1980 Porsche 935

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1980
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    42
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other

Description

The early 1970s marked the culmination of Porsche’s dominance during the prototype era and the beginning of a works racing program based on the 911. In 1973, the 911 Carrera RSR won the Targa Florio outright, defeating factory-entered sports racing prototypes. The following year, an experimental RSR Turbo entered by the Porsche Martini works team placed 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 Championship for Makes.

Introduced for the 1976 season, the 934 was Porsche’s 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 Turbo, featuring independent coil-spring suspension, aerodynamic fiberglass bodywork, and a powerful turbocharged 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.

Between 1977 and 1979, Porsche developed special versions of the 935 for the works team and produced 37 production cars for customer use. Meanwhile, several private teams began to develop their own version of the 935, building highly specialized cars from factory-supplied body shells. Of all the independently constructed 935s, the most successful were the mighty K3s built by the Kremer Racing Team in Cologne, Germany.

Over a period of nearly 40 years, Erwin and Manfred Kremer developed, built, and campaigned Porsche racing cars that won many of the top prizes in endurance racing. Established in the early 1960s, the team had, by the mid-1970s, achieved considerable success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the German National Championship. Soon after Porsche debuted the 935, Kremer Racing developed their own version, the 935 K, which they entered in the World Championship for Makes. An improved K2 appeared in 1977, but it was the K3 that took the racing world by storm. Introduced in 1979, the K3 took its inspiration from Porsche’s groundbreaking 935/77 and included many similar features. Aerodynamically, the K3 employed advanced Kevlar composite bodywork, designed in conjunction with Eckerhard Zimmerman’s Design Plastics company, and made use of running board rocker panels, a raised rear roof, and Kremer-developed wing for increased downforce.

Beyond its exotic bodywork, the K3 featured a strengthened and lightened chassis; massive, ventilated disc brakes; and an inverted gearbox, which lowered the car’s center of gravity, made it easier to change ratios, and put less strain on CV joints. Perhaps the K3’s most significant innovation was its air-to-air intercooler, which greatly improved power output and reliability. In 3.2-liter form, the K3 produced a staggering 800 bhp at 1.7 bar of boost in qualifying trim, with 740 hp available at a more reliable 1.4 bar.

Unsurprisingly, the 935 K3 achieved tremendous success at the highest levels of international endurance racing. In 1979, the Kremer Racing K3 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright. In 1980, Dick Barbour Racing won the 12 Hours of Sebring with a K3. Later that year, K3s helped Klaus Ludwig capture the German National Championship and John Fitzpatrick win the IMSA GTX title.

The 935 K3 presented here, chassis 000 00027, was purchased new by Ted Field’s legendary Interscope Racing Team to replace another K3 that had been damaged at the Daytona Finale in 1980. Finished in the iconic Interscope colors – black with red, orange, and pink stripes – chassis 00027 debuted at Road Atlanta in April 1981, where the team’s lead driver, Danny Ongais, took it to a 4th Place finish. Later in the season, the K3 placed 4th at Laguna Seca, 5th at the Daytona Finale, and participated in the Suzuka 1000km in Japan.

In 1982, this K3 was entered in two major endurance races – the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 6 Hours of Riverside – but its best result that year came at Road Atlanta, where Ongais placed 2nd Overall. The last outing for 00027 in period took place in 1983 at the 24 Hours of Daytona, where it was used as a practice car. When Interscope Racing disbanded, Ted Field gave several cars, including this K3, to his star driver Danny Ongais. Amazingly, Ongais stored the 935 in the garage of his Southern California beach house for approximately 15 years before selling it to Porsche specialist Kevin Jeannette. Mr. Jeannette’s firm, Gunnar Racing, then recommissioned the highly original K3 and sold it to Jay Policastro of Pennsylvania.

An active driver in the ALMS and Grand Am series, Policastro won the HSR Thundersports Championship with 00027 and then commissioned Gunnar Racing to perform a complete bare-tub restoration in 2003. The 935 remained in his ownership and raced occasionally until 2006, when it was sold to Ray Hartman of California. He entered the K3 in a few sprint events and then sold it to Dr. Peter Garrod of Kent, England, in 2008. Porsche specialist Ian Gorham prepared the 935 for further racing and Dr. Garrod campaigned it at Le Mans Classic in 2008 and 2010.

The consignor, a prominent American collector, sought out and acquired this K3 in 2014, after searching for a highly competitive, front-running car to run in historic events. Early in his ownership, Alex Job Racing prepared the car, including a full engine rebuild by 901 Shop Inc. in Stuart, Florida. Since this work was carried out, the 935 has been campaigned with great success at Le Mans Classic, several editions of the Monterey Historic Automobile Races, and at the last two Rennsport Reunions. More recently, Olsen Motorsports of Illinois has maintained the K3 in meticulous, race-ready condition. A tribute to the quality of the initial restoration and the care it has since received, this car was shown at the 2021 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance where it was selected as First in Class from a special display honoring the Porsche 935.

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, as well as multiple FIA World Championships and numerous other national championships. Today, these Porsches are eligible for the best historic racing events and remain the cars to beat, especially in highly developed K3 form. Rare, significant, and visually impressive, 935s are also increasingly sought-after by organizers of leading concours and marque gatherings.

Not only is this K3 one of the last, most developed 935s, its Interscope Racing provenance, well-documented history, and outstanding vintage race record place it among the very best examples of a rare breed. Gooding & Company is honored to present this exceptional K3 and recommend it to any collector looking for a top-tier example of the legendary 935.

*Please note that this vehicle is sold on a Bill of Sale.