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  Porsche 935/78 'Moby Dick'

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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:1978
Numbers built:Two (one never raced)
Internal name:930
Predecessor:Porsche 935/77 'Works'
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 19, 2017
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAlthough widened and strengthened, the suspension was of a similar design as the earlier 935s. At the rear bespoke aluminium suspension arms were fitted to make room for massive 19-inch wheels. The overall lowering of the car also necessitated the four-speed gearbox to be mounted upside down. This considerably decreased the angle at which the driveshafts had to work under. Taking into consideration the turbo-equivalency factor of 1.4, the 3.2 litre engine placed the new 935 in the over four-litre category. The weight minimum in this category was 1025 kg, which placed additional emphasis on the brakes. New vented and cross-drilled discs were fitted that even eclipsed the ones fitted on the purpose-built 917 prototype racers.

As with the chassis, only the core elements of the road car body had to be reused. This gave Porsche's engineers absolute freedom to craft new nose and tail sections. The result was a very sleek and wide design that bore little resemblance to any other Porsche product. The massive front and rear overhangs made the 935/78 much more efficient at high speeds than its predecessors. Another novelty was the big rear wing mounted on struts at the edge of the long tail. The radiators for the cylinder heads were mounted ahead of the rear wheels and fed through large intakes in the fenders. Originally the doors were fitted with shells, connecting the front and rear wheel-arches. This did not get the FIA scrutineers' approval, who mandated the use of the original doors, resulting in an odd looking gap between the fenders.

In a simple white livery, the first 935/78 was sent to Paul Ricard for testing. It was quickly given the nickname 'Moby Dick' after the white whale that starred in Herman Melville's novel with the same title. The early test sessions were far from trouble-free with the all new engine causing the engineers many headaches. With the sight set firmly at Le Mans, Porsche decided to sit out most of the World Championship rounds. There also was little point in competing in these events as Porsche would race primarily against its own customers. At the Silverstone 6 Hours, 'Moby Dick' was given its single outing ahead of Le Mans. Jochen Mass and Jackie Ickx were nearly two seconds a lap faster in qualifying and won the race with a seven lap margin over a privately entered 935.

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  Article Image gallery (69) Chassis (2) Specifications User Comments (1)