1978 Porsche 935 K3
The Porsche 935
The Porsche 935 won over 150 races worldwide, with more than 20 class victories. It won the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours outright, along with six victories at both the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours! It was undefeated in the German DRM Championship between 1977 and 1979 and claimed three Nürburgring 1000 KM victories. The 935 also took victory in the FIA World Championship for Makes each year from 1976 to 1979! The Porsche 935 dominated endurance racing around the world, in a manner never before seen.
It was not just the Porsche factory who developed the 935 into the potent winning machine it was, as some privateer teams saw opportunities to enhance the cars, with the Kremer brothers in Germany being the most prominent and successful. In 1976, Kremer Racing developed the K1 and, in 1977, the K2, before the K3 appeared at the start of the 1979 season. The K3 went on to win the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours, with a factory-specification Porsche 935 finishing 2nd.
American magazine Road & Track put the stopwatch to a Martini-sponsored Porsche 935 in 1977, recording a 060 mph time of 3.3 seconds, a 0100 time of 6.1 seconds and the standing quarter-mile took a mere 8.9 seconds. These times were unbelievable.
This Porsche 935 K3
This twin-turbo Porsche 935 was built by Porsche in 1978 and sold through VW of America and Vasek Polak to the Interscope Racing Team, owned by American media mogul, entrepreneur and film producer Ted Field. Porsche built 24 customer twin-turbo 935s between 1978 and 1979.
Interscope Racing entered this car for its first event in April 1978: the Camel GT Challenge at Road Atlanta, round four of the IMSA GT Championship, with Danny Ongais behind the wheel. Having qualified 11th, Ongais crossed the line 2nd, before qualifying on pole position for the following round, the Monterey Triple Crown 100-mile race at Laguna Seca Raceway at the end of April. Over the course of the 1978 IMSA GT Championship, this car entered five rounds, with Ted Field taking to the wheel for the final three.
The first event this car entered in 1979 was the 24-Hour Pepsi Challenge, better known as the Daytona 24 Hours, round one of the IMSA GT Championship, with Ted Field, Danny Ongais and Milt Minter behind the wheel. The twin-turbo 935 qualified 11th, wearing race number 00. Before the race started, Peter Henn, who had practised in the Whittington brothers’ Porsche 934, bought this car, immediately replacing Milt Minter in the cockpit.
Preston Henn was an American boat racer and entrepreneur who founded the world-famous Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop. Henn was an avid motorsport enthusiast and competitor, even claiming a victory at the Daytona 24 Hours in 1983!
The 1979 Daytona 24 Hours started at 16:23, to accommodate the CBS television schedule, with less than 90 minutes of racing before sunset. During the race, Preston Henn had a huge slide across the grass opposite the pits. A bit shaken, he chose to return to the pits and retire the car.
A month later, the whole IMSA Championship reunited for the Coca-Cola Sebring 12 Hours, where Preston Henn entered this 935 with his team, Thunderbird Swap Shop. Henn employed three-time Le Mans winner Hurley Haywood, who had also just won the Daytona 24 Hours, to drive alongside himself and Peter Gregg, although Gregg would only arrive on Saturday afternoon, as he was already competing in Atlanta at the IROC final! Haywood immediately showed his pace and qualified the car 2nd on the grid.
The race started at 11:00am, with Haywood chasing the leading 935, driven by Stommelen for the first 10 laps, with the pair quickly pulling away from the field. Haywood managed to overtake and lead the Sebring 12 Hours in this Porsche 935. Sadly, as the race progressed, the team experienced difficulties, and when Gregg finally arrived, he lost considerable time with a wheel-bearing replacement, before terminal gearbox issues. Over the remainder of the 1979 season, this 935 competed at a further 13 events, with Preston Henn largely behind the wheel, regularly finishing inside the top 10. Once the season ended, this 935 was entrusted to Chuck Gaa, of GAACO in Atlanta, Georgia, who upgraded it to Kramer Type 3 ‘K3’ specification.
In Germany, the Kremer brothers had been developing several variants of the Porsche 935 to be even faster, with the most successful version being the third, the K3. The easiest place to spot improvements was to the exterior, where a carbon-Kevlar and Kevlar composite body was fitted, being designed by Eckerhard Zimmerman’s company, Design Plastics, and the Kremer Racing team. The K3 featured fences around the tops of the wings to channel the airflow to where it was needed and to increase downforce. At the front, the number of ventilation slots above the front wheels had been substantially increased and only two driving lights were seen behind Perspex covers in the front spoiler. The side skirts, first seen on the 935/77, connected the front and rear wings to aid channelling of the airflow to both the dual brake cooling slots and air intake holes. The side skirts also helped seal the airflow on the underside of the car, again increasing downforce. Perhaps the most iconic K3 upgrade was the rear spoiler, of Kremer design, with supports which flowed nicely from the rear pillars. There were also improvements to the design and fitment of the roll cage, resulting in improved handling.
