Porsche 934 is First Produced
The Porsche 934 was a racing version of the Porsche 911 Turbo, prepared to FIA Group 4 rules, similar to the Porsche 935 which was prepared to FIA Group 5 rules.
The Porsche 934 was introduced for the 1976 racing season. It was manufactured for two years, 1976 and 1977, with at least 400 being manufactured. Toine Hezemans drove this car to victory at the European GT Championship, while in the U.S., with George Follmer at the wheel, it also became the Trans-Am champion. It continued to win races throughout the late 1970s.
The 934 as well as the 935 were raced in the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft in a distinctive orange "Jägermeister" livery.
Alan Hamilton the Australian Porsche distributor at the owned one of these cars and competed and won the 1977 Australian Sports Car Championship and in 1980 the same car won the title with Allan Moffat behind the wheel.
The 934 has a top speed approaching 190 mph (approximately 300 km/h) and has a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) time of 3.9 seconds. It was also one of the last designs to incorporate all the distinctive stylings of the original 911's, with only minor bodywork taken from the 911 Turbo, to include GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) wheelarch extensions, doors, engine lid and boot.
The car came in a Regular Trim, or a Racing Trim (also called Group 4 Trim). Regular Trim:
1,090 kg (2,403 lb)
Electric windows and door trim
32 gallon gas tank.[clarification needed]
480 bhp (358 kW) 3 litre engine (in 1977, modifications took it to 550 bhp)
The Racing Trim was a modified Regular Trim to meet with the FIA rules, most notably it added 30 kg (66 lb) of weight, so that it complied with the minimum weight requirement of Group 4.
For the 1976 season, the FIA devided sportscar racing in six classes; Group 1 through 6, with Group 6 being the full-bore prototype racers. Porsche had been the dominant force in what was now known as the Group 4 class, but a new car was needed to continue the success. To be eligible for Group 4 at least 400 road cars had to be built within 2 years and the dimensions of the racing version could not be different from the road car it was derived from. Very few modifcations compared to the road car were allowed, except for those to increase safety like the installation of a fuel cell and a roll cage. To even the competion, displacement was tied to a minimum weight, from 495 kg with less than 500cc to 1270 kg for over 6000cc.
Porsche's entry in GT-racing in the first half of the 1970 consisted of the 911 RS and RSR models. These were powered by Naturally Aspirated engines of up to 3 litres. However, these models were unlikely to be homologated, because of their limited production numbers, so a new car was needed. In 1975 the new 930 (911 Turbo) model was launched and this would form the base for the new Group 4 racer, aptly named 934. The displacement of Turbocharged engines are multiplied by 1.4 to get the normally aspirated equivalent displacement, this mean that the 3 litre Turbo engine placed the new Group 4 car in the 4000 - 4500 cc class. When Porsche designed the 930, the competition version was already anticipated and many components like the clutch and gearbox were made much stronger than needed for the 260 bhp 930, an ingenious way to evade the non-modification rule.
To comply with the regulations, the 934 would have to weigh at least 1120kg. This was easily achieved by removing most of the interior and weight was brought down to 1090kg even with the electric windows still in place. In race trim it was balasted to 1120 kg. Major modifications to the engine were not allowed, but due to the nature of Turbocharged engines, a higher output is fairly easily achieved. In Group 4 trim the 3 litre engine was good for a tarmac blistering 480 bhp and equipped with larger valves in 1977 over 550 bhp was reached.
In competition, the 934 picked up where the 911 RSR had left off, by winning the European GT championship in the hands of Toine Hezemans and on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, George Follmer was TransAm champion with a 934. Although Porsche's interests wandered from Group 4 racing to Group 5 racing where the 935 was decimating the competion, the 934 kept on winning in the last years of the 1970s. Most notable are the three successive class victories at Le Mans from 1977 to 1979.
Pictured is a Valiant livered 934, it seen here on the Spa Franchorchamps track where it took part in the Group C revival race which was part of the 2003 RMU Classic weekend.