In 1976, Porsche introduced the 934, a new racing car built for the FIA’s Group 4 GT class, based upon the production 911 Turbo. Just 31 Porsche 934s were built and sold to privateer teams in 1976 (plus 10 more in 1977), and one of the most frequently raced examples was chassis 930 670 0162, which proved successful on both sides of the Atlantic from 1976-’86. On Friday, March 9, this 1976 Porsche 934 sold for a fee-inclusive $1.32 million at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale, setting a new auction benchmark for the model.
Building the 934 was an easy decision for Porsche. It had already surpassed the 500-unit minimum quantity of production 911 Turbos necessary for homologation, and the 934 itself was heavily based upon the production car. The 3.0-liter turbocharged engine slotted the car into a class occupied by 4.5- to 5.0-liter normally aspirated automobiles, meaning that the 934 would be underweight in stock trim; adding ballast (and other components, such as the plumbing and hardware for the 934’s air-to-water intercoolers) allowed Porsche engineers to redistribute more of the 934’s weight up front, creating a better-balanced racing car.
Starting with a production Porsche 911 Turbo body shell, the 934 received an aluminum roll cage and revised bodywork that included massive fiberglass fender flares and a pronounced front air dam, which contained inlets for the oil cooler and the aforementioned intercoolers. Out back, the rear spoiler ducted air to the turbocharger as well as the transmission oil cooler. Inside, the 934 sported a single racing seat with a six-point harness, plus ancillary gauges for turbocharger boost, fuel metering, and fuel pressure. Sound deadening material was removed, but the production car’s electric windows were retained, since this mechanism was lighter than the crank window hardware.
For duty in the 934, the 911 Turbo’s air-cooled 3.0-liter flat-six received a larger turbocharger and strengthened pistons, but retained the production car’s connecting rods, crankshaft, crankcase, and cylinder barrels. Intake and exhaust ports were enlarged, and, to cope with the added stresses of racing, the 934 used four-bearing camshafts from the earlier Turbo RSR, as well as the model’s horizontal cooling fan. Running the recommended 18.5 psi of boost pressure produced 485 horsepower, though dialing that up to 20 psi raised output to over 500 hp, at the expense of engine life. Though the single large turbocharger was slow to spool up, power was explosive once boost kicked in, making the 934 capable of running from 0-100 mph in just over 10 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 163 mph.
To ensure that the 2,470-pound car stopped reliably, Porsche dipped into its 917 parts bin for front and rear brakes, while BBS supplied the original three-piece center lock wheels (10.5-inches wide up front, and 12.5-inches). In testing the first 934 prototype, driver Manfred Schurti turned a lap of Nürburgring Nordschleife a jaw-dropping 15-seconds quicker than the previous Porsche Carrera RSR, a clear indication that the model held great promise for racing success.
Chassis 0162, the car sold at Amelia Island last Friday, was delivered new to Angelo Pallavicini of Zurich, Switzerland, a collector and dealer of Porsche racing cars who’d begun his own racing career just four years earlier, in 1972. His first outing in the car came at France’s Circuit des Dijon-Prenois on April 11, 1976, and Pallavicini managed a class win in the event. It foretold his future success behind the wheel of 0162, including a 1978 Group 4 championship, earned with co-drivers Peter Bernhard, Enzo Calderari, and Marco Vanoli. In 1979, Pallavicini shipped the 934 to the U.S. to compete in the 24 Hours of Daytona, where with co-drivers Calderari and Vanoli, he finished in 10th place overall and fourth in class.
Following its Daytona outing, Pallavicini sold the 934 to Werner Frank of Chicago, Illinois, who continued to campaign the car – primarily in IMSA events – into the 1983 season. After an August 1983 endurance race at Road America, Frank sold chassis 0162 to his frequent co-driver, Rick Borlase of Las Vegas, Nevada. Borlase raced the 934 into 1986 season, though by then the car’s most competitive years were behind it.
The Porsche remained with Borlase until 1988, when it sold to collector Sid Ho in Switzerland. Oddly enough, Ho never took delivery of the car, and it sold again in 1990 to Jim Torres, who’d raced the Porsche with then-owner Borlase at both Sebring and Riverside. Torres carried out an extensive restoration of the car (including a bare-metal repaint in its original Light Yellow), using many of the original spares included with the sale.
Torres owned the 934 until 1997, when it sold to Carlos Cortez. Since then, it’s passed through four more collections (including the consignor’s), but has seen limited use and regular maintenance, including the installation of a new fuel bladder under the consignor’s ownership. With its decade-long racing history and extensive documentation, the car’s desirability among Porsche collectors was clearly evident by its record-setting price.
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB long nose alloy body, sold for a hammer price of $2.3 million. Photo by Jensen Sutta, copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company.
Other cars in the top-10 at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale included a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB long nose alloy body, which sold for $2.53 million; a 2003 Ferrari Enzo, which sold for $2.37 million; a 1967 Ford GT40 Mk IV, which sold for $1.93 million; a 1993 Porsche 964 Turbo S Leichtbau, which sold for a record-setting $1.76 million; a 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa cabriolet, which sold for a record-setting $1.6 million; a 1990 Porsche 962C, which sold for $1.6 million; a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder, which sold for $1.54 million; a 1996 Porsche 993 GT2, which sold for $1.49 million; and a 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra, which sold for $1.46 million.
For complete results from the Amelia Island sale, visit GoodingCo.com.