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Thursday Trivia

Robert Emslie June 15, 2017 Thursday Trivia 2 Comments

Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars! 

This week’s question: What Porsche model was nicknamed “Baby?” 

If you think you know the answer, make the jump—or for those of you on mobile, just scroll on down—and see if you’re right.

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile announced their Group 5 racing class in 1966 with regulations demanding that entrants across its four categories be restricted to limited production models only. That was good news for rich people wanting to drive what was basically a race car on the street, but it limited manufacturer participation to those who cold afford to crank out a couple dozen of the cars to qualify as “production.”

In 1970 the FIA switched Group 5 to what had been Group 4 Sports Cars regulations, but kept the 25-car minimum production requirements as well as the five-litre cap on engine displacement for the top category within the class.

The rules were changed once again in 1972, aligning Group 5 with the regulations for what had previously been Group 6 Prototype Sports Cars. That lasted until 1976 when the FIA switched group 5 to a formula that allowed for extensively modified cars that had been homologated for Groups 1 through 4. Basically the only parts that couldn’t be tossed and replaced were the doors, roof, and engine cover.

Those rules resulted in Porsche’s wild 935 racer, a car that went on to become one of Porsche’s most successful racers of all time. Debuting initially as a factory racer, the 935 and its Group 6 936 cousin soon became available for customers to buy. The cars also raced in IMSA, DRM and WSC series, winning at pretty much every major race at least once over the course of its career.

The 935 became Porsche’s Swiss Army Knife as well, as the company modified it to compete in other classes, seeking dominance there as well. One of those was the under-2-litre class in the DRM series. That effort ended up earning an endearment for a particular version of the 935, based on its tiny but powerful engine. 

From Supercars.net:

The 935 ‘Baby’, based on the successful 935 Group 5 race sports car, was created in 1977, after only four months of development,, specifically for entries in the small division (up to 2000cc) of the German Sports Racing Championship. Compared to the Group 5 car, this little 935 had a six cylinder turbo engine of 370bhp, reduced to a displacement of 1.4-litres. A thorough diet helped ‘Baby’ meet the minimum weight of 750kg as dictated by the rules.

As we all know from Dirty Dancing (the original not the dreck TV remake), nobody puts baby in the corner, but Porsche did just that with the 935/777 2.0. The car competed in only two races, setting the pole and winning the second, the 1977 German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring with Jackie Ickx at the wheel. Having proven that they could win when and where they wanted to, Porsche then retired “Baby” to the Porsche museum, where it remains today.

Image: Supercars.net

 

  • outback_ute

    Thanks Robert, I hadn’t heard of this one before. It is nearly surprising that they didn’t use a 4-cyl engine for just 1.4 litres!

    • Monkey10is

      …well they COULD have used a four cylinder engine (keeping the turbos of course),
      …they COULD have move the engine forwards of the rear axle for better weight distribution,
      …they COULD have charged less for this version,
      …they COULD have called it ‘Cayman’.

      But then they would have had to slow it down so that it wasn’t quicker than a 911. And that would have destroyed the whole point.