As Rob mentioned in his Jade Green Targa piece the other day, we’re entering in quickly to auction season. Mecum, typically the purveyors of more muscle cars than European rides, nonetheless had quite an impressive lineup of signification Porsche race models that cover a few decades and many changes in the company’s history, so I thought it would be pretty neat to take a look at them. It’s very interesting to see over a relatively short period of time the many changes that Porsche’s motorsports programs have gone through.
When considering 1980s modified Porsches, there’s visually fine line between a poorly executed garage swap and a full-blood, racing heritage model. Many will be familiar with the name DP Motorsports, and though rare we have featured quite a few of the DP935 model. In fact, Rob looked at a pretty blue one earlier this year. However, while some love the racing-inspired lines and livery, many more detest the somewhat poser status. I say “somewhat”, because more often than not we’ve seen these DP 935s feature upgraded powertrains. But if you really want the chops to back up the Le Mans-ready looks of the DP 935, there was really only one place to turn – the Kremer G5 Street 2:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Porsche DP935 Kremer G5 Street 2 on eBay
There are days when I look at my Audi Coupe GT and think I did it all wrong. I stripped it out, made it hot and uncomfortable; too loud, too stiff, too track biased. It’s fun to drive in short bursts when it’s not hot, or cold, or raining, but there’s a bit of regret that I’m not able to drive and enjoy it more regularly. And it’s too black – it looks fantastic when it’s briefly clean, but every single scratch, nick, and scuff stand out like pimples on a teenager’s face before prom. But, you’d say, it’s a lowly Audi Coupe. Most people don’t even know what they are, and even 95% of those who do wouldn’t care if I made it however I wanted it to be. But what if I had a bigger budget? And, what if I was even more crazy?
I might have made something like this 911. It started life as a ’87 911 Turbo Cabriolet. Maybe. But then someone had an idea, a lot of drugs, and even more money. The result is an absolutely crazy 935-inspired 911 Turbo Slantnose Cabriolet that is so wildly awesome and horrible at the same time you’ll never unsee it:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet on eBay
Most younger readers won’t immediately think any of the German marques were well established in single seaters prior to recent Mercedes-Benz domination in Formula 1. And to be fair, as individual manufacturers that is nearly the case, although Porsche did develop a pretty impressive single race winner in the flat-8 804 of 1962. And, let’s not forget that it was both Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union that had really spurred the development of modern single-seat racing in the pre-War Silver Arrows. But far more prevalent has been German participation in single-seater construction as engine providers. From Volkswagen’s spec racers right through the mighty screaming Williams BMW V10s, there’s a long and storied history of German power. But oval racing? That’s another story, right? Well, actually the Germans have been there right along, too – with Mercedes-Benz taking part in the inaugural Indy 500 through the mega-dominant Ilmore Penske PC-23. Porsche, too, has been tied with the Indy 500, running turbocharged V8s in March chassis in the late 1980s. But the more interesting story was the car that never ran – the 935-powered Parnelli/Interscope Racing entry from 1980:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Parnelli/Interscope Porsche Indy Car on eBay
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: