A throwback livery always works, especially if it’s on a throwback car

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Porsche shocked everyone when, out of nowhere, it decided to revive one of the most insane racing cars from its past, the winged Porsche 935. Based on the already ludicrous 911 GT2 RS ClubSport, a 700-horsepower track day weapon, the new 935, also known as the 935/19, is the sort of car that blends everything we love from the days of yesteryear with everything with love from nowadays.

Only 77 of these were made and Jonsiball decided to do away with the classic Martini livery and, instead, dress the 935/19 in this "X-Ray" scheme that makes the car look like it belongs in Blade Runner.

The colors of a Le Mans class winner

2018 Porsche 935 Type 991 Gen. 2 Exterior
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It was the ’70s and everyone was vying for a place in the limelight and, on the circuits, the big headline-grabber in sports car racing was Group 5. Concocted as a way to attract manufacturers back into the World Endurance Championship, Group 5 was, in essence, a carte blanche for insanity because tuners and automakers were encouraged to build ultra-modified versions of their production sedans and grand tourers in order to participate. BMW and Porsche were the first takers with the CSL and the 935 respectively but, as the years rolled on, many others got involved too such as Lancia, De Tomaso, Ford, or Lotus.

Porsche, as per usual, covered all of the bases brilliantly and the 935 dominated the class effectively until it was phased out at the end of 1982.

2018 Porsche 935 Type 991 Gen. 2 Exterior
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Just like the 956 and the 962 that followed it, the 935 was {{the}} car to have if you wanted to stand a chance at the sharp end during the Group 5 era.

1977 was the first year when Porsche sold the 935 to customers and, as you’d expect, they flocked like there was no tomorrow. Among the myriad customers was the French J.M.S. Racing team.

The team, which would later feature prominently in the French Touring Car Championship and in the 24 Hours of Spa, boldly decided to choose Le Mans as its first endurance race of 1977. The entry was made in partnership with Henri Cachia’s ASA Cachia outfit that would go on to campaign the car throughout 1978 and 1979. The drivers were ASA Cachia regular Claude-Ballot Lena, an experienced all-rounder who’d become a bit of a Porsche specialist after winning the 24 Hours of Spa with a 911 back in 1969, and Peter Gregg, the winningest driver in IMSA GT competition up to that point who was almost unbeatable in his Brumos Porsches.

1987 Porsche 962 for sale on eBay Exterior
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The duo qualified an unimpressive 16th overall, light years away from the pace-setting 935/77 entered by the factory Martini-Porsche team. That car had run a 3:39.3 in the hands of the courageous Rolf Stommelen, a time good enough for sixth overall on the grid meaning it was able to mix it with the three-liter Group 6 prototypes. Meanwhile, the No. 40 J.M.S. Racing Porsche could do no better than a 3:56.4. To put it into perspective, the team’s other car, a Group 4-spec Porsche 934 was 12 seconds slower in qualifying, the same gap separating the Works 935 from the J.M.S. one.

However, the team arguably one-upped even the factory car in the looks department as both its 935 and its 934 were covered in a red-and-black ’X-Ray’ livery conceived by 3M to showcase what can be done using precision-cut vinyl wraps.

Nowadays, basically every race car you see out there on the circuits of the world is wrapped rather than painted but this wasn't necessarily common practice back in the '70s.
Here's One Good Way to Dress Up the New Porsche 935
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Adorned by this striking scheme that, as the name suggests, revealed what hid underneath the bodywork akin to a cut-away drawing, the Ballot-Lena/Gregg 935 carved its way through the field as the race progressed. While the factory car spitted and spluttered and ultimately retired with engine issues, the J.M.S. No. 40 braved the mid-night downpour to win the Group 5 class while being classified an impressive third overall. The year before, Porsche’s factory-backed 935 had finished fourth overall to win its class.

Encouraged by this unexpected victory, J.M.S. later entered the car in the Hockenheim 6 Hours after missing the Brands Hatch round of the championship. In Germany, over a two-heat event, the 935, sporting the same livery but driven this time around by Ballot-Lena and Jean-Louis Lafosse, finished second on aggregate. Defeated by the Kremer team, J.M.S. elected to switch focus away from the World Championship and the car was passed on to ASA Cachia.

The X-Ray of the 2019 Porsche 935/19

Here's One Good Way to Dress Up the New Porsche 935
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Famed artist Jonsiball was inspired by Team J.M.S.’ eye-catching ’X-Ray’ scheme and applied it to the 935/19 to great effect. He even went as far as adding the extra fog lights on the nose and the number 40 on the doors and the front lid covering the fuel cell. As you know, Porsche itself offered 935/19 customers the chance to have their cars painted in historic liveries including the Vaillant scheme, the Interscope Racing scheme of IMSA fame, and, of course, the car was unveiled wearing the Martini colors as a tribute to all of the Works Porsche 935s from the ’70s and especially 1978’s Porsche 935/78 known as ’Moby Dick’ for its long tail setup.

Underneath all of the nostalgia, though, there’s every bit of modern Porsche trickery you can think of.

The body is made out of a combo of aluminum, carbon, and Kevlar meaning it's as light as GT2 RS despite being longer and then there's all the crazy aero.
Here's One Good Way to Dress Up the New Porsche 935
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The front fascia and the rear tail section have been re-thought in order to look sort of like the old 935 but also be functional. The diffuser works in tandem with that huge rear wing that features vertical LEDs on the endplates. The mirrors are from the GT3 RSR and the titanium exhaust almost sounds like one too.

Inside, you’ll find a full, FIA-certified roll-cage as well as all the other racing paraphernalia including the bucket-seat. The tank, too, is specced for racing being extra-large (115 liters or 30 gallons in size. What all this means is that you’ll need a race suit, a helmet, and a HANS device to get behind the wheel of one of these (also, it’s not really a wheel, it’s again something out of the RSR) and enjoy it. The tires on the 935 are racing slicks and the brakes, too, are racing-grade meaning you can stomp on them as hard as you dare and they won’t complain. In fact, that’s what you ought to do to get it to stop from the insane speeds it can reach (211 mph top speed, Porsche suggests).

The drivetrain is taken straight from the GT2 RS Clubsport so you've got those fire-breathing 700 horsepower delivered right to your backside from 7,000 rpm onwards, although the kick comes much sooner as all of the 553 pound-feet of torque are available between 2,500 and 4,500 rpm


Here's One Good Way to Dress Up the New Porsche 935
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It weighs just 3,042 pounds and that allows for sub-three-second 0-62 mph times to be achievable by anybody. That and the fact that the power from the 3.8-liter, twin-turbo flat-six reaches the wheels through the idiot-proof seven-speed PDK ’box. We can only end by saying that someone should really throw that livery on a real 935/19. After all, it’s a livery so cool that both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have copied it...

Porsche 935 specifications
Engine Water-cooled 6-cylinder aluminum twin-turbo rear-mounted boxer engine with rigid mounting;
Displacement 3,800 cc
Stroke 77.5 mm
Bore 102 mm
Output 700 horsepower
Transmission 7-speed PDK gearbox with rigid mounts and short paddle throws

Source: Jonsibal via Facebook

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
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