The 2x Le Mans 24 Hours, 3x Daytona 24 Hours, 3x Sebring 12 Hours, Driven by Don Whittington to clinch the 1979 Drivers’ World Endurance Championship Title 1976 Porsche 934 Turbo RSR to 935 M16/K3

The 2x Le Mans 24 Hours, 3x Daytona 24 Hours,

3x Sebring 12 Hours, Driven by Don Whittington to clinch the 

1979 Drivers’ World Endurance Championship Title

1976 Porsche 934 Turbo RSR to 935 M16 K3

Porsche has to be one of the most evocative and prominent brands of all time. Steeped in motorsport heritage, in its 89  years of existence, Porsche has achieved staggering heights in nearly all forms of motorsport. The crisp stylish lines of their cars evoke passion and excitement while also managing to remain functional and approachable. No mean feat. A great deal of the marques fame is due to the iconic 911, now in its 57th year of production. A car as at home on the road as the track, it has decimated the test of time and continues to innovate and lead the way forward. 

The 911’s long association with the motorsport started in the hands of a few privateers but it was not long before the factory took up the baton. The first visit in what became a long love affair with Le Mans was in 1966, and 911 went on to be a dominant force both on the track and the rally stage. The 911 went on to win the European Rally Championship in both 1967 and 1968, with the late Björn Waldegård using a 911S to secure back-to-back victories on the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally in 1969 and 1970.

However; it was the forward vision of Ernst Fuhrmann, the newly appointment head of Porsche in 1972, that took the 911 to the next level and lead to some of the most coveted and desirable Porsches ever, the 911 Carrera RS. Fuhrmann, recognised the 911’s special nature and threw his full support behind the car; initiating a project led by master engineer Norbert Singer that resulted in 1973’s Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS and 2.8 RSR, along with the 1974 3.0 RS and RSR. 

The 2.7 RS was a lightweight, more powerful variant of the 911S, essentially a streetcar adapted for the racetrack. So popular was the 2.7 RS that 1,580 examples were sold before production ended in July of 1973. On the back of dominance of the 911 S in the newly launched European GT Championship of 1972, Porsche made the decision to develop a new car for the following year to maintain its dominance in long-distance GT racing. 

Based upon the already lightweight Carrera RS 2.7, the 2.8 RSR was offered for 1973. Only 55 2.8 RSRs were built and  they led to arguably the three most important outright victories for the 911, the 1973 Daytona 24 Hours, the 1973 Sebring 12 Hours and the 1973 Targa Florio. 

For 1974, the 2.7 RS and 2.8 RSR were surpassed by the new Carrera 3.0 RS. Because the new RS was judged to be an evolution of the RS 2.7, FIA regulations dictated that only a minimum of 100 examples of the two versions needed to be built. A total of 109 Carrera RS 3.0 models were built for 1974. Of those, 55 were RS models and 54 were RSRs.

Following the introduction of Porsche’s first turbocharged model, the 930 Turbo in 1975, production soon ensured that at least 400 units of the model had been built, qualifying it for the Group 4 category. The 930 Turbo called on the knowledge gained with Porsche having raced turbocharged prototypes in World Sports Car and Can-Am championships, and this led to the Group 4 variant, the 934 Turbo RSR, which was released ahead of the 1976 racing season. 

Working with the same concepts are the RS and RSR models which went before, the 934 featured a 3 litre version of Porsche’s tried and tested flat six engine, fuel injected and turbo charged to make 485 bhp in factory specification. Mated to the engine was a four speed gearbox, and suspension was independent with coil springs rather than the earlier used torsion bars. Centre lock, quick change hubs were used with large vented brake discs, and the same brake callipers as used on the famous 917.

930 670 0171

This car, 930 670 0171, was ordered by German Gelo Racing Team owner and driver George Loos along with 930 670 0175. As the 20th of just 31 Porsche 934 Turbo RSRs constructed in 1976, 0171 and was finished in Indian red in time for the start of the ’76 season. Loos eventually only took delivery of 0175 and 0171 was instead bought by Swiss race Claude Haldi, a long time Porsche proponent and winner of the GTX class at the 1975 Le Mans 24 Hours. 

0171 was entered for Haldi by Swiss team GVEA, Groupement Vaudois des Ecuries Automobiles, which consisted of Georges Morand, Christian Blanc and Eric Vuagnat. Haldi debuted the new 0171, in its factory 934 specifications at the World Championship for Makes round of the Nurburgring 1000kms in May 1976. Liveried with the branding of Audio-Vision Lausanne and TV Barco Hi-Fi, 0171 used start number 5. Haldi shared driving duties with fellow Swiss driver Markus Hotz, and the pairing qualified 12th with 0171, going on to finish 4th overall behind the similar 934 of Bell/Kelleners/Stenzel.

