Last-ever factory-built 1977 Porsche 934/5 at Amelia Island sale
Gooding & Company’s impending Amelia Island sale features not one, but two extraordinary Porsche racing machines set to excite deep-pocketed enthusiasts of historic motorsport...
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Rare race cars coming to auction.
Just as we were about to send this issue of 911 & Porsche World to print, leading international auction house, Gooding & Company, announced the inclusion of the last-ever factory-built 934/5 in its Amelia Island sale, scheduled to take place across the weekend of March 2nd/3rd.
As the model’s name suggests, Porsche took key equipment from the 934 and 935 race cars to produce a new sports prototype for Group 4 of 1977’s International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) championship. Among other components, the chassis, engine and wheels of the 934 were combined with the tyres and rear wing of the 935, but the resulting 934/5 was banned for Group 4 by IMSA’s governing body before its first scheduled race, leading Brumos owner and racing driver, Peter Gregg, to enter his 934/5 (chassis 9307700952) into the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA)’s Trans-Am series. The 934/5’s flat-six was equipped with a single turbocharger, capable of pushing power to 590bhp, but partly due to the IMSA ban, the model was short-lived, resulting in only ten cars built. Even so, the 934/5 managed to win all six of the SCCA Trans-Am rounds it entered in 1977.
Pictured is the Gooding & Company sales car, delivered new to Czech racing river, Vasek Polak, and campaigned in Trans-Am by Ron Brown in mid-1977 before being paired with Clif Kearns, the driver most associated with the Porsche, which carries chassis number 9307700960. Kearns — supported by a revolving cast of co-pilots, including Milt Minter, Stephen Behr and Gianpiero Moretti — raced the car in IMSA’s GT class in the latter part of 1977 and throughout 1978, taking in Sears Point, Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta, among other iconic circuits.
Under the Desperado Racing banner, Kearns earned numerous top ten finishes and a podium in the 1979 season, but didn’t have the resources to compete in a full calendar of IMSA racing. Consequently, Marty Hinze bought the car in 1980. His first race was in Group 5 at Watkins Glen, sharing the driving with Dale Whittington, winner of the previous year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Kremer K3-specification 935. Transmission failure encouraged Hinze to upgrade to K3 trim, at which point 9307700960 was treated to a 3.2-litre twin-turbocharged flat-six, inverse transmission, titanium driveshafts, 935 suspension and 935 brakes. Then, in November 1980, Hinze recruited Gary Belcher for the Daytona Finale. The pair finished fifth overall.
Hinze owned and raced 9307700960 for the rest of its IMSA career, including the 1981 12 Hours of Sebring, where Hinze, Minter and Bill Whittington finished third overall. T-Bird Swap Shop owner, Preston Henn, also drove the car, which he sponsored, hence Swap Shop’s famous livery decorating 9307700960’s bodywork during the 1982 and 1983 seasons.
With the introduction of the GTP class, 935s were bundled with ground-effect prototypes, making it difficult to achieve a win. Hinze did, however, finish fifteenth at Sebring in 1985, when the car was painted yellow. Now fully restored to original specification and with Kearns’ famous Desperado graphics reinstated, 9307700960 is offered with an estimate of between $800k and $1.1m.
A high number of Porsches feature in Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale. From a 1958 356 Speedster through to a 2016 991 GT3 RS, there’s a Porsche available to suit every taste, but it’s the auction’s rare race cars catching our eye, none more so than the amazing 1987 Kremer 962 CK6 pictured right.
The 962 and its predecessor, the 956, are among the most important cars in the history of endurance motorsport. The success they achieved is unrivalled in the history of sports car racing — between 1982 and 1987, the 956 and 962 won at Le Mans six times, finishing 1-2-3 every year except 1987, when the last podium place was nicked by a Cougar C20, though it’s worth noting this car was powered by the 962’s Type 935 2.8-litre flat-six. In North America, the 962 won forty-eight of sixty-eight IMSA GTP races between 1984 and 1987, including 1-2-3 finishes at both Daytona and Sebring for three consecutive years.
Campaigned by the Porsche works team and well-funded private entries, the 956 and 962 captured the World Endurance Championship’s manufacturer’s and driver’s titles (1982–1985), the World Sports Prototype Championship’s manufacturer’s and driver’s titles (1986–1987), the IMSA GTP manufacturer’s title (1985–1988) and the IMSA GTP driver’s title (1985–1987), along with numerous other important victories and series championships.
Among the private teams racing Porsches in the period was Kremer Racing. Founded by brothers Erwin and Manfred Kremer in 1962, the eponymous team would achieve great success in the 1970s, producing bodywork of its own design for the 935, culminating with the aforementioned overall win at Le Mans in 1979. Kremer would transition to the prototype class with the introduction of the 956, and arguably provided the Porsche factory team with its stiffest European-based competition throughout the 1980s. For the 1987 season, Kremer purchased from Porsche a 962 (chassis 962-118), which the Cologne crew used for sprint races, Interserie and the World Endurance Championship. For Kremer’s Le Mans campaigns, a separate 962 was built by the team itself, utilising a new Thompson aluminium honeycomb tub, renowned for its increased rigidity and lightness when compared to Porsche’s factory 962 tubs, which were made of aluminium sheet metal. Additionally, the Kremer car’s body panels were manufactured from lightweight carbon-Kevlar composite. This custom 962 is the very Porsche pictured right.
Kremer raced it at Le Mans in 1987 and 1988 — its only competitive outings. Sponsorship was provided by Japanese real estate consortium, Leyton House, which itself was a fascinating and iconic brand in motorsports circles. In a not-toouncommon practice, this brightly coloured Kremer Porsche raced with the 962-118 chassis plate in period, but was later renumbered CK6-87.
For the 1987 24 Hours of Le Mans, George Fouché, Franz Konrad and Wayne Taylor drove the car and finished fourth overall. A year later, Fouché was joined in the same Porsche by Kris Nissen, and Harald Grohs. The trio placed eighth come race end. Chassis CK6- 87 would remain in Kremer Racing’s collection until it was “very reluctantly” sold to UK-based Porsche collector, Tony O’Neill.
GUNNAR RACING OF WEST PALM BEACH WAS SUBSEQUENTLY TASKED WITH RETURNING THE CAR TO RUNNING CONDITION
In 2002, the car was sold to Henry Pearman, where it became part of the largest collection of Group C Porsches anywhere in the world. Pearman passed ownership to collector and dealer, Paul Michaels, in 2007, after which, CK6-87 was mechanically refurbished and went on to appear at the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed. It then remained on static display until being purchased by the consignor at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale in 2019.
Gunnar Racing of West Palm Beach was subsequently tasked with returning the car to running condition. Invoices totalling more than $41,000 outline extensive cosmetic and mechanical repairs. Since then, this beautifully presented Porsche was used at a single track day event and, today, carries all the hallmarks of a machine remaining in specialist care since new. Budget north of $850,000. To register for bidding and to find out more about this historic Porsche, visit goodingco.com.
NOW FULLY RESTORED TO ORIGINAL SPECIFICATION AND WITH KEARNS’ FAMOUS DESPERADO GRAPHICS REINSTATED