1979 Porsche 935
- Year of manufacture1979
- Car typeOther
- Lot number058
- Exterior colourOther
Otis Chandler, Los Angeles, California (acquired new via Volkswagen of America Inc. in 1979)
Dennis Aase, Anaheim, California (acquired from the above in 1993)
David and Karen Hall, Portland, Oregon (acquired from the above in 1994)
Current Owner (acquired from the above in 1996)
From R to GT2: The Racing Porsches 911 & 930, by John Starkey
Porsche 934/935, by Jürgen Barth and Bernd Dobronz
Porsche Panorama, May 1979, “A Close Look at the 935/79,” by Gene Babow
Los Angeles Times Grand Prix of Endurance at Riverside, 1979,
Chandler/Thomas, No. 10 (DNF)
HSR Sebring Endurance Challenge, 1998, Hawkins (Twelfth in Class)
HSR 935 Challenge at Daytona, 2000, Murry (First Overall)
The early 1970s marked the culmination of Porsche’s dominance in the prototype era and the beginning of a works racing program based on the 911. In 1973, the 911 Carrera RSR 2.8 won the Targa Florio outright, defeating factory-entered sports racing prototypes. The following year, an experimental RSR 2.1 Turbo entered by the Martini-sponsored works team placed a remarkable 2nd Overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. These successes led Porsche to develop two new state-of-the-art 911-based racing cars to compete in the FIA World Sportscar Championship.
Introduced for the 1976 season, the 934 was Porsche’s highly anticipated Group 4 variant of the all-new turbocharged 930 – a factory-built racing machine that maintained close ties to its road car counterpart. For Group 5, the so-called Silhouette formula, Porsche developed the 935, an evolution of the RSR 2.1 Turbo, featuring a fully independent coil-spring suspension, aerodynamic fiberglass bodywork, and a powerful turbocharged twin-plug flat-six. In its debut season, the new Martini-liveried works 935s captured the Group 5 championship, ushering in an exciting new era for Porsche.
For 1977, Porsche developed the updated 935/77 for the works team and built 13 examples of the 935 for customer use. These customer chassis (numbered 930 770 0901 to 930 770 0913) were similar in appearance and specification to the works 935/76 and were campaigned with great success, particularly in the German DRM series.
To satisfy demand, Porsche built 17 customer 935 chassis for 1978, which were inspired by the works 935/77s. These cars (numbered 930 890 0011 to 930 890 0037) featured twin-turbocharged engines, “running board” rocker panels, and removable rear fenders for easier maintenance.
At the end of 1978, Porsche built seven 935 chassis destined for private teams in the US. These 1979-model cars (numbered 930 990 0026 to 930 990 0032) represented the ultimate development of the 935 customer program. Though outwardly similar to the 1978-model customer cars, these late-production 935s were equipped with several new features, including an inverted gearbox and larger brakes, which improved performance and reliability. Engines were fitted with a massive single turbocharger, which improved top speed at Daytona; however, most were eventually converted to a more versatile, twin-turbo arrangement.
The 935 presented here, chassis 930 990 0027, is among this exclusive final group of customer cars and was built to order for Otis Chandler, publisher of the Los Angeles Times and one of Porsche’s VIP customers.
At the time of his purchase, Chandler was a devoted Porsche enthusiast – a member of the Porsche Club of America with an extensive stable that included a new 928 and 930, as well as iconic racing cars: the 904, 917K, and 917/30 Can-Am Spyder.
Having already owned an early 935 customer car, Chandler was eager to acquire the latest, most developed version and placed his order for the new car through Jo Hoppen at Volkswagen of America Inc., then the official US Porsche distributor. While most 935s were finished with plain, white bodywork, Chandler requested that his car be finished in Vintage Racing Blue to match his Sunoco-liveried 917/30.
As noted on the original invoice, dated March 15, 1979, the new 935 cost a staggering $134,963.10, including shipping expenditures such as air freight, adjustable stabilizer, and air jacks.
As soon as the 935 arrived in California, it was sent to Riverside Raceway for a test session with Chandler and John Thomas, a close friend and fellow racer. During this outing, Gene Babow of the PCA took photos of the new car and interviewed the crew for an article titled “A Close Look at the 935/79,” published in the May 1979 issue of Porsche Panorama.
