What was the Porsche 934?

The Porsche 934 was based on the Porsche 930 Turbo and built to FIA Group 4 specifications

Coming up with the next winning racecar has always been a primary driving force for Porsche, with the expectation that when the next season begins, Porsche will overwhelm the competition.  The public debut of the Porsche 930 Turbo in 1974 sent shockwaves through the automotive world, causing vibrations in the racing scene as well.

What would Porsche’s next big thing be? The 930’s release was not an accident; it was planned to bring a turbocharged 911 to the racing circuit. This is where the Porsche Type 934 comes in.

Prepared for FIA Group 4 rules, the Porsche 934 was the racing version of the 911 Turbo.  To enter the new Type 934 car into racing, Porsche needed to produce 400 production vehicles, a number easily met with the new Porsche 930 Turbo.

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What are the Porsche 934 technical details?

The Type 934 had a 3.0-liter air-cooled engine with a single turbo, 4-speed manual transmission, locking differential, and aggressive-yet-restrained bodywork.  For the suspension of the 934, Porsche utilized a coil-over spring and shock suspension for superior handling.

Because the Group 4 minimum weight limit was close to the 930 Turbo’s standard weight, Porsche kept the headliner, armrests, carpet, storage compartment, door cards, and electric windows!

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How did the Porsche 934 drive?

The 934 was a bit of a problem to drive due to its lack of downforce compared to other vehicles, especially with the tremendous amount of turbo lag. Drivers even admitted to slamming on the gas halfway through the bend and waiting for the windup, hoping to be pointing straight when the boost kicked in. Those that mastered the automobile (and there were a lot of them) proved to be formidable on the track.

Porsche produced only thirty-one Type 934s, the majority of which were raced successfully in Europe’s Group 4 racing classes. They were the car to beat in the GT class, and they raced successfully in the SCCA Trans-Am racing series in 1976, with George Follmer winning the title.

In 1977, the Porsche 934/5 (an updated version of the 934) was successful in the IMSA racing series, winning four races outright.

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What is the history of the Porsche 934, #6394?

George Dickinson received a Porsche 934, chassis 9306700173. Between 1976 and 1977, this 934 finished second in several races, including Pocono, Mosport, Trois-Rivieres, and Gainesville. The 934, which was sponsored by G.W. Dickinson, was driven by Al Holbert and his co-driver Doc Bundy. The famed Whittingtons Brothers bought the car in 1978 and raced it in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Bill Whittington remembers the 934 as a highly reliable track vehicle in an interview with Panorama Magazine in 2020, saying, “…we just drove ’em and tried to keep the tires on ’em.” They were so dependable…” In the same interview, Bill discusses some of his subsequent meetings with Al Holbert, saying, “…Holbert was a nice man… He’d keep an eye on us all the time… In the paddock, he was the first to come over and introduce himself. He inquired about our well-being before revealing that this was his old vehicle. We also shared a common interest in flight, as he, too, was a pilot. “Eventually, we became good friends…” The car was raced at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1979 while owned by the Whittington Brothers. Shortly after, the 934 was retired from racing and put into storage.

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Restoration of #6394

Until 2017, when it was purchased by a new owner, the 934 remained virtually idle. He desired that the 934 be restored to its original Al Holbert configuration from 1976. Bill Whittington was involved in the repair of the 934 to ensure that it was built to the exact specifications. The car was remarkably original during its initial tear down, with the majority of its original parts, according to their study.

In 2018, the restoration began with a comprehensive disassembly and rebuilding/restore of all mechanical and cosmetic components. The body was found to have all of its original sheet metal, factory welds, and other features. The 934 was completed and sent to its owner in 2020 after being restored to concours/race ready condition.

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Closing thoughts

A Porsche 934 is widely regarded as one of the last Porsche race cars to retain a strong resemblance to its road-going counterparts, with factory components immediately visible on the exterior and certain street car comforts on the interior.   Because of its limited production run and history, the 934 is a very desirable car and highly coveted by collectors.

If you are interested in Porsche 934 #6394, it is currently available at Canepa in Scott’s Valley at the time of this writing.

 

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