Porsche 935 K3/80 #43 – TSM

1981 Porsche 935 K3/80
Pilots: B. Akin, P. Miller, C. Siebert
Team: Bob Akin Motor Racing
Race: DNF (IMSA GTX) at Le Mans in 1981
TSM - 104302 (resin) 

Published 04/17/20

Introduced in 1976 as a works car, the Porsche 935 was a beast. With a 2994 cm³ flat-6 turbocharged by a single KKK turbine, it delivered up to 630 hp. Porsche immediately realized the potential, and in the following year offered the car to privateers. At the time, the 935 was a very sensible option for a privateer, since the car was affordable and came with good support from the factory. With that, the 935 became a very popular car on racetracks all over the world. However, some believed that anything good could become better. Like Manfred and Erwin Kremer. Kremer Racing had a strong and long-standing relationship with Porsche. They were one of the first to receive the new car – in fact, they even had one in 1976. Well, in reality it was a 934 chassis that they modified to 935 specs and called it the 935 K1.

At least in my monitor it looks kind of orange, but trust me, the car is Coca-Cola-red.

Stuttgart always released their improved cars one season after they debuted it in the works team. Therefore, as soon as Kremer got their hands on a “factory” 935, they began to improve it. In 1977, while Porsche was using the 935/77 in the works team, Kremer released the 935 K2. For 1978 Porsche didn’t upgrade the 935 much, and in 1979 they were officially off from Group 5 racing (but still offered the car for sale). Nevertheless, Kremer persisted, and they did not stop evolving the car. So in 1979 they released the 935 K3, which was basically lighter, more aerodynamic and more efficient than the factory model. It had a 3164 cm³ flat-6 with twin KKK turbos, that delivered 750 hp. The car was so good that 935 K3 #41 came in first place at le Mans in 1979. 

As always, TSM makes fantastic 935s, and this K3/80 is no exception.

With that kind of good press, it was easy for Kremer to sell the K3 to customers. This 935 K3/80 #43 here is chassis #000 00013, built by Kremer in 1980. Kremer Racing used it (in partnership with other teams) at Le Mans and Zolder in 1980, and then sold it to Bob Akin Motor Racing. Bob Akin then painted it in the striking Coca-Cola livery and took it to La Sarthe in 1981. Unhappily though, an electrical failure prevented 935 K3/80 #43 to finish the race.

See the queen of diamonds on the rear wing? Interesting story about that.

This story I read at the “Porsche 935: The Legend” Facebook group page, and it’s too good not to share. Craig Siebert, Bob Akin’s co-driver in 1981, was a big fan of the Eagles song “Desperado”. The lyrics said “Don’t draw the queen of diamonds, she’ll hurt you if she’s able. The queen of hearts is always your best bet.” So he adopted the queen of hearts as a good luck charm. He wanted it on the car, since it would be his first race at La Sarthe, but was afraid to ask Bob Akin. What to do? He convinced Bob’s 14yo son, Bobby, to discreetly do it for him 😎. And with that, #43 raced with the queen of hearts.

The 935 was one of the most prolific cars at La Sarthe.

Doing a rapid headcount, this is my 13th 935. So I guess you can say I’m a 935 fan boy… Guilty 😍! Oh come on, the 935 epitomizes Group 5 racing and it’s down right cool. Plus, a K3/80 in such a striking livery? AND with a cool lucky charm story? Of course I wanted one. And as a bonus, this is from TSM, which I think does an even better job than Spark. In the end, K3/80 #43 is a very nice model of a very interesting car.

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