Porsche stunned performance enthusiasts and motorsport fans around the world last September when it revealed a true second-generation 935 race car. However, the lucky few (Porsche will build just 77 cars) who will get the honor of owning one will have a tough decision to make: which one of these gorgeous nostalgic liveries to choose?
The German brand revealed seven different liveries it will actually design and produce for the new 935 race car on Thursday, and the choices will make the decision a really tough call for any buyer. Porsche recognizes that not only did track times and race wins contribute to building icons in racing, but sometimes it was a just-right outfit that sealed the deal. In this case, each paint scheme pulls from various 935 race cars and eras of Porsche racing.
The first is a no-brainer. The baby blue and orange colors immediately call to mind images of Gulf-liveried race cars of the mid-20th century. Here, the colors recall the 1970 917 race car and the Porsche Salzburg race team. That year, John Wyer, the race team manager, secured overall victory for Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time.
The second livery honors driver Gianpiero Moretti, who drove a red Momo Racing 935 in various Group 5 races. The red and yellow livery stuck out on the track, and today it looks wonderful paired with the modern lines of the reborn 935.
Livery number three should also stir up vivid memories as it’s based on the Sachs 935 race cars. Team Kremer Racing battled hard at the 1980 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Sachs 935, but heavy rain and a lost cylinder meant they couldn’t compete for the overall win. However, the same car walked away triumphant at the 12 Hours of Sebring that same year.
The Vaillant 935 livery is the most retro-licious of them all, with colors only the late 1970s could bear. Team Kremer sought support from heating manufacturer Vaillant, and in 1977, the Vaillant 935 decimated at the Nürburgring.
The Salzburg 935 takes a different approach than some of the others. It recalls the small Austrian race team that stunned the world with a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970 with a 917 race car. With its win, the competition took notice of the 917 and its dominating ways. The dark red and white stripes also look magnificent.
On the darker end of the spectrum, buyers will be able to choose from two black motifs. The first is the Interscope, which honors Bob Garretson and Brian Redman’s win at the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona. The final is the John Player Special livery, which looks back on the dominant 935 from Group 5 racing in the late 1970s and early ’80s. While the Interscope scheme incorporates bright splashes of orange and even a salmon color the JPS livery is simple with only gold highlights. Both looks were used for many years.
Unfortunately, the latest Porsche 935 isn’t homologated from the 911 GT2 it’s based on, which means it won’t race in any particular class and won’t be legal for the street. Instead, owners will be able to race the car in club sport events or at private track days. That’s a shame because these liveries deserve a spotlight.