In the mid-1970s, Porsche developed the 911 for racing, and in the process, it created the all-conquering 935. In 1978, Norbert Singer was responsible for building the ultimate factory 935, the Moby Dick 935/78, and although this race car had a very short active racing life, it has gone down in history as one of the most iconic 935s of all time. Despite winning only one race, the Silverstone 6 Hours on 14 May 1978, Porsche’s Moby Dick became one of the most copied 911s of its era.
After the Moby Dick 935/78 had raced at Silverstone and in the Le Mans 24 Hours that year, the car was retired, as the factory’s attention turned to the next generation of race cars. However, Porsche allowed some private teams with close ties to the factory, to continue purchasing components and drivetrains for the 935, but they were left to design and produce their own upgraded chassis and bodywork. One of those privateer teams, Kremer Racing, did a particularly good job during the late ‘70s, creating the 935 K1 (1976), K2 (1977) and K3 (1979). Kremer Racing, based in Cologne, Germany, didn’t restrict their work to just mechanical preparation and assembly, but they also developed their own bodywork which really set them apart from the rest of the field.
While these newly constructed vehicles were still generally referred to as Porsche 935s, in reality, they were entirely new designs that advanced the 935 concept to a new level of speed and sophistication. The history books will show that #41 Kremer 935 K3 went on to win the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours, the most sought after endurance racing crown any team could hope to win, and the last production based car ever to win overall at Le Mans. That victory resulted in a flood of orders for the K3 bodywork which Kremer sold to numerous other privateer teams, earning the Cologne racing team a tidy sum.
As a result of the 935’s continued national and international successes in the hands of its privateer teams, Porsche resumed research and development of the 935 at the end of 1980, so that its loyal customers could continue to rely on a supply of factory parts. The question on everyone’s lips though was, what was Kremer going to follow the K3 with for the next season? Perhaps it was no surprise that the next iteration of this iconic racer was the 935 K4, but this was quite a different beast altogether from the K3.
It is fair to say that the K4 was Kremer’s ultimate 911 racer, the product of Kremer’s constant development of the model from the team’s first foray into international racing with Erwin Kremer’s 911 T in 1968.
Enter the Kremer 935 K4
Only two K4s were made by Kremer, K4-01 and K4-02. Work began on K4-01 back in October 1980 with the aim of providing greater torsional stiffness, improved rear suspension, reduced weight to allow optimal weight distribution, an improved CD and a lower overall height. Brake ventilation was improved through larger air ducts, and airflow through the intercooler was increased. The K4 three-piece body was fabricated by Ekkehard Zimmermann’s company, DP Motorsport, near Cologne. It was Zimmermann’s company that had designed and fabricated the bodywork for all of Kremer’s K-cars, from the K1 right up to the K4.
In an effort to reduce the weight to below the minimum allowed, the K4 was also specifically modified to fit the driver in question thereby eliminating the need for pedal, seat and steering adjustment mechanisms. The factory provided a 935 engine with reworked conrods, pistons and combustion chambers, lubrication system, cooling fan, fuel injectors and turbocharger. This guaranteed an engine output of between 750-800 bhp at 1.5 bar. Although Kremer kept the first K4 to race themselves in ’81, the car was marketed at $174,000 for a complete race-ready package.
Very little resemblance to the original 935 of 1976 remained, as the K4 was a full tube frame race car. The K4 retained the standard roof panel of the 911 and the front windscreen, otherwise it was a purpose-built racer from the ground up. The first car, 935 K4-01, was track ready in June 1981, and Bob Wollek was contracted to drive it in the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft (DRM) that season. Wollek competed in the DRM in K4-01 sporting Jägermeister livery and failed to finish only once in nine races, scoring two firsts and four second place finishes in ’81.
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