Featured: Cost-No-Object Porsche 935 Was Built To Win

Cost-No-Object Porsche 935 Was Built To Win

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
December 10, 2014
28 comments

Photography by Rosario Liberti

The 1982 Porsche 935 JLP-4 is of great interest to classic Porsche enthusiasts and racing fans alike. This car was the last of the JLP racing build specials, and it was the only ground effect Porsche 935 to hit the racing circuit. The American-built Porsche was driven by John Paul Jr., and its claim to fame included two 1982 IMSA wins ahead of other drivers like Danny Ongais and Hurley Haywood.

John L. Paul Sr. and Jr., a father and son duo that created the JLP Racing Team, built this special Porsche 935 for competing in endurance races. While many of the specifications were borrowed from previous 935s, the rest of the vehicle was a high-tech, custom racecar with a light fiberglass body, the latest aerodynamics, and suspension. However, the Paul family wasn’t satisfied with this design, and so John Paul Sr. commissioned Dave Klym’s Fabcar to build his son the fastest possible Porsche 935, capable of winning any race. According to Paul Sr., price was no issue.

The Porsche 935 JLP-4 was later designed by one of Fabcar’s top engineers, Lee Dykstra to meet the Paul family’s needs, and it was manufactured in Atlanta, Georgia. At this time, Dykstra was best known for producing the DeKon Monza silhouette racers. He was given the challenging task of creating a 935 that was up to par with GTP racers, and he did this by moving away from the tubular space frame chassis found in other 935s. Instead, he used a monocoque design that included ground-effect tunnels that allowed clean airflow due to rocker-actuated springs. In its day, this old car was thought to be one of the most advanced Porsche racing cars available.

Porsche 935 JLP-4 Specifications and Facts

Dykstra’s attention to detail allowed the JLP-4 to easily stand apart from the competition. The F6 3200cc Turbo engine was the latest evolution of the Porsche 935 engine, and was mounted as far forward (for a rear-engined car) as it could possibly be placed. It displaced under 3.2 liters, and built from aluminum featuring a single overhead camshaft. Two KKK turbochargers hung off the back, and the engine produced over 840 bhp, feeding power to the rear wheels via a four-speed gearbox.

Weighing in at nearly 2200 lbs (970kg), the JLP-4 reached a top speed of 214 mph (345 km/h). When creating this racer, Dykstra focused much of his development on the vehicle’s sophisticated aerodynamics. He ran extensive testing using the Lockheed wind-tunnel, and this resulted in an exterior design that was a far cry from the average road car. The nose of the car was lower and wider than any other vehicle on the track, and the flanks featured slab-siding so that sliding skirts could be fitted to further enhance the car’s ground-effect aerodynamics.

Porsche 935 JLP-4 Racing History

The Porsche factory has an important and deeply rooted history in the racing scene, and many different models from the German manufacturer have stood out in the IMSA racing circuit. The 935 followed racing giants like the Porsche 911 and the Porsche Carrera, and while the 935 on its own wasn’t a major revolution, this collector car had a lot of the components that were needed to claim a victory in GT racing.

The JLP-4 had an impressive record on the track. Most notably driven by John Paul Jr., co-founder of JLP Racing, but Hurley Haywood and Rene Rodriguez also raced the 935. The JLP-4 first raced on July 11, 1982 at Brainerd, where it won overall.

Paul Sr. and his JLP-4 suffered a massive accident while testing at Road Atlanta, and the damage required a full vehicle rebuild. While it was repaired in time for the season finale at Daytona, it was clear that the 935’s racing days were numbed. Its last race was at the Daytona Finale at the end of 1982, where after leading in the opening laps, Paul Jr. was forced to retire after fifteen laps due to a high-speed tire blowout on the bank.

The JLP-4 followed in the footsteps of the JLP-3, which also had some notable achievements during the same time that the JLP-4 was racking race wins. The JLP-3 was the winner of the IMSA Camel GT Championship in 1982 and also won five consecutive races while enjoying 16 podium finishes out of 26 races. The JLP-3 was also the only car to ever win both the Sebring 12 Hours and the Daytona 24 Hours within the same year.

During its short yet successful racing career, the Porsche 935 JLP-4 had several notable sponsors. JLP Racing was the most prominent, but Miller also sponsored. The Miller logo was featured in red on the roof of the car with the slogan “It’s Miller Time” across the rear spoiler.

