Newly minted Porsche 935 racer debuts at Rennsport Reunion

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The Porsche 935 can be had in classic Martini livery | Porsche Motorrsport photos

Porsche unveiled a special treat for the horde of zealots at this weekend’s Rennsport Reunion at WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway in California: a 700-horsepower Porsche 935 track beast with a body reminiscent of the legendary Porsche 935/78 race car.

Designed for clubsport events and private training on race tracks, the racer is based on the Porsche 911 GT2 RS road car.  But like the competition car, the 935 has had most of its body replaced by carbon-fiber components. Its extended streamlined rear stretches the car out to about 16 feet (4.87 meters).

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The original Porsche 935/78 race car dubbed ‘Moby Dick’

Just 77 examples of the new track car will be built, according to the automaker, with the heritage design meant to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first Porsche 356 and the birth of the brand. 

“This spectacular car is a birthday present from Porsche Motorsport to fans all over the world,” Frank-Steffen Walliser, Porsche’s vice president for motorsport and GT cars, said in a news release. “Because the car isn’t homologated, engineers and designers didn’t have to follow the usual rules and thus had freedom in the development. “

Porsche’s release notes, “The spectacular aerodynamics is a completely new development and pays tribute to the Porsche 935/78 Le Mans race car, which fans dubbed ‘Moby Dick’ due to its elongated shape, massive fairings and white base color.

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With its aerodynamically extended rear section, the 935 is 16 feet long

“The distinctive wheel-arch air vents on the front fairings, which also feature on the Porsche 911 GT3 R customer vehicle, increase downforce at the front axle. …The rear wing lends aerodynamic balance.”

Power comes from a 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged six-cylinder boxer engine – essentially the same as the engine in the 911 GT2 RS – that generates 700 peak horsepower, fed through a seven-speed Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch transmission that can be driven in automatic or manually shifted. 

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The rear lights are shrouded by the streamlined bodywork

The single-seat race car embodies references to competition Porsches of the past, the release says.

“Many details of the exterior are a salute to winning vehicles from the company’s motor racing history: The aerodynamically capped rims echo those of the 935/78, with the LED rear lights on the rear wing endplates adopted from the 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car,” according to the release. “The side mirrors hail from the current Le Mans-winning 911 RSR, with the exposed titanium tailpipes modeled on the Porsche 908 from 1968.”

These references extend to the cockpit, such as the laminated-wood shifter knob that “is reminiscent of racers such as the 917, the 909 Bergspyder and the Carrera GT super sports car.”

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The interior contains the latest pieces of racing technology

The new 935 features state-of-the-art safety features, such as a massive safety cage protecting the cabin, six-way racing harness and an electronically actuated fire-extinguisher.  A passenger seat can be fitted as an option.  For comfort, air-conditioning is provided.

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Competition-honed steering, suspension and braking, as well as a suite of the latest technology features, are part of the package. .

The exclusive 935 comes with a premium price tag, starting at 701,948 euro, or about $817,000.  The car can be ordered now with delivery starting in June 2019.   

The 2018 Rennsport Reunion, a massive 70th anniversary celebration of everything Porsche from early heritage vehicles to the latest stars of motorsport, continues through Sunday at the Laguna Seca track.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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