0171’s second race was the most important event of the calendar, the Le Mans 24 Hours. With Haldi driving another  934 at Le Mans, 0171 was entered under GVEA and driven by the Swiss trio of Peter Zbinden, Bernard Cheneviere and Nicolas Buhrer. Running in the Group 4 GT class, 0171 qualified 28th amongst three other 934s. After 270 laps, the majority of the way through the 24 Hours, 0171 was hit with engine failure and forced to retire. The lap count achieved while running would have put 0171 5th in the GT class had it been classified.

Two weeks after Le Mans, 0171 was back on track, this time for the Zeltweg 6 Hours in Austria. With Haldi and Zbinden at the wheel, 0171 was adapted to 934/5 body specifications with a large wing boot lid and wider rear wheel arches. Still running in the GT class, Haldi and Zbinden took 0171 to a superb 3rd overall and won the GT class.

Through the second half of the ’76 season Haldi campaigned 0171, back in factory 934 body format, at rounds of a quartet of series: the World Championship of Makes, the European Hillclimb Championship, the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft and the European GT Championship. Highlights included finishing 5th overall at the Dijon 6 Hours with Herbert Muller, class victory at the Andorra-Botella hillclimb and 5th overall at Imola in the European GT Championship. 

For the 1977 season, Haldi retained 0171 and his schedule included all six European rounds of the World Championship  of Makes, six rounds of the European Hillclimb Championship and the occasional DRM visit. 0171 retained its red paint and gained the livery of Meccarillos cigars around the edges of its factory 934 specification bodywork. 

Sharing with Laurent Ferrier, Reinhold Joest, and Angelo Pallavicini at the various World Championship of Makes races, Haldi and 0171 recored class victories in the Group 4 class at the Nurburgring 1000km and Brands Hatch 6 Hours. On the hills, Haldi and 0171 took four 2nd places and a 3rd. At the one off race of the World Sportscar Championship which he completed in 1977, Haldi drove with Ferrier to 10th overall in the Paul Ricard 500km. 

June ’77 saw 0171 return to Le Mans for its second 24 Hours, entered under the Schiller Racing of Switzerland. In the red and yellow Meccarillos livery with number 59, 0171 was driven by the French trio of Francois Servanin, Franz Hummel and Laurent Ferrier. Haldi was listed as a potential fourth driver, but in the race instead drove the sister Schiller Racing white 934 with his Swiss compatriates Florian Vertsch and Angelo Pallavicini. 

0171 qualified 23rd overall and 3rd in the GT/Group 4 class in a field which consisted of 62 starters. The race ended prematurely for 0171 when after 160 laps, gearbox failure forced retirement. 

It’s thought that 0171 may have been used by Haldi for the 1978 Monte Carlo Rally, where he ran a red Meccarillos 930   Turbo or 934 with start number 9, but retired with clutch failure. In April ’78, 0171 returned to the circuit for the Dijon 4 Hours round of the World Championship of Makes, where it was driven to 14th overall and 7th in class by Gerhard Vial and Antoine Salamin under the Schiller Racing banner once more.

In May, 0171 was at Silverstone for the 6 Hours as part of the WCM. Piloted with Jacques Guérin and Jean-Pierre Delaunay, 0171 raced under the Meccarillos Racing Team title. In plain red livery with the exception of the letter M, for Meccarillos, displayed on each side of the car, a road registration plate holder was visible on the rear bumper along with a Swiss CH sticker. A non-finish was recorded following a spin during the race.

Haldi had entered 0171 for the Nurburgring 1000km two weeks later, although it did not arrive for the race. A fortnight later, 0171 was back at Le Mans in its third visit to the legendary La Sarthe circuit. Entered as number 60, 0171 was driven by Simon Delatour, Gérard Bleynie and Ronald Ennequin under the Meccarillos Cégécol Racing Team name. The trio failed to qualify for the 24 Hours, and 0171 only completed the preliminary running. 

With Haldi having bought a Porsche 935, 0171 was sold to Enrique Molins, known as ‘Jamsal’, in mid 1978. ‘Jamsal’, resident of and Minister of Sports for El Salvador in Central America, quickly upgraded 0171 to 935/76 type specifications.  

Still finished in red, ‘Jamsal’ sped to overall victories  in Guatemala, Viceroy 500km, Rio Hato 500km and Panama 500km. In November, ‘Jamsal’ competed at Mexico City in TransAm with 0171 under the Scorpio Racing moniker, qualifying 8th and finishing 10th against the like of fellow Porsche 935s, Chevrolet Corvettes, DeKon Monzas and Group 44 Jaguar XJSs. 

‘Jamsal’s winning form continued through 1979, with victories at the El Jababli circuit in his native El Salvador. ‘Jamsal’ was joined at the wheel of 0171 by John Paul for the Great Delta Prize race at El Jababli, and when the FIA World Challenge for Endurance Drivers visited in October ’79 for the El Salvador 6 Hours, ‘Jamsal’ shared 0171 with Don and Bill Whittington. The trio outclassed the field, taking pole position and winning the race by five laps. With the Whittington brothers still fresh from having won the Le Mans 24 Hours overall for Kremer in a 935, the victory in El Salvador claimed the World Endurance Championship driver title for Don Whittington.

