Historic 935 and 904 Porsche duo arrives in Monterey
Gooding & Co to auction significant chapters in Porsche's history
1976 Porsche 935
The history of 935-001, the first Porsche 935 ever built, originates in a major revision to the FIA’s Group 5 category. For the 1976 racing season, the FIA changed the rulebook to allow extensive modifications to production-based vehicles homologated in Groups 1 through 4. These “Special Production Cars” followed the “Silhouette” rules, permitting major bodywork and chassis upgrades if the basic silhouette remained unchanged. These new regulations prompted Porsche to refine the turbocharged 911 and compete for the manufacturer’s championship with a highly developed works entry, resulting in the venerable 935. Development of the 935 model began in late 1975 with the car presented here, 935-001. Its radically styled fiberglass bodywork, coil-spring suspension, massive rear tires, and turbocharged flat-six engine produced a competition machine capable of producing 590 bhp, with as much as 630 bhp available for short bursts.
935-001 made its initial test runs at the Paul Ricard circuit before making its racing debut at the Six Hours of Watkins Glen in 1976 as the works entry for the Martini & Rossi Racing Team. The 935 was entrusted to Rolf Stommelen and Manfred Schurti. After qualifying in 2nd position, the car dominated the six-hour race, setting the fastest lap and taking the checkered flag. Shortly thereafter, 935-001 was sent to Dijon, France, where it took 3rd place in the final race of the 1976 championship season, again driven by Stommelen and Schurti. After Porsche moved on to the updated 935/77, it sold 935-001 in a package of cars to Vasek Polak, and the car remained in his garage for approximately two decades. It then traded hands to Kevin Jeannette before joining the collection of John Kotts in Houston, Texas. In 2009, after a lengthy pursuit, Matthew Drendel acquired 935-001, adding it to his collection of significant turbocharged Porsches.
There is only one, number one
Acquired by the current owner from the Drendel Family Collection in 2012, 935-001 has since been restored to exacting, concours standards by the renowned Cavaglieri Restorations with an engine rebuild carried out by Ed Pink Racing Engines. Presenting accurately in its victorious 1976 Watkins Glen livery, 935-001 was awarded Best Race Car Restoration upon its debut at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Its only other viewing occurred at Rennsport Reunion in 2018, when it was shown alongside Porsche’s limited production track-only GT2-based 935. Today, 935-001 is the only ex-works 935 in private ownership, with its sister car, 935-002, residing in the Porsche Museum Collection since the close of the 1976 racing season. The original 935/76 works cars inspired approximately 37 customer cars built between 1977 and 1979, and the 935 model remained competitive for nine seasons, garnering outright victories at Le Mans, Daytona, and Sebring. To this day, the Porsche 935 holds a legendary status in the history of international motor sport, and this example, 935-001, is the car that started it all.
1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS
Alongside the 911 road car, the innovative Porsche 904 Carrera GTS ushered in a new era of sophisticated design and engineering. Both of these models, designed by F.A. “Butzi” Porsche, heralded an important moment in the company’s history, with many future successes deeply rooted in these cutting-edge cars. The 904 was Porsche’s first model to use fiberglass construction for its bodywork, resulting in an aerodynamic package. The 904 was the last Porsche developed as a true dual-purpose car, equally capable on the road and track. The model was also the final application of the Ernst Fuhrmann-designed four-cam, four-cylinder engine. The production 904 featured the most advanced version of the famous engine, the Type 587/3, utilizing a plain-bearing crankshaft that produced approximately 180 bhp.
The 904 presented here, chassis 060, features coachwork by Heinkel and was originally finished in the classic color scheme of Silver Metallic with extremely rare blue leather upholstery. Delivered new to enthusiast Albert Gwinner in Germany, the 904 was never raced, and retained strictly for road use. It was later imported to the US, where it wound up in the hands of Porsche collector John Wean of Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania. Mr. Wean owned the 904 for approximately 20 years before selling it to Ernie Spada of Oswego, Oregon. Under his ownership, 904-060 was comprehensively restored to show-quality conditions and shown to great acclaim. Acquired by the current owner in 1998, this 904 has since benefited from a complete engine rebuild conducted by the Porsche factory. It remarkably retains its original, matching-numbers engine (99054) and transaxle (904-060), unlike the majority of four-cam Porsches. Available for the first time in decades, 904-060 presents in superb condition in all respects, appearing much the same as when it was delivered new.