Porsche 935 JLP-4 In Review

To this day, the 1982 Porsche 935 JLP-4 is one of the most sophisticated 935s, and it is the only model to offer full ground-effect aerodynamics. As the last of the JLP racing build specials, the JLP-4 may be one of the Paul family’s greatest claims to fame, earning several race wins in 1982 and 1983.

These days, the Porsche 935 JLP-4 is a collector item. For many classic car enthusiasts, getting to see the 1982 Porsche 935 JLP-4 up close is a real treat, but actually owning one is impossible.

Matt is a managing partner at Leland-West Classic Car Insurance. As an avid classic car nut, Matt has been known to work for parts 🙂 You can reach Matt at Matt@LelandWest.com.

Thank you to Mr. Borella for allowing us to photograph his car.

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Lisa GandolfoOLDIMSATony SmithMB RacingEVELYN LARSON Recent comment authors
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Lisa Gandolfo
Lisa Gandolfo

Crime in Sports audio documentary about John Paul Sr.

OLDIMSA
OLDIMSA

Not only did Jr. win the Camel GT Championship but Sr. took first and Jr. 4th in the Endurance Championship in JLP-3. A second car was prepped and leased for the endurance series with the two drivers taking 2nd and 3rd.

Lisa Gandolfo
Lisa Gandolfo

Hi Tony Smith! There is no hate here. Our rumblings are based on crime investigation on the Paul’s and there in involvement with missing women, one being the former wife of John Paul Sr. I think you lost the translation in the postings. In one year a lot has happened that is bringing us closer to justice for the women. Something racing blog pages chooses to ignore. The JLP 4 was stored and made hidden from an asset recovery on John Paul Sr. and his old cronies in Atlanta had a lot to do with that. So by our rumblings… Read more »

Tony Smith
Tony Smith

Don’t understand all of the hate- all this guy did was buy a vintage race car- he obviously was not involved with the Pauls illicit activities- your logic is like saying if you bought one of Peter Gregg’s old cars you were supporting someone whose products caused ovarian cancer because his first wife was an heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune.

Lisa Gandolfo
Lisa Gandolfo

Ciao Mauro! I just logged back into your blog page and read your latest entries. I know you would like most people to think that being associated with the Paul’s is all business and no “hanky panky” but please explain why you would be associated on a social media page with people who most likely are communicating with John Paul Sr? Who also could be aiding and abetting a fugitive? A man who is if anything else wanted in the USA for parole violation for his attempted murder conviction? Besides a person of interest for women being missing in the… Read more »

MB Racing
MB Racing

Lisa, You started all this, you wished me to burn in a car accident without even knowing me, you called me asshole and idiot. So I think that is YOU that should be beware. I just bought an historic race car and published this feature on it, I am a collector, and I never met and I do not know Paul Sr. and most of all, I do not need to give you any excuse or explanation specially when you do attack me like this with no reason. If you are looking for Mr.Paul Sr. please go ahead and leave… Read more »

Lisa Gandolfo
Lisa Gandolfo

Read my latest entry, a good read.

Lisa Gandolfo
Lisa Gandolfo

Senior Mauro, Does my husband who is Italian need to speak your language for you to understand what a damn idiot you are? You are arrogant, rude, disengaged and a cold bastard to put down a family member who is standing up for their loved one who has gone missing because of the man you are helping promote his race cars! Yes, John Paul Sr. is a murderer, liar and has been funding money to your cause we believe. So you are aiding and helping a criminals income sort of speak. Get your damn head out of the sand and… Read more »

Lisa Gandolfo
Lisa Gandolfo
EVELYN LARSON
EVELYN LARSON

how can you glorify two men who are criminals and Sr. especially. wanted for questioning in the disaperance of two women both were married to him. CHALICE BARNETT PAUL AND COLLEEN WOODS. please tell it like it truly is. these precious cars were built from blood money. makes me want to puke. they are truly evil people. how can you sleep at night? I’m sure its not easily. shame on you.

MB Racing
MB Racing

Evelyn see the reply to Chalice Paul here above. Hope it is enough clear. You also completely mistaken the place, the tone and the meaning of your reply. We are just speaking about a race car. If you do not like it, or the stories behind it, please be free to open another Topic on the Pauls blood stories elsewhere. But again here we are just speaking about the race history and the technical details of a race car. That’s it. And shame on you if you do not understand this and you just want to show off your disgust… Read more »

Simon Sheldrick
Simon Sheldrick

Cool Story. I’ve always had a liking of the 935, particularly the whale tail or Moby Dick variants. Alan Jones used to fang one around in Australia after retiring from F1, though the long tail was removed and replaced with a shorter one (Oz tracks at the time didn’t justify/deserve it). Loved it.

