It’s no surprise that Porsche knows its way around a race track. The German automaker remains the winningest manufacturer at Le Mans with 19 victories to its name. That’s fantastic, but there’s much more than meets the eye aside from the success at the Circuit de la Sarthe. As such, Porsche’s latest video talks about the history behind its 935/78 race car.
Dealing with the elephant – or whale – in the room, the legend earned its Moby Dick nickname for its long tail design; the mechanics came up with the name, and it even lives on with the modern reincarnation of the iconic racer.
Gallery: Porsche 935 liveries
Another design staple of the 935 was its aggressively flat nose. Designed to make room for the oil and intercoolers, it adds to the form-follows-function ethos of the vehicle. Rather unsurprisingly, the mechanical challenges aren’t limited to just the front. Pesky racing rules required the rear-mounted 3.2-litre flat-six engine to have air-cooled cylinders – the engineering team wanted the powerplant to be water-cooled.
Aside from its iconic aesthetic, Porsche isn’t afraid to mention that the 935 wasn’t as successful as other racecars from the German automaker. Its sole victory came in the 1978 instalment of the Silverstone 6 Hours – F1 ace Jackie Ickx qualified on pole, and the rest was history. The 935 wasn’t victorious at Le Mans that year after being largely overshadowed by the 936 prototypes.
Old meets new:
Semantics aside, the racing world hasn’t seen another car quite as iconic or bearing such a loony callsign. However, thanks to Porsche’s recent re-entry into the upper echelon of sportscar racing, we could see a new paradigm of engineering brilliance and success.