GRR

This Porsche 935 used to hang out with Paul Newman

14th July 2018
Andrew Evans

For Porsche lovers, the silver jubilee of the Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard is like the world's best pick and mix.

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There's rare, exciting, fast and interesting cars from across the brand's 70 years in a dedicated area of the main paddock, as it celebrates its anniversary here at Goodwood. Picking one favourite would be nearly impossible, but a firm contender has to be one particular Porsche 935, chassis number 009 0030.

Its owner certainly agrees. "You could make a good argument for a lot of these cars here, but I do tend to like this one the best," he comments.

The car in question is a striking, red-liveried 935, once raced by Paul Newman. Newman, who got into motorsports while filming "Winning" in 1969. For the role he visited a racing school and ended up performing some of the film's driving stunts himself.

This led to a fully-fledged racing career – Newman would later go on to win multiple SCCA national championships – and in 1979 he was one of three drivers at the wheel of the 935, sponsored by Hawaiian Tropic, at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

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Along with Dick Barbour and Rolf Stommelen, the ‘Newman 935’ finished second overall, eight laps behind another 935 entered by Porsche Kremer Racing. It was a class victory, in the IMSA class, for the car though.

It competed in more than 70 top level races, racking up 70,000 racing miles in total. This included three more Le Mans 24 hours, five Daytona 24 hours (with an overall win in 1981) and five 12-hour Sebring races (winning in 1983).

This 935 also has the distinction of being the only racing car ever sponsored by Apple, under whose livery it ran the 1980 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, a restoration in 2006 put it back into the classic red Newman Hawaiian Tropic livery.

The car came up for auction at Pebble Beach in 2016. This is where it came into the hands of its current owner, US presenter and broadcaster Adam Carolla. Carolla is a Paul Newman fan and motorsport enthusiast, with several rare vehicles already. The Newman 935 ticks all of Carolla's boxes.

“I have a lot of Newman race cars and I knew that this was kind of the Holy Grail of them all – perhaps even a lot of race cars even without Newman's name on it. It’s got a ton of history. It won at Daytona, it won at Sebring, it won at Le Mans. 

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“I went to this auction and I thought you’re not ever going to get another shot at this car. I said this car’s going to go away somewhere and the next time it’s for sale it’s going to be $10m.”

“I didn’t have enough money to go for it, but I got it anyway and I’ve been figuring out a way to pay for it ever since.”

But as its appearance here at Goodwood suggests, Carolla didn’t buy it to look at. He bought it to drive it – and race it.

“I got it and I drove it at Laguna Seca the following year at the Monterey Historics. We’re driving it here and we’re going to drive it at Rennsport. It's going to get used.”

“I’m not one of these big philosophisers about these cars. But I want to enjoy my life. I’ve earned it. If they break, we’ll fix them. If they really break, well we’ll really fix them, and that’s about it. 

“I don't think that much about it ­– the idea is to drive it and drive it as best I can to its potential. I think you could apply that to a lot of things in life. You know a sinkhole [at the Corvette Museum] has done more damage to more cars than a hay bale ever did.”

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