In the article, Thomas reported that Chandler’s new Porsche “handles better than the 1978 935. There is no understeer; the front track has been increased 1 1/2". It’s far better than I can handle it.” He was also impressed by the car’s outstanding brakes, stating: “On the back straightaway at Riverside, you go past the #3 marker, past the #2 marker, hold your breath and then brake. The car just slows down, now.”
On April 22, 1979, the 935 took part in its first and only competition outing – the inaugural Los Angeles Times Grand Prix of Endurance, also known as the 6 Hours of Riverside. For this race, which counted toward the IMSA Winston GT Championship and FIA World Challenge for Endurance Drivers, a variety of 935s were entered in the GTX class by the top American teams: Brumos, Dick Barbour, Interscope, JLP, Swap Shop, and Whittington Brothers.
Chandler entered the 935 under his own name and shared driving duties with Thomas. Wearing race no. 10, and sporting San Miguel Beer sponsorship, the blue 935 got off to a strong start and ran as high as 3rd Place before the engine let go, forcing an early retirement.
After the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix, Chandler sent his 935 to the famed ANDIAL workshop in Costa Mesa, California, where a new three-liter, twin-turbo engine was built for the car. This was a common practice at the time, as the twin-turbo configuration was more reliable, improved the torque curve, and was better suited to most circuits. Once this work was carried out, the 935 returned to Chandler, who would occasionally take it out for demonstration runs at POC and PCA events during the 1980s.
In 1990, Chandler once again sent the 935 to ANDIAL for servicing. In a letter to Dieter Inzenhofer, one of the firm’s founding members, Chandler confirmed his limited use of the car: “It’s been several years since I have driven it hard at Riverside, but it has very few miles on it since you installed the engine 11 years ago after the IMSA race.”
The 935 remained in Chandler’s collection until November 1993, when it was sold to well-known racer and Porsche specialist Dennis Aase of Anaheim, California. Aase kept the car for a brief period, selling it the following year to David and Karen Hall of Portland, Oregon. The current caretaker, a longtime Porsche enthusiast and vintage racer, purchased the 935 from the Halls in December 1996, and it has been a centerpiece of his collection since.
Early on in the consignor’s ownership, the Porsche was campaigned in two HSR vintage races, the more notable being the 935 Challenge at Daytona in 2000, when David Murry drove the car to victory. Following these events, the 935 underwent a sympathetic restoration, with a great effort made to preserve original details wherever possible. Although the Porsche has not been actively raced since this work was completed, the consignor reports that the car has been regularly run and maintained without regard to expense.
Today, chassis 990 0027 is beautifully presented in all respects and looks magnificent in its distinctive Vintage Racing Blue livery. The Porsche still retains the three-liter engine built by ANDIAL in 1980, which has been fitted with a single KKK turbocharger to give the car a more accurate, as-raced appearance. Included with the sale is an impressive file of documentation that includes the original 1979 invoice from Volkswagen of America Inc. to Otis Chandler, receipts for the work performed at ANDIAL in 1980 and 1990, a copy of the May 1979 issue of Porsche Panorama, as well as correspondence, Bills of Sale, and photographs.
Over the past four decades, historians and collectors have come to regard the 935 as one of the all-time great racing Porsches. In various permutations, 935s were competitive for nine seasons, capturing outright victories at Le Mans, Daytona, and Sebring, and were crucial to Porsche’s victories each year from 1976 to 1979 in the FIA World Championship for Makes. Today, these cars are highly collectible and eligible for the best historic racing events, including the Le Mans Classic and Rennsport Reunion. Rare, historically significant, and visually impressive, 935s are also increasingly sought after by organizers of leading concours and marque gatherings.
With all of the Martini Porsche Works 935s held by the Porsche Museum and important private collections, the 37 customer 935s built by the Porsche factory from 1977 to 1979 represent the ultimate prize for discerning collectors. Many of these customer cars were extensively modified to remain competitive during active racing careers, and few exist today in fundamentally original order. Not only is 990 0027 among the final, most-evolved customer 935s built, its exceptional originality, Otis Chandler provenance, and unbroken ownership history place it among the very best examples of a rare breed.
Gooding & Company is honored to present this exceptional Porsche and recommend it to any collector looking for a top-tier example of the legendary 935.