, it is that. You could dislike Paul Walker’s movies, but you can’t deny that he was at heart a true automobile enthusiast. When the Fast and Furious franchise first started, initially I really disliked the movies. I didn’t feel as though they accurately portrayed…well, anything, really. But my initial feelings have softened over the years as I both realized the place of the movies in automobile entertainment; after all, they weren’t documentaries. Further, I have to say that if someone came to me and said I’d be in a series of semi-corny automobile movies for multiple millions of dollars so that I could pursue my interests, I’d be hard pressed to say no and take the moral “higher ground” on the basis that I didn’t like the artistic license of the movie series. Paul Walker ended up being one of the stars of the Fast series, and as a result assembled quite a collection of memorable automobiles – one of which is a German car favorite and for sale today:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 BMW M5 on eBay
Long before the E36 even debuted, the Porsche 944 was deeply entrenched in the track scene. From weekend warrior autocrosses to full out Le Mans endurance racing, the 944 touched all aspects of motorsports, and in many cases won. While the roots were in a economy sports car, the 944 Turbo took well to supercar slaying – massive flares hiding brakes borrowed from its brethren and boosted performance from the all-Porsche turbocharged 2.5 inline-4. With near perfect weight distribution, these Turbos were relatively easy to drive and accepted high levels of modifications well. Into the 1990s, the continued to be favorites at track events – and today, even nearly 30 years later, they’re still potent packages capable of winning club races. Today I have three different takes on the 944 Turbo; modified but still streetable track event car, stripped and turned up club racer, and a collectable bit of Porsche racing history with a Turbo Cup car in original configuration. Which is your flavor?