Porsche 935/76

Premiere: 1976 March 21 Mugello, Italy

1976 Porsche 935 side view
© Porsche

Engine: 2.85 and 3.0 flat-6, turbocharged
Gearbox: 4-speed

The Group 4 racer based on the 911 Turbo (930) was called 934 and the Group 5 Porsche was called 935. The first version of the 935 looked similar to the 911 Carrera RSR. The first customers for 935 were Martini Racing and Kremer Racing. The Martini car was a full factory development, while Kremer made its own enhancements already before the first race.

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1976 Porsche 935 prototype
The 935 prototype photographed in early 1976 looks like a 911. Check out the prototype rear wing that would not make it to the race.© Porsche
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1976 Kremer Porsche 935
Porsche Kremer Racing on the windscreen tells how close Porsche and Kremer were in early 1976. Kremer's widened rear wheel arches can be seen.© Porsche
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1976 Kremer Porsche 935
Engine lid and rear wing unique to Kremer © Porsche

The first race for the 935 was 1976 Mugello 6 hours in Italy. The Martini Racing car had a slantnose front end that would become the trademark for the 935. Drivers Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass took their Martini 935 to the finish in 1st place. The second place was taken with the Kremer 935 which didn't have slantnose and therefore looked similar to the 911 Carrera RSR (this car would soon evolve into Kremer 935 K1).

The second 6 hour race was 2 weeks later and again in Italy, this time at Vallelunga. The race was won again by Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass. In this race the Martini car had the front end with classic 911 headlights.

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1976 Mugello and Vallelunga Porsche 935 victory posters
© Porsche

Five weeks later, the Martini 935 arrived at Silverstone with both of its front end variants. Slantnose was used in testing, but the nose with regular 911 headlamps was used in the the 6 hour race. Clutch problems killed the chances for the Martini car and turbo replacement dropped the Kremer car to the second place.

At the next race on May 30, 1976, the Nürburgring 1000 km, the Martini Racing Porsche System factory team 935 got the looks it became known for - the slantnose together with box-shaped rear wheel arches.

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1976 Nürburgring 1000 km, Martini Racing Porsche 935
1976 Nürburgring 1000 km, the 935 is first time seen with the box-shaped rear fenders that become its trademark items© Porsche
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1976 Nürburgring 1000 km, Martini Racing Porsche 935 with boxed rear fenders
From 911 Turbo to this - wow!© Porsche
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1976 Nürburgring 1000 km, Martini Racing Porsche 935
1976 Nürburgring 1000 km, 935 in the Carousel curve. The the #1 car had to retire because of an engine issue, though.© Porsche

Then came June and the 1976 Le Mans 24 hour race.

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1976 Le Mans start, Porsche 936 and 935
1976 Le Mans start, 936 #20 (would win the race) and 935 #40© Porsche
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1976 Le Mans start, Porsche 935
Note the front spoiler headlamps of the Le Mans 935© Porsche
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1976 Le Mans, Porsche 935
935 #40 in the pits© Porsche

Despite an accident, the #40 935 finished as Group 5 winner and 4th overall.

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1976 Le Mans, Porsche 935, Schurti/Stommelen
1976 Le Mans: Manfred Schurti/Rolf Stommelen would finish 4th overall and as Group 5 winners. Check the driver side rear fender - it cannot be seen from this angle, but the front part of the rear fender is missing and it is built up using the duct tape!© Porsche

Four week later, the 935 driven by Rolf Stommelen and Manfred Schurti won the Watkins Glen 6 hours. It was actually the first 935 built, chassis 935001, that hadn't seen racing action until that race. Until that time, the 935002 car was used by Martini Porsche racing team. At Watkins Glen, the favourites - Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass - scored 3rd with their 935002.

At Dijon, a 1-2-3 victory was achieved with 935. It is remarkable as the podium cars were the only three 935 entered in racing in 1976 - chassis 001 and 002 cars of the Martini Porsche racing team and 006 of Kremer (003, 004 and 005 would be used for the next year's 935/77). At Dijon, the 935002 was victorious driven by Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass. 935 Kremer K1, chassis 006 driven by Bob Wollek and Hans Heyer scored second and 935001 driven by Rolf Stommelen and Manfred Schurti scored 3rd. As no more 935 were made yet, from 4th place downward came Porsche 934 and BMW 3.5 CSL cars in the top 10.

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1976 Watkins Glen and Dijon winner posters with Porsche 935
© Porsche

Only Porsche and BMW fighted seriously for the 1976 World Championship for Makes in Division 3 (the largest engine class) with De Tomaso occasionally entering races. BMW was a good rival with its 3.5 CSL and three race victories against Porsche and the four victories of the 935.

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1976 World Champion for Makes - Porsche
© Porsche

In winter 1976/1977 Porsche started the series production of the 935, to sell them to private racing teams. These cars had chassis numbers similar to street cars in the form of 930xxxxxxx. These cars were basically 935/76, but couldn't be called as such as they were made for 1977. They couldn't be called as 935/77 either as this was reserved for the new model 935/77 factory team cars. So, the 935 customer cars were called 935/77A.

