1978 Porsche 935 Pilots: H. Grohs, J-L. Lafosse, J. Fitzpatrick Team: Gelo / Sportswear International Race: DNF (Group 5 class) at Le Mans in 1979 Spark - S4166 (resin)
With the success of the 935 in 1976 (called 935/76), Porsche produced 16 units for privateers for 1977. These cars, called 935/77A, were specifically for the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft championship in Germany, in the Group 5 class. However, in order to fit in the “under four liter” and “970 kg” group, the 935’s engine could displace no more than 2857 cm³. So Stuttgart used the same 930/72 unit (turbocharged boxer-6 with 12 valves and SOHC) of 1976. But it came with an important difference: the single KKK used in the 1976 cars was replaced by two smaller KKK turbo units. With two smaller units turbo lag was reduced, and there was also a bump in power, with the engine now good for 590 to 630 hp according to tune.
The car was reliable and strong, so for the Le Mans race of 1979 a few privateers, like the Gelo Team, still fielded the 935/77A. However, they enlarged the engine to 2994 cm³ and the car now weighed a bit more, 1025 kg.
Interesting car, this 935 #37 (chassis #930 890 0011). In July of ‘78, it won the Watkins Glen 6 Hours minus the driver’s door. But at La Sarthe in ‘79 it didn’t fare as well, even with the door firmly in place. Unfortunately, on the 196th lap it had to abandon with engine woes. However, in 1:43 the model is a true winner. Spark did a terrific job, and the car is easily one of my best vintage porkers from the brand. If you’re after a 935, Spark offers a plethora of nice versions. Like the “Numero Resérve” or the “Poulain”, just to cite a couple.