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  • This is Porsche‘s birthday present to the world, a new 935 race car. Porsche
  • The car gets a distinctive whale tail rear, inspired by the 935/78 racer from 1978. Porsche
  • The current 911 GT3 R race car donates its steering wheel and digital dash. Porsche
  • I must admit, while I think it looks great, I‘m struggling to understand where anyone is supposed to campaign the $813,000 car, given that it is not eligible to race in any of the popular GT3 race series, nor at Le Mans. Porsche
  • The 911 GT2 RS road car is the starting point for the new 935 race car. Porsche
  • The real thing: Porsche‘s 935/78 “Moby Dick.” Porsche
  • The interior of the original 935 seems terrifyingly dangerous compared to the new car. Porsche
  • This is Kremer‘s “new” K3, which is also inspired by the 935 but the shorter tail 935/77 version. Kremer Racing

For the second time in a few weeks, the Monterey area in California is playing host to an amazing automotive gathering. In August it was Car Week, probably the biggest gathering of rare classics and concepts on the planet. This week, it‘s the turn of just one marque, because it‘s Porsche‘s Rennsport Reunion. The event, held at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, is a celebration of Porsche‘s racing heritage over the past decades. And the car maker used the event to debut a new race car inspired by one of its greatest hits—it‘s a reborn 935.

The original 935 was a 911-based racer that first appeared in 1976 and went on to have an illustrious career in the late 1970s. Distinctive bodywork gave it a much wider track thanks to massively flared side extensions, a characteristic flat nose, and in the case of the 935/78 for the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans, a massive whale tail at the rear. The last of those led to the car‘s enduring nickname: Moby Dick.

The new car is also called the 935, and like its predecessor, it‘s not street-legal—it‘s purely for the track. It‘s based on the road car, including that car‘s 690hp (515kW) twin-turbo 3.8L flat-six engine and seven-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox. The 911 GT3 R race car donated some interior bits, but the most distinctive elements of the new 935 are those carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) body panels that call back to the car from 1978.

It‘s actually not the first time someone has had this idea. Kremer Racing, which built and campaigned its own 935s to good effect in period (and many other Porsches since) did something similar with a based on the 997 generation GT3 racer in the VLN series at the Nurburgring Nordschleife. But this one is an official Porsche, built on the same production line as the company‘s other factory race cars.

Porsche is going to build 77 of these new 935s, and we doubt they‘ll have a hard time finding buyers, even despite the $813,287 (€701,948) price tag. While it looks stunning, and I‘m sure it‘s wonderful to drive, I‘m a little surprised Porsche decided to revive the 935 badge for the new car; it would perhaps have been better to give it a new designation since Porsche is not normally in the habit of reviving long-dead badges. And I‘m also a little curious about what those 77 buyers are going to do with the car, given that it‘s not eligible to compete in races held under the GTE, GTLM, or GT3 rulesets, which rules out almost every major sports car event for GT cars.

Listing image by Porsche