From the May 1983 issue of Car and Driver.
What’s your most outrageous automotive fantasy? Being strapped into the beak of a Porsche 917 as it screams along the Mulsanne straight, clawing for speed without end? Being the center of automotive attention, experiencing vicarious adulation in a machine that inspires universal respect? Perhaps you’re turned on by the thought of mastering a car so potent, so lethal, that any serious mistake is likely to be your last. Or do you simply wish to rise above your peers by driving a car so far beyond the capabilities of the four-wheeled masses that you will feel like a god on wheels?
Here’s a car that can fulfill every one of these fantasies with startling realism. The DP 935 started life as a Porsche 930, but has been transformed into a roadgoing facsimile of a racing 935. The fiberglass panels that accomplish this were flawlessly executed by Designer Plastics Automobilbau, the bodywork couturier of Kremer Racing, among others. The oversize rear spoiler; the hopelessly low, curb-fouling, deeply ducted front air dam; the tiny, aerodynamic, nearly useless mirrors; the running boards; and the broad, multifariously vented fenders combine to create the 935 look convincingly enough to freeze knowledgeable car lovers dead in their tracks.
Inside the DP 935, the competition imagery continues. Although the sumptuous Porsche leather interior is retained, a serious go-fast ambiance is imparted by the oversize boost gauge; the pure-racing, perforated-aluminum dead pedal; and the very businesslike adjustable boost knob directly astern of the shift lever. A pair of Porsche sport seats are comfortable and supportive enough to locate the passengers against the omnidirectional accelerations this car produces. No sound system is provided, or particularly missed: sensory overload is already ensured by the DP’s raspy exhaust, over-the-nose-cone view, and heavy thrust.
Generating this thrust is a DP-modified engine. The carefully assembled stock 930 motor was ripped apart and blueprinted to stricter-than-Zuffenhausen standards, the heads were ported and polished (along with the turbo’s inlet housing), and the compression ratio was bumped up a tad. Peak boost is set at 16 psi, more than 3 psi higher than in a stock 930. The engine was also emissions-certified in America with a catalyst in lieu of the muffler; this modification substituted a sharper rasp, though not much louder, for the standard 930’s whooshy sound. It did not, however, permit the engine to run on any unleaded fuel that we could find, so we resorted to heavy transfusions of octane booster to keep detonation at bay.
Our miscreancy was rewarded with rocket-sled performance. The DP 935 lunged from a standing start to 60 mph in a mere 4.6 seconds, 100 came up in but 10.5 seconds, and 130 was only another 8.8 seconds away. It scorched the quarter-mile in 12.8 seconds at 112 mph. But even these fabulous figures don’t convey the car’s sheer thrust. The DP 935 delivers an incredibly strong shove in the back, and the punch never seems to quit. Even at 120 mph it pulls harder than a VW Scirocco at 50. Not until well past 140 mph does your breath come back and the acceleration of this juggernaut fall to a familiar level.
In light of this tremendous proclivity for speed, the car’s peak of 162 mph is a bit disappointing. But with the DP’s 15-inch wheels (the stock diameter is 16 inches), the engine is revving well beyond its power peak at top speed. The exhaust-plugging, aftermarket catalyst probably didn’t help the power curve past 6000 rpm either.
The smaller-diameter tires are part of the DP 935’s chassis meliorations. Porsche forged wheels, eight and 11 inches wide, front and rear, are shod with 205/50VR-15 and 285/40VR-15 Pirelli P7 gumballs. The suspension is lowered and stiffened as well. These changes firm up the ride considerably, but the motion left within the limited suspension travel is fluid and supple. Like the rest of the car, this suspension feels best in triple-digit speed ranges. It also happens to work around corners: on the skidpad, we measured 0.84 g of stick, the best we’ve ever seen on a roadgoing Porsche.
These landmark performance measurements bolster the DP 935’s position as a paragon of automotive omnipotence. And for a mere $95,000, Richard Buxbaum of Classic Motors in Chicago can make it yours. That may seem a bit high, but fantasy fulfillment never comes cheap.
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