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1979 Porsche 935

Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 40a

1979 Porsche 935

Chassis Number: 009 00029

  • The Last Factory Built 935
  • Team: Canepa Racing
  • Driver: Bruce Canepa
  • Engine: 3.0 liters, twin Turbo, Flat 6
  • Horsepower:720
  • Weight: 2136 lbs

Only 13 customer 935s were built at Porsche in 1979. Porsche then stopped production to concentrate on prototype racing leaving the development of the 935 up to private teams such as Kremer and Joest. This particular car was the last “Werks” car built by the factory. It was only raced five times in 1979 and 1981 and as a result is the most original 935 in existence.

Competing in his first road race, Bruce Canepa drove a 1977 Porsche 934.5 against the new 935s and finished seventh overall in the 1978 Sears Point Camel GT. Later in the year he was very competitive in the Laguna Seca Trans Am but had mechanical problems in the race. Early in 1979, Canepa, along with Rick Mears and Monte Shelton finished third overall at the 24 Hours of Daytona in the then out-dated 934.5. The Porsche factory was quite impressed and offered Canepa a new 935 and “Werks” support. The car was delivered to California just prior to the eleventh round of the 1979 IMSA championship at Sears Point. Driving a 935 for the first time, Canepa qualified the car tenth and finished fifth.

In his first visit to Portland International Raceway and only his second time in a 935, Canepa qualified on the front row with Peter Gregg. With a lap and a half to go in the race they had a one-lap lead over Hurley Haywood when Canepa began to run low on fuel. Canepa crossed the finish line on fumes just as Haywood passed him for second place. Canepa finished third beating veteran drivers such as David Hobbs, Danny Ongais, Gianpiero Moretti, Milt Minter, and Jim Busby. At the Laguna Seca Trans-Am in October Canepa finished fifth overall. For the 1980 season Canepa began driving for the MOMO team with Gianpiero Moretti and did not race his 935. In the 1981 IMSA season he had mechanical problems at Laguna Seca but qualified sixth at Sears Point and finished ninth overall. At the end of the season the car was retired from active competition.

The 935 has remained in Canepa’s personal collection and is still being raced today in selected historic events around the United States.

About the 935

The Porsche 935 was first introduced in 1976 as the racing version of the Porsche 930 (911 Turbo), prepared for FIA-Group 5 rules (930 plus Group 5 equals 935).

The 935 raced in various championships including the World Sportscar Championship, the IMSA GT championship and the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft (DRM). The 935 won over 150 races worldwide, including over 20 class wins. It scored outright wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Bruce Canepa

Canepa started racing as soon as the rules allowed; first in Go Karts and then in Super Modifieds and Sprint Cars. In addition to winning many feature events, Canepa was awarded United States Auto Club (USAC) and Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC) rookie of the year honors and most improved driver honors for both Super Modifieds and Sprint Cars. He began to compete in the IMSA championship racing a Porsche in 1978. He finished third at the 1979 24 Hours of Daytona. Canepa drove for the MOMO team in 1980 and 1981 then teamed with Bobby Rahal and Jim Truman in a MARCH GTP car at the 24 hours of Daytona in 1982. Driving his own Porsche 962 he competed in IMSA events in 1987 and 1988. Canepa took a Porsche 930 powered hill climb car to Pikes Peak and finished second in 1981. He returned in 2001 and set a hill record for Big Rigs that still stands today.

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