Motorsport Monday: 1977 Porsche 935

While most of the headlines of Porsches wins in the 1970s and 1980s focused on the top of the heap prototype victories of the legendary 917 and 956/962s, in the background Porsche ran several very successful production-based racers. I’ve spent several posts showing mid-1970s RSR replicas, all based around the normally aspirated 934 – a racing evolution of the 911. But Porsche went even more extreme in the mid-1970s with the introduction of the 935. Outside of the 917-956 gap and very successful 936 open-cockpit prototype, the car to have in those years if you wanted to win was the 935. Initially developed as effectively a turbocharged 934, the 935 developed a life of its own – stretching the rules to the extreme with some of the most memorable racers like the one race only “Baby” and monstrous winged silhouette “Moby Dick”. There were many 935s made in seemingly endless configurations, but the 935/77s are probably the most remembered. They took a loophole in the rules that failed to specify that on “stock” cars the headlights needed to remain in their original configuration and turned it into an aerodynamic advantage; creating both a design that was more aerodynamic and assisted in cooling and downforce.

Ultimately, the 935s proved nearly unbeatable and many were raced and modified over their life. When the factory moved on to bigger and better projects, privateers such as Joest and Kremer picked up the reigns and ran with the developments. As such, the Kremer K3 and K4 were the highest developed 935s and many racing fans from the 1980s remember the turbocharged monsters spitting flames doing lurid powerslides, their 700-800 horsepower barely tamed by the 956 spec slicks in the rear. While barely recognizable as a stock 911 (the doors are about the only giveaway), the 935 cut its own course through history and is revered by both Porsche and racing fans alike. Today there is a well traveled and rare to see 935 for sale in Germany:

Year: 1977
Model: 935 K3
Engine: 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged flat-6
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: N/A mi
Price: If you have to ask….

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 935 K3 on JanLuehn.com

1977 Porsche 935
Factory delivered 935 in K3 spec
930 770 0907
Factory built 935 • fully documented history from day one • great international racing history • ideal for Le Mans Classic, CER and more

Model history:
Even though Porsche was dominating GT racing in the second half of the 1970s with the 935, the Kremer brothers believed that they could improve the factory built racing cars. Manfred and Erwin Kremer ran a Porsche dealership and in their spare time Erwin successfully raced Porsches prepared by Manfred. From 1977 Manfred stepped up and started to extensively modify the racing cars. In 1978 the Kremer built 935 K2 formed a worthy adversary for the regular 935s, scoring several victories. Another winter of development turned Kremer’s 935 into a world class racing car.

Manfred Kremer’s main focus was on shedding weight. That was one of the main reasons to replace the factory fitted air-to-water intercooler with an air-to-air intercooler. This also eliminated the risk of leaks in the cooling the system. The three litre flat six engine was carried over from the factory built 935s, although in later years a slightly larger 3.2 litre engine was also offered. Depending on the boost level the twin-Turbocharged engine was good for anywhere between 740 bhp and 800 bhp. Power was transferred to the rear wheels through a four speed manual gearbox.

Other improvements included the relocation of the oil cooler and the fuel tank. For ease of maintenance and to enable quick repairs the mounting system of the engine was extensively revised. The shape of the body was also slightly revised adopting the shape of the Porsche Works cars and also the lessons learned in the previous two seasons. Most panels were replaced by high tech composite examples, which alone already sliced 30 kg off the weight. Kremer told legendary journalist Paul Frere that the car incorporated over 100 changes, which made it around 1% more efficient. It does not sound like much, but over a race distance can really make a difference.

Dubbed the Porsche 935 K3, the new racing car was ready in time for the 1979 Zolder round of the German Sportscar Championship. The young and very talented Klaus Ludwig drove the car to a convincing debut victory, beating a colourful field packed with Porsche built 935s. He continued his good form throughout the season, winning a staggering 11 races out of a possible 12. At the Nürburgring he set a lap time of 7.33, which was fast enough to qualify for the last F1 race held on the Nordschleife. Ludwig also headlined the Kremer Le Mans effort and piloted the K3 to its biggest victory together with brothers Don and Bill Whittingdon. It was the first Le Mans win for a real production car based machine, a feat repeated again in 1995 by the McLaren F1.

Porsche completed the last complete 935s in 1979, but continued to supply third parties like Kremer with plenty of parts. The great successes of 1979 sparked much interest and Kremer started to offer complete 935 K3s as well as kits to convert existing 934s and 935s. Manfred Kremer also continued developing the K3 and for 1980 the biggest improvement was a revised body that closely resembled the unique 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’ raced by the Works team in 1978. In the following years Porsche 935 K3s were raced with great success on both sides of the Atlantic. Particularly in the North American IMSA championship the high sprung Kremer Porsches showed their worth by winning many races and the 1980 championship.

Although based on a production road car, the various 935s continued to be competitive even after a new generation of prototype sports racers made their appearance. Kremer anticipated the increased competition by developing the 935 K4. Outwardly similar to the previous cars, it was an altogether different machine. Only the roof and windscreen were carried over from the production car as the unitary steel chassis was replaced by a much lighter and more rigid space frame. The engine was further developed to produce up to 900 bhp. Unfortunately the Kremer brothers had pushed the boundaries a little too far and the K4 suffered often from reliability problems and only managed to win the odd minor race.

