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Porsche 935/84 at the Daytona 24 Hours 1985 – The Last Hurrah

Daytona '85 poster
Official Daytona ’85 poster

By 1981 at the earliest, and for sure by the 1983 season of sports car racing, it had become clear to most that the Porsche 935 was reaching the end of its useful racing life. While it had been a great car, it just could not compete with the new ground effects prototype designs from Lola, March and subsequently Porsche’s own 956/962 design. The 935 was a production based car with a lot of power and a lot of straight line speed, but no ground effect aerodynamics and with the engine weight behind the rear wheels, handling could not keep up with the prototype designs. The rules of sports car racing were also changing as the Group 5 based championship was turning to Group C, a fuel based formula.

While the factory had basically stopped building complete cars in mid-1979, several tuners continued with trying to improve the design. Kremer built two K4 models, only one of which was ever raced. John Paul had FABCAR build JLP4, a complete from the ground up design that looked somewhat like a 935, but was a radical attempt to try and get some more downforce and aerodynamics. It had some success in the 1982 season, but then was quickly eclipsed by Lola T600s and March 82/83G cars. Bob Akin also made two attempts at improving the breed. First, he commissioned Chuck Gaa at GAACO to build 935-L1. This was a Lee Dykstra design that seemed to be a cross between a Lola T600 chassis with Porsche 935 running gear. While quick in a straight line, handling proved elusive and it was shelved some time in 1983. While this car was racing in early 1983 Bob also had commissioned Dave Klym (FABCAR) in Atlanta to build 935/84. This was a full tube frame car with light weight bodywork using all Porsche 935 running gear. This car, along with the Andial 935-L Moby Dick replica, were probably the two best examples of what were the final iterations of Porsche 935 race cars.

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