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Porsche 936: The missing link

7 months ago

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Writer:

Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder

Date:

4 August 2023

For all its extraordinary success, I’ve always felt sorry for Porsche’s 936 Le Mans racer, a car that has spent its life living in the twin shadows cast by Porsche’s two sports car icons, the 917 and the Group C 956/962. Let’s be honest: when we think of Porsches winning Le Mans, these are the cars that pop into our heads.

Yet the 936 won Le Mans three times, one more than the 917 and only one fewer than factory-entered 956s and 962s combined. What’s more, Porsche built over 25 917s and well over 100 956s and 962s; by contrast, total 936 production amounted to just five units, including two replicas. This and the fact that I think it one of the most beautiful racing cars of all time is what, to me at least, makes the 936 one of the most special Porsche racing cars of any era. And to not only drive one, but to drive one of those Le Mans winners as I recently did at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is a privilege of impossible dimensions.

The 936 was so right from its very earliest days you’d think it a product of only the clearest, best planned thinking imaginable, using only the most state of the art technology. In fact it was conceived at the last minute for entirely pragmatic purposes and lashed together largely from parts designed long ago for other Porsche racing programmes.

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