Matt Robertson
Matt Robertson

Thank you all for the added and insightful information. This race car was a true marvel of its time and it’s unfortunate it didn’t get more races!

MB Racing
MB Racing

I really do not understand the comments like the ones above where the subject is the money spent on the car or even more if this money was coming from drugs or what else. If anybody is interested, there are a lot of stories about this on Internet. Most of the Teams, and not only in America but also in Europe, were finding their finances in an illegal way, and this is probably still going on now (looking back to those times, do we want to speak about the Whittington brothers, the Shadow Team founded by a retired CIA agent… Read more »

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

I remember when this car was on the track, and I remember JP Jr. was an extremely quick driver. It’s a shame he was never able to secure the ride in the first Ford GTP, which is one of my all time favorites. Thank you for sharing some history and the photographs of this racing car. It’s interesting to see what roads the engineers were going down in the name of speed. This car also looks like it still sees time on the track. What a beast! For better or for worse, however, this car is very recognizable and its… Read more »

Chalice Paul
Chalice Paul

Mauro, get you head out of the sand. You are not an ostrich are you? Yes it does make a difference where the money came from in any sport. Especially when it comes to the John Paul Sr. and John Paul Jr.s legacy. The archived newspaper articles all over the world during that time about the Paul’s should tell you the truth. There are countless victims in the world because of the Paul’s choices they made back in the 1980’s and the 1990’s. You and everyone should be more abreast of more current reads. The disappearance of Colleen Wood in… Read more »

MB Racing
MB Racing

Chalice Paul, I suppose this is not your real name. My name is Mauro Borella as I have no problems in showing it, and if you want you can have also my personal address. The article is on a race car, not on the personal stories, bad or good, of the people who built and raced it. If you want, open an other topic in an other Forums, and vomit all your stuff. The ostrich under the sand is you, infact you do not even show your real name, so do not be aggressive with me without any reason as… Read more »

Lisa Gandolfo
Lisa Gandolfo

You are a piece of trash and ignorant!

Matt Robertson
Matt Robertson

Hello Mauro,

Thank you so much for stopping by and giving this a read… and for both
you and MB Racing setting me straight on those details.

Brian Miller
Brian Miller

I read John Paul Sr. spent $750,000 to build this car, in 1982 that was a staggering amount of money, but then again now we know where all the money was coming from.

Chalice Paul
Chalice Paul

Did John Paul Sr. really spend that much money on a race car? What about the families of the victims of the women and men he is responsible for their disappearance? They are the ones who truly deserved his money. Let’s get real people, a car is now more important than that?

Van Zannis
Van Zannis

As a fellow 935 owner I want to commend Mauro on doing an incredible job with JLP IV !
I also would say a photo of a of a vertical fan has no business in an article about a 935. Just saying 🙂
Thanks for showing the 935’s some love Petrolicious.

MB Racing
MB Racing

…and by the way JLP-4 never did the Daytona 24 Hour race, but just the Daytona Finale at the end of 1982, where after leading in the opening laps, it was forced to retire due to a tyre blow up on the banking.

MB Racing
MB Racing

Hallo, And thanks for the excellent feature. There are only few corrections to be made in the text on the car racing history: 1) The car has NEVER been driven by Derek Bell. Apart from John Paul Sr. and Jr. JLP-4 it has been co-driven only by the great Hurley Haywood (Road America Aug.22-1988) and Rene Rodriguez (Road America April 10-1983). 2) The accident where the car has been damaged was not caused by John Paul Jr. but Sr. 3) The JLP-4 first race ever was not in April at the Road Atlanta 500 as you wrote in the article,… Read more »

Riccardo
Riccardo

Mauro, are you based in Italy? I see the other Porsches are on Italian plates. Looks like lago di Como?

Great article btw!

Kuroneko
Kuroneko

Thanks for a great piece on a variation I never knew existed. As a Porsche driver – in the 1980s the ascendancy of the 934 / 935 really glossed-up the Porsche brand’s sports car racing aura. Being passed at speed by the shear brutality of their flame breathing violence and noise will never be forgotten… Neko.

Chalice Paul
Chalice Paul

Kuroneko, amazing you use the words violence and noise when it comes to the Paul’s racing career. Read about who they really were and are at http://www.chalicepaul.com and know how much pain they have caused in the world to so many people. Talk about that and not about a damn race car and a career that was backed by drug money and horrors of the past.

Guest
Guest

TJ Martin I don’t know if you go back and read you’re previous comments, but you should