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Rennsport Reunion IV: 1978 Porsche 935 "Moby Dick"

1978 Porsche 935 Moby Dick
1978 Porsche 935 Moby Dick
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The year was 1978, and Norbert Singer was tasked with building the ultimate Group 5 Porsche 935. His sole objective was to deliver a win at Le Mans. Singer went immediately to work and pushed the FIA's rules to deliver a lower, wider and more aerodynamic 935 than anyone expected. With a white body and a characteristic long swooping tail, it was dubbed "Moby Dick," after Herman Melville's great white whale.

But don't get the impression that Moby Dick was just an aero kit on a 935, as there were other, less visible changes to the race car.

The turbocharged flat six was bumped up to displace 3.2 liters and fitted with water-cooled heads. When it was time to race, the four-valve engine developed 750 horsepower. Since the Le Mans circuit runs clockwise, the driver's seat was moved to the right to optimize weight distribution. On the Mulsanne Straight, it could hit a blistering 235 mph.

Moby Dick qualified third at Le Mans in 1978, behind two Group 6 prototypes (Renault Alpine and a Porsche 936). While it was the fastest on the straights, it finished in eighth place after an oil leak became an issue. It ran in two more races that year before Porsche retired it to the museum. Three clones were eventually built, and they raced well into the 1980s.

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