In 1977, the success of 935 continued. The results of the 935/77A customer cars speak for themselves: 1977 Daytona 24h second and third, Mugello 6h 1-2-3 (winning car was a Martini 935/76), Silverstone 6h 2-3 (won with 935/77), Nürburgring 1000 km 1-2, Le Mans 24h 3rd (won with 936), Watkins Glen 2nd (won with 935/77), Brands Hatch 2-3 (won with 935/77), Vallelunga 6h 1-2.

As the factory team's 935/77 were used only in 1977 and the 935/78 was utilized minimally, the 935 customer cars started to dominate from 1978. Other makes could not provide competition to Porsches, so the fight was between the different 935 teams.

Here are the most important results of the 935 private teams:
1978: Daytona 24h 1-2, Sebring 12h 1-2-3, Mugello 6h 1-2, Talladega 6h 1-2-3, Dijon 6h 1-2, Silverstone 6h 2nd (won with 935/78), Nürburgring 1000 km 1-2-3, Misano 6h 1-2-3, Watkins Glen 6h 1-2, Vallelunga 6h 1-2-3.
1979: Daytona 24h 1-3, Sebring 12h 1-2-3, Mugello 6h 1-2-3, Dijon 6h 2-3 (won with 908/3 Turbo), Riverside 6h 1-2-3, Silverstone 6h 1-3, Nürburgring 1000 km 1-2-3, Le Mans 24h 1-2-3, Watkins Glen 6h 1-2-3, Brands Hatch 6h 2nd (won with 908/3 Turbo).

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1979 Le Mans poster and Klaus Ludvig poster, Porsche 935
1979 posters show Kremer 935 K3© Porsche

Around forty 935 were built by Porsche for private racing teams between 1977-1979. There were 935-looking racing cars built by private teams aswell, the biggest amount in 1980 (but also earlier as well as later). The number of privately built cars was also close to forty. The cars were built by Kremer, Joest, Akin, JLP, Lundgarth, Gaaco, Fabcar, Andial.

935 result in 1980: Daytona 24h 1-2-3 (won with Joest 935 similar to 935/77), Sebring 12h 1-2-3, Riverside 5h 1-2-3, Silverstone 6h 3rd, Nürburgring 1000 km 2nd, Watkins Glen 6h 3rd, Mosport 6h 1-2-3, Dijon 1000 km 1-2.
1981: Daytona 24h 1-2, Sebring 12h 1-2-3, Mugello 6h 2nd, Riverside 6h 1-2-3, Nürburgring 1000 km 3rd, Watkins Glen 6h 3rd, Mosport 6h 1-3, Suzuka 1000 km 1st, Brands Hatch 1000 km 2nd.

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1981 posters, Porsche 935, Daytona, Sebring, World Endurance Championship
1981 posters show 935 created by Kremer (935 K3 left and right) and by Brumos (in the middle)© Porsche

1982 results: Daytona 24h 1-2-3, Sebring 12h 1-3, Monza 1000 km 2nd, Riverside 6h 2-3 (2nd place went to long-tail 935 similar to 935/78), Mosport 6h 1st, Mid-Ohio 6h 1st, Brands Hatch 1000 km 3rd (won with 956).
1983: Sebring 12h 2-3, Riverside 6h 1st, Mid-Ohio 6h 2nd.


In February 1983, Mansour Ojjeh, the director of TAG (Techniques d'Avant Garde) approached Porsche with a wish: in addition to the Formula 1 engine for McLaren, he wanted to order a street legal 935 with luxury interior! Rolf Sprenger, the manager of Porsche customer special wishes department, tried to fulfill Ojjeh's 935 dream as much as possible. In order to build a street legal car, it had to be based on the 911 Turbo. The originally 300 PS (221 kW) engine was officially equipped with the 330 PS (243 kW) homologated factory powerkit and as the deviation could not be more than 5% by regulations, this meant more than 330x1.05=346 PS would be illegal for street use. Therefore, Sprenger said to journalists that the car has "almost 350 PS". In reality, the measured power was 409 PS (308 kW, 403 SAE hp) and 540 Nm (397 lb-ft). The car could do 0-100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and 200 km/h in 16.1 seconds, with the top speed reaching 292 km/h (181 mph). The suspension and brakes were taken from the 934, but as racing cars do not have the handbrake that is mandatory for a street car, a special parking brake construction was made with small Brembo calipers.

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Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3 TAG (935 Street)
911 Turbo 3.3 TAG aka 935 Street version© Porsche
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Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3 TAG (935 Street)
The rear end is closer to the 935/76 than the front end. The car is equipped with central lock 15" 3-piece BBS-wheels, 10.5" wide at the front and 13.5" at the rear. The tyres were Pirelli P7, front 285/40-15 and rear 345/35-15. © Porsche

Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com

Special thanks to Martin Krejci (racingsportscars.com)


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