Better late than never, it’s still Tuesday here!! Some quick math... what’s 917-6cyl (+T=boost)x1.4-roof+ airbox? 936!

This is the final piece (for now) in our little collaborative Porsche project over the last couple of weeks, the numerical successor and culmination of the small-displacement engine development mentioned in Jobjoris’ excellent feature on the “baby” 935s this morning:

This is Porsche 936/78-001, the 1977 Le Mans winner converted to 1978 specs. It still used the 2.1L turbo flat six originally developed for the Turbo RSR and baby 935, but featured a host of aero refinements over its 917-related tube frame. The small engine was a perfect fit for the equivalency regulations of Group 6, allowing up to 3.0L of French-mandated displacement (convenient for Matra in 1972,3, and 4...) in N/A form, or 2.14L if turbocharged with a 1.4 multiplier. An interesting aside: guess why the original Audi Ur-quattro’s 10v 5-cylinder turbo was 2.14L... because the FIA considered it equivalent to a normally aspirated 3.0 when heavily turbocharged! Then mid-80's F1 and Group B proved such equivalencies utterly false, people died, Jean-Marie Balestre was proven to be a bastard, etc...

Note the tape used to reduce drag over seams, faithfully replicated

The 936 type won in its first Le Mans in 1976 as I’ve shown before:

I really need to re-shoot that one. Anyway, the 936 would also win in ‘77, but in 1978 would again have its work cut out facing the strengthened Renault Alpine squad.

Though -001 would qualify on pole with a time of 3:27:06, the slower but finally well sorted Alpine-Renault A442b would manage to hold it off to the line on Sunday afternoon. I’ve shown that car too, really should have thought ahead to shoot them together... and man do all my previous good cars need re-shoots! Oh well. That story is here:

Thus 936/001, the defending winner, would be forced to settle for second in the hands of Bob Wollek, Jurgen Barth (remember the BPR endurance series? He’s the B), and Jacky Ickx (who needs no introduction). RIP, Bob Wollek, killed in Sebring on a bicycle. I still remember that, he remains a favorite driver of my childhood.

The 936 would not win again until 1981, with the privateer “Jules” car, also in the hands of Jacky Ickx, with Derek Bell. This car, in 936/81 trim, would qualify second and finish 12th that year. Quite the run for a chassis whose life began in 1976. Then the 956/962 would take over and rule Le Mans for the next decade.

I can’t get enough of the 936. As with the 935 and others, there are so many delicious variants that saw such incredible success. The last vestige of the 917, made and remade to suit the amazing era it raced in before more modern monocoque designs took over Le Mans forever.

This model is a very fortunate eBay score in 1/43 by Spark, and it’s just wonderful, as every Spark I’ve seen is. Crazy detail, great graphics, I can’t reasonably fault it. I could be picky about the heavy handed rear NACA ducts, but... nah.

Apologies for any formatting failures, I blame Kinja mobile. Have a great week.