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Dream Theater: Porsche 935 K3 Racecar Spits Flames

Massive turbocharger provides flamethrower action

Unintentional fire is bad, especially when you’re talking about cars. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and other exotica can go from million-dollar sculptures to hundred-dollar pieces of scrap in a matter of minutes with an oft-scheduled flame. Yet, when fire is coming from an exhaust and thrilling fans, the element is among one of the coolest sights to behold. Take for instance this Porsche 935 K3 Group 5 race car laying down laps at Italy’s infamous Imola circuit.

Porsche introduced the 935 in 1976 and prepared it for FIA Group 5 racing. A derivative of the 2nd place over all finisher at Le Mans, the Carrera RSR 2.1 Turbo, the 935 went on to snag an overall win at Le Mans in 1979, as well as winning at Sebring, Daytona, and the 6 Hours of Nürburgring. Over its entire history, out of the 370 races it entered, it won 123 outright.

However, its provenance isn’t why we’re here today. Its mechanical fuel injection combined with the massive turbocharger is. The 935 was powered by a turbocharged flat-six engine coupled to a four-speed transmission. However, due to the turbo’s size, and the way the mechanical fuel injection worked, the turbo took a while to spool. The lag would then see fuel dump into the engine followed by its ignition, which would send massive flames out the rear when the power finally built up; as is demonstrated in the video below.

The 935 supposedly generated up to 845 horsepower in top trim. And, during its racing tenure, saw actor and car fanatic Paul Newman, claim second overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the help of Rolf Stommelen and Dick Barbour behind the wheel as well.

Now that you know the history of the 935 K3, sit back, hit full screen, and prepare yourself for some flamethrower action.

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