Jacksonville, FL — In the initial tests of the new Porsche 935 45 years ago, it recorded a sobering 194-mph top speed on the mile-long Mistral straight (faster than the Tyrrell Formula 1 car testing at the same time). By the end of the season, the 935 with Le Mans gearing reached a top speed of 209 mph and accelerated from 0-125 mph in 8.5 seconds.
The potency of the new 935 was underscored when Manfred Schurti won the pole position for the 1976 Nurburgring 1000 Km with a time fast enough to qualify for that season’s Formula 1 German Grand Prix.
Success for the model arrived in a hurry and lasted nearly a decade. Porsche’s 935 won its first race in 1976 (Mugello 6 Hours) and scored its final major international victory in the 1984 12 Hours of Sebring. Variants of the 935 won Sebring six times, a record never surpassed (and equaled only by the Audi R8 prototype).
The 935 made it to Daytona’s victory lane 15 times — including six 24 Hour wins — from 1978 through 1983 plus logged 55 victories in FIA international championship races from 1976 through 1982.
It also won 51 IMSA GT races from 1978 through 1984, including every event of 1980’s 14-race Camel GT championship season.
In celebration of the racing prowess of the 935, it will be among the featured classes at the March 7 Amelia Island Concours with Honoree Lyn St. James.