Between 1979 and 1981, the 935 K3 scored overall victories at Le Mans, Sebring, Daytona and on the Nürburgring. It must be said that in the late 1970s and early 1980s the interest of manufacturers in sports car racing was at an all time low and the only real competition the K3 faced came from other 935s and the ill-mannered Ferrari 512 BBLM. Nevertheless, the 935 K3 is well placed among the most legendary racing cars and its raw performance is still nothing but awe inspiring.

Specific history of this car:
The car we offer here with chassis number 930 770 0907, was delivered new in 1977 as a single-turbo by the factory to Mr Brambring in Germany. Brambring immediately entered the car in the German DRM championship as well as at prestigious international events, sharing the car with some of the finest German sports car drivers.

13.03.1977 #54 DRM Zolder / Neuhaus 3rd
27.03.1977 #54 Nürburgring Gr5 / Mass 1st
27.03.1977 #54 300km of Nürburgring / Mass 4th
01.05.1977 #54 DRM Nürburgring / Neuhaus 3rd
08.05.1977 #54 DRM Kassel Calden / Neuhaus 3rd
22.05.1977 #54 Mainz Finthen / Neuhaus 5th
29.05.1977 #54 Nürburgring / Krebs, Neuhaus – dnf
03.07.1977 #54 DRM Norisring 200km of Nürnberg/ Neuhaus
03.07.1977 #54 Norisring Trophäe/ Neuhaus

The car was then sold to Franz Konrad, Germany.

Franz Konrad Racing – Volkert Merl, Franz Konrad, Reinhold Joest, Bob Wollek

24.07.1977 #58 DRM Diepholz / Konrad 6th
30.07.1977 #55 DRM Hockenheim / Konrad 6th
14.08.1977 #58 DRM Zolder / Konrad 3rd
28.08.1977 #94 Nürburgring Gr5 / Konrad 1st
25.09.1977 #3 Brand Hatch 6hrs / Jöst, Wollek, Konrad 3rd
02.10.1977 #58 DRM Nürburgring Supersprint / Konrad 6th
09.10.1977 #15 6h Hockenheim / Konrad, Jöst 4th
16.10.1977 #54 Zolder Trophy/ Konrad 2nd
05.02.1978 #21 24h of Daytona / Konrad, Jöst, Merl 13th

After the 24 hours of Daytona the car was sold to Volkert Merl, Germany.

12.03.1978 #16 DRM Zolder / Merl 7th
02.04.1978 #16 300KM Nürburgring / Merl 7th
30.04.1978 #16 DRM Eifelrennen NRM / Merl 6th
14.05.1978 #12 Silverstone 6hrs / Konrad, Merl -dnf
21.05.1978 #16 DRM Avus / Merl – dnf
28.05.1978 #12 1.000km NRM ADAC /Schreiber, Merl, Konrad 4th
11.06.1978 #42 24 hours of Le Mans / Konrad, Merl – dna
18.06.1978 #16 DRM Mainz Finthen / Merl – accident
02.07.1978 #16 DRM Zandvort / Merl 5th

In 1980 the car was sold by Merl to Joest Racing.
Joest then upgraded the car to 935 K3 specification and sold it to Wolfgang Rupp, Geilenkirchen, Germany.

05.07.1987 Joisten Trophy/ Wolfgang Rupp 5th
27.09.1987 Grenzlandpreis Zolder / Wolfgang Rupp 6th
25.10.1987 #9 Rundstreckenrennen Nürburgring / W. Rupp 1st

In 1996 Rolf Pütz purchased the car from the family of Wolfgang Rupp, who sadly died in a motorcycle accident in 1995.

05.08.2000 #20 Group C Nürburgring / Pütz, Blees 14th
12.02.2001 #12 Group C Nürburgring / Pütz, Blees 1st

In 2002 the active racing career of 0907 finished and the car was sold to a private German collector who had the car on display in his museum until 2013.

Today the car is presented in very original condition, still with its first chassis. The car comes with a correct 935 engine (horizontal fan) and gearbox, now in its latest 935 K3 bodywork. With the car comes a sensational history file which documents the car fro day one! Apart from the Wagenpass and FIA papers there is lots of documentation from the Porsche factory, as well as period correspondence, original racing photos, service records and much more.

This is a great opportunity to purchase a very fine and original factory supplied Porsche 935.

Originally in 935/77 spec, this car outwardly has been updated to the K3 look and some running gear but retains the earlier twin-turbo 3.0 flat six – an interesting choice, since the twin-turbos weren’t as reliable as the single turbos were. The look is incredible; the BBS turbofans are my favorite look on these cars and the color combination is spectacular. The history is equally incredible and features some pretty big names in the list. The price on these car is quite steep to both purchase and run; figure multiple thousands of dollars to run the car a weekend at a minimum, and best guess on the entry price is a million plus. At that price, it will remain a dream car for nearly everyone – but what a car to dream of!

-Carter

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4 Comments on "Motorsport Monday: 1977 Porsche 935"

  1. David says:

    Not that I could ever afford this, but what engine is in the car? The pictures show a twin-turbo but the ad copy mentions that the car was from the factory with a single turbo engine and only says that now the car has a “correct 935 engine”.

  2. Carter says:

    As I noted in the description, the car seems to have the correct and original 3.0 twin-turbo flat-6; many were upgraded afterwards to single turbo or the real monster 3.1 turbo units with 800ish horsepower. Strictly speaking though, 935/77s should carry the twin-turbo motor though they were apparently problematic and many were pulled for longevity and more power.

  3. bob says:

    Where can the car be seen? What is the asking price in Euros and USD. thanks. bob

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