Over the winter of ’79/’80, ‘Jamsal’ sent 0171 to GAACO in Georgia, where Porsche tuner Chuck Gaa upgraded the car to full 935 specifications. The GAACO modifications included the inverted gearbox, larger brakes, uprated suspension, and an Andial built flat fan, twin spark, twin turbo engine. GAACO then completed the upgrade using the Kremer K3 styled, but American International Racing made M16 fibreglass bodywork.

Painted bright yellow with turquoise streaks, 0171’s first race in its new more advanced form was with ‘Jamsal’ and Eduardo Barrientos at the IMSA Daytona 250 Mile Paul Revere race in July 1980. The pair qualified 12th and finished 17th in 0171’s only recorded run of 1980.

1981 would prove a much busier season, which got underway in February at the Daytona 24 Hours. ‘Jamsal’ teamed up with compatriots Barrientos and Carlos Gonzalez, running the number 84. After qualifying 24th, 0171 finished 8th overall at the conclusion of the 24 hours. From one endurance classic to another, in late March 0171 was at Sebring for the 12 Hours.

Barrientos joined ‘Jamsal’ again, while the third driver slot was taken by Guillermo Valiente. A troubled race led to them finishing 16th and 68 laps behind the winning 935. ‘Jamsal’ continued through the ’81 season running in IMSA and World Championship events when the coincided at Mosport and Road America, with a best result of 10th overall at Mosport.

The following season saw 0171 adopt removable 934 style bodywork to run in the IMSA GTO class rather than GTX, and ’82 got underway with a second visit to the Daytona 24 Hours. Retirement from the 24 hours was forced by differential failure, and the following Sebring 12 Hours effort suffered a similar fate when the gearbox failed.

‘Jamsal’ ran 0171 sporadically through to 1985, occasionally co-driving with his friend and rival Kikos Fonseca, when  another series of IMSA races were run. Starting at the Daytona 24 Hours, 0171 was by now painted white with black, red and orange side stripes. ‘Jamsal’s luck at the Daytona 24 Hours didn’t improve, and 0171 retired with electrical issues. 

As with Fonseca’s similar car, 0161, a car we have recently sold, ‘Jamsal’ would change the body specification dependant on the race series, and in Central America ran 0171 in full 935 specification. From ’86 to ’89, 0171 was painted in red with Coca Cola livery, and fought many a battle against Fonseca in his 0161, with victory either going to ‘Jamsal’ or Fonseca. 0171’s final livery with ‘Jamsal’ was that of Shell in red and yellow with white detail, as on the 962s.

Eventually, ‘Jamsal’ retired 0171 from active competition, and in 1989 it was sold to Kerry Morse before in 1990 going to Frank Gallogly in the USA through Dick Fritz. Gallogly, who also owned two 917s and Ferrari 250 GTO, then sold 0171 to Kevin Jeannette of Gunnar Racing in 1991, who in turn sold 0171 to noted Porsche racer and collector Bill Ferran in 1992. 

Ferran kept 0171 in his collection, which included other exotica including a 908, through the ‘90s. In 2000, he sold 0171 to Porsche 935 collector Van Zannis, with 0171 still in the Shell/Dunlop livery. In Zannis’ ownership, 0171 was taken back to a bare shell and restored by Jerry Woods and Brumos engineers into the yellow and turquoise livery of 1981, keeping the car in the AIR M16 body format. The 3.2 litre engine was rebuilt by Dick Everlud, with the rebuild including new rods, pistons, bearings, barrels, and a new air-air intercooler system. With its Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection, the rebuilt engine produced 735bhp at just 1 bar of boost on the dyno.  

At this time, the factory 935 upside down gearbox was also rebuilt using new bearings, ready to be refitted to the engine. With the suspension having been crack tested and rebuilt, new titanium axles and flexible joints were fitted, while the braking system was rebuilt with seals being renewed and discs being replaced . Keen to keep correct detail present, original factory gauges, a restored Heintzmann fire system, Bosch CD ignition boxes, rev limiter and coils completed the rebuild on 0171.

In 2005, 0171 was sold by Zannis through John Starkey to the current owner. Having resided amongst and impressive collection of competition Porsches, 0171 has received limited running since the restoration and the engine has had around 5 hours use. On the 1st August 2015, 0171 was granted ACCUS FIA HTPs which are valid until 31st December 2025.

The current owner, who has owned and driven many 935s in his time, remarked on just how fast 0171 is in it’s current specification compared to other examples. Benefitting from the combination of extensive European racing history in World Championship events, and the out and out performance of Porsche’s most extreme production based racing car model!