Much is said about the Porsche 935, and rightly so – it was practically a missing link between the Porsche 911 and a sports prototype, as were many cars made according to Group 5 regulations in the 1970s and 1980s. The central portion it was clearly 911, but the fenders, hood and rear were modified to the extreme – culminating in the impressive 935 Moby Dick.
However, the same cult is not reserved to the Porsche 934 – thus named as a 930 modified by the rules of Group 4. Like the 935, it was responsible for the incursion of the nine-eleven in the touring tests, but its category prevented it from suffering such radical changes. In practice, it was more like a Porsche 911 on the street. And this ends up contributing to its appeal.
Presented in 1976, the Porsche 934 was, in practice, the competition version of the first 911 Turbo (930), which went on sale the previous year. As you may know, the 930 was considered one of the wildest sports cars you could buy at that time – after all, it had an old turbo engine hanging from the rear, without anti-lag. When the turbo “filled”, it was a blow – and, in the middle of a curve, with a short wheelbase, it was easy to slip too much and spin out like a top.
In December 1975, Porsche approved the 934, using the 930 as a base, but with a more powerful engine – a three-liter flat-six, as in the streetcar, but with 485 hp (the 930 had 260 hp in the first years). Aesthetically it was very reminiscent of the 911 Turbo, with the same rear spoiler, same hood, same doors, same glass area and same bumpers, headlights and taillights.
It was possible to notice, however, a larger front spoiler, with generous air intakes and a large intercooler, in addition to the reamers in the fenders, with rivets on display – a look that influences projects of enthusiasts and preparers until today. Perhaps at the time Porsche was only interested in the function – after all, the BBS were 16 × 10.5 inches at the front and 16 × 12.5 inches at the back (!!). But they ended up creating a beautiful shape.
The 934 also had other modifications, such as quick-hub BBS wheels, brakes borrowed from none other than the Porsche 917, and a lightened interior with integral protection cage, as well as relatively simple modifications to the suspension – which maintained the same basic layout as the 930, but it got adjustable Bilstein dampers and thicker stabilizer bars. Porsche deliberately kept the modifications simple, since the goal was to sell the car to other teams, who would end up digging further into the 934 on their own. The 934 is a rare car that had a short life – launched alongside the 935 in 1976, the 934 was homologated for racing by the 930, a car that more than exceeded the FIA’s stipulated production figure of “400 units over a period not exceeding 24 consecutive months”. Only 31 units were manufactured (and another 10 units were produced to the 934/5).
The car on those photos is one of several 934s raced in the legendary Jägermeister colors. It was fielded in the 1976 DRM for Reinhardt Stenzel with some success but ultimately no victory was scored. It was also raced to tenth at the Nürburgring 6 Hours with among others Derek Bell as co-driver. For the 1977 season, the car was acquired by Gianpiero Moretti and re-liveried in his famous MOMO colors. Moretti himself drove the car to several wins in the Italian GT Championship before selling the car on to the United States. Fielded by Electrodyne Racing for owner Chester Vincentz, it was raced in IMSA events from 1979 through to 1981 but was never modified to 934½ or 935 specification. Still in American ownership, this well raced but equally well preserved 934 has been restored to its original colors. At a rare outing, it was shown at the 2017 Carmel Concours on the Avenue.
The 935 is fantastic with its exaggerated aerodynamics, there is something magical about a racing car that is as close to a streetcar as the 934 was.