Where the new Porsche 935’s sole purpose is to go fast and make noise, the original 935’s purpose was rather more involved. That original slant-nosed track warrior was not merely a toy for the super-wealthy to drive and induce salivation in, it was a genuine racing car. In 1979 the 935 became the first ever GT car to win Le Mans overall, an accomplishment seldom duplicated. This elite club contains just four cars. The other three triumphant GTs being the 911 GT1, Mclaren F1 GTR, and the Dauer 962 Le Mans. To a generation of Porsche fans the 935’s slant-nose was the epitome of cool. For decades M505, the factory slant-nose option code, has been among the most desirable options for any air-cooled Porsche.
Though Derek Bell’s name is inexorably linked to Porsche, his greatest successes came in cars that were not 911-based. Four of his five Le Mans wins came in Porsche prototypes. He raced the 917 22 times in 1971 alone. Yet Bell also has history with the most monstrous of 911s, including at least 30 entries, two victories at the 1000km of Nurburgring, a victory at the 6 Hours of Riverside, and numerous podium finishes. That’s a pretty amazing record for a car that didn’t even make his Top Five motorsport models.
While the original M505 cars appeal to those that grew up in the 1970s and ’80s, the new car makes the original slant-nose road cars look like cynical marketing exercises. The new 935 may be a racecar without a series to compete in, but it has the heart of the genuine article. A cartoonish throwback melded with the bones of a racing car. Tell me more, Mr. Bell.