The Last of 10 Factory-Built Porsche 934/5s; Delivered New to Vasek Polak
Campaigned in Trans Am and IMSA Events, Including the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1978
Raced in Period by Ron Brown, “Clif-O” Kearns, Charles Mendez, and Milt Minter
Restored to 1977 Specification by Highly Regarded Porsche Specialist Gunnar Racing
Multiple Rennsport Reunion and Monterey Motorsports Reunion Participant
Offered from a Significant American Porsche Collection
Launched in 1976, the 934 was built by Porsche to compete in the FIA’s Group 4 GT class, replacing the venerable Carrera RSR 3.0. While the new model was based on the production 930 Turbo, very little – aside from the road car’s body shell and engine case – remained unchanged in the transformation to race-ready 934.
FIA regulations required a near-standard body configuration and minimum weight of 1,120 kg (2,470 pounds). Accordingly, the 934’s interior was replete with racing essentials and aluminum roll cage. The suspension gained adjustable Bilstein coil-over shocks, while stronger hubs and brakes were sourced from the 917 parts catalogue. Bodywork was revised to include a more pronounced front spoiler with inlets for an oil cooler and air-to-water intercoolers, and fiberglass fender flares to accommodate wider BBS center-lock alloy wheels.
In 934 specification, the three-liter, air-cooled, flat-six engine received a larger turbocharger, stronger pistons, and enlarged ports. Producing a reported 485 hp at 18.5 psi of boost, the 934 was capable of acceleration from 0–100 mph in about 10 seconds. During testing with a prototype, driver Manfred Schurti lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit 15 seconds quicker than the outgoing Carrera RSR 3.0 – an early indication of the car’s potential.
During its inaugural season, the 934 achieved considerable competition success, including winning the European and Trans Am championships. Porsche also developed an even stouter 935 model for FIA Group 5 special-production cars. Based on the 934, the 935 featured widely exaggerated bodywork and a prodigious rear wing. The 935 dominated the competition, winning almost one-third of all races in which it was entered.
For the 1977 IMSA series – and interpreting a rule that allowed greater improvements to the 934 – Porsche took 10 examples of the 934 (chassis 930 770 0951 through 930 770 0960) and utilized the rear bodywork, wing, and wheels of the 935, thus creating the hybrid 934/5. The new model, however, was banned by IMSA before its first race, forcing competitors to move to the rival SCCA Trans Am series.
The 934/5 presented here, chassis 930 770 0960, was the last of the 10 examples built and it was sold new, via famous Southern California Porsche dealer Vasek Polak, to Ron Brown of Lake Oswego, Oregon. Brown debuted his Porsche in the Trans Am race at Kent, Washington, in May 1977, and then campaigned it in two subsequent events, achieving his best result at Portland in June. Following these three outings, Brown returned the car to Polak and it was immediately resold to Clifford “Clif-O” Kearns of Lake Elsinore, California.
Entered under his Desperado Racing banner, Kearns raced the 934/5 in IMSA’s GTO class for the remainder of the 1977 season, earning Top 10 finishes at Sears Point and Pocono, as well as an impressive 3rd Place at the Daytona Finale, where he shared driving duties with the great endurance racer Milt Minter.
For the 1978 IMSA season, the 934/5 was updated with 935-style bodywork, courtesy of Dan McLaughlin’s American International Racing (A.I.R.) and debuted at the 12 Hours of Sebring, where it was driven by Kearns, Marty Hinze, and Stephen Behr. Throughout the remainder of the year, the Porsche was primarily driven by Kearns and Minter, with highlights including a 2nd Place finish at Daytona in July and a 3rd Place finish at Mid-Ohio in August.
Following a minor accident at the Daytona Finale in November 1978, the 934/5 was sold to Dan McLaughlin and was stripped down to a bare tub, with many of the original suspension and drivetrain components used to build a new 935-specification racing car for the 1979 season. Over the next few years, 930 770 0960 was repaired and, in the mid-1980s, it was sold to well-known Porsche specialist Kevin Jeanette.
During Mr. Jeanette’s ownership, his workshop Gunnar Racing completely restored the Porsche and returned it to its proper 1977 specification and Desperado Racing livery. Following its debut at the 2013 Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the 934/5 was sold to the current owner, joining a stable of significant Porsche endurance racing cars that included various RS, RSR, 934, and 935 models. In the current ownership, this car has participated in several leading historic races including multiple editions of the Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Rennsport Reunion V and VI. A testament to its exceptional presentation, it was also invited to take part in the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in 2021, where it was displayed in a class celebrating the Porsche 935.
As the last of 10 factory-built 934/5s, this car will always maintain a special place in Porsche motor sports history, especially as it raced with success in Trans Am and IMSA events, including an appearance at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1978. Subsequently owned and restored by noted Porsche specialists and proven at the highest levels of historic competition, this is an outstanding example of a particularly rare breed.