Mechanically, Kremer made two important improvements. One, they turned the gearbox upside down, which allowed the car to be lowered roughly 40mm, whilst also allowed the gear ratios to be changed without removing the engine. The second was the fitment of an air-to-air intercooler, which was not only lighter but also gave a more even temperature drop across the air-cooled cylinders, meaning the K3’s engine could produce more power for longer, as it was being cooled more efficiently. In period, these upgrades were rumoured to reduce intake temperatures by 40 degrees and increase power by 75bhp! The Kramer Racing Team made several cars themselves, but also offered a kit which allowed a standard factory Porsche 935 to be upgraded to K3 specification.
In February 1980, 0021 once again returned to Daytona to compete in the first round of the IMSA Challenge: the Daytona 24 Hours Pepsi Challenge. Entered by Henn’s Thunderbird Swap Shop team, this car was driven by 1978 FIA Endurance champion John Paul Snr and five-time IMSA Camel GT champion and three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Al Holbert, along with Preston Henn.
The drivers qualified 0021 in 13th, but once the flag dropped to signal the start on Saturday afternoon, the car quickly ran into problems with a broken oil-line. Having lost close to an hour to replace the oil-line, 0021 continued to pound around the Daytona banking and infield for the remainder of the 24 hours, without any major issues, steadily climbing up the order until the chequered flag dropped, at which point they were 2nd overall! Having covered 682 laps in a record-setting Daytona 24 Hours, this car finished 18 laps ahead of the 3rd-place 935 of Ted Field and Danny Ongais!
As is tradition, at the end of March was round two of the IMSA Championship, the 12 Hours of Sebring, where John Paul Snr and Al Holbert were again joined in the cockpit by Preston Henn himself. The drivers qualified 0021 in 11th on a very competitive grid, but once again pushed forward during the race, crossing the line in a hugely impressive 4th overall.
John Paul Snr continued to drive this car throughout the 1980 IMSA Championship, even taking victory at the Coca-Cola 400 race at Lime Rock in May, en route to finishing 2nd overall in the IMSA GT Drivers’ Championship, with Porsche absolutely dominating the Manufacturers’ Championship.
The final year of competition for 0021 was 1981, entering the famed Daytona 24 Hours for the third consecutive year! On this occasion, Preston Henn was again behind the wheel, with Bob Bondurant sharing driving duties. A month later, 0021 again returned to the Sebring 12 Hours, for its third consecutive showing. Over three seasons, 0021 entered both the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours three times! Over the remainder of the 1982 season, 0021 entered two further races with Henn: the Road Atlanta Grand Prix and Los Angeles Times Grand Prix at Riverside International Raceway in April.
In 1982, Preston Henn traded this car with Andial for an ex-Kramer 935, before Monte Shelton bought the car in 1986. Shelton maintained ownership of this car for the next 20 years, during which time he was regularly seen competing and displaying the car at a variety of events in America, as confirmed by the Sports Car Club of America Vehicle Logbook, which still accompanies the car.
Early 2006 saw this Porsche 935 return to Europe, as it was bought by Carlos Barbot of Portugal; the car received FIA papers in May of the same year. At this point, the car was painted black, in its original and iconic Interscope livery. Barbot entered the car in two Portuguese events, as well as the Le Mans Classic in 2006, before commissioning a complete restoration by Porsche competition specialist Roitmayer in Germany. The engine and gearbox were rebuilt, with new turbos and oil and fuel lines fitted, the suspension was rebuilt, and the body was repainted to the period Swap Shop livery.
In 2014, this car entered a sizeable and well-curated collection of competition cars with its current owner. As an enthusiastic historic racer, the current owner entered this car in the 2016 Spa Classic, before the engine was dispatched to Peter Chambers Automotive in the UK for a complete rebuild. At this point, the engine received new barrels, pistons, rocker arms, camshafts and valves, and the turbos were rebuilt, along with the oil pump. This documented engine rebuild totalled £37,783.72. Since this complete engine rebuild, the car has been used for only a 45-minute shakedown session.
In 2018, Porsche celebrated its 70th anniversary, choosing to pay homage to the 935 by building a limited run of only 77 tribute race cars. Porsche has a rich history of success within motorsport, and on the 70th anniversary of the brand, it chose the 935 as the car to reimagine!
Today, the Porsche 935 K3 is not only eligible for the greatest historic competition events, including the Le Mans Classic and Peter Auto Classic Endurance Racing in Europe, it is also eligible for the Daytona Historics, Sebring Classic 12 Hour and Monterey Historics in America. Widely appreciated as one of the most important endurance competition cars, the Porsche 935 would look as good driving up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as it would sitting on a concours d’elegance lawn, basking in the admiration of any motorsport enthusiast. This is one of the most useable and significant historic competition cars—don’t you want to experience ownership of this triple Daytona and Sebring competitor?
Price Upon Application