1980 Porsche 935 JLP-2 that raced at Le Mans up for sale for $2.1M

A 1980 Porsche 935 that raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is up for sale through RM Sotheby’s with a healthy $2.1 million price tag.

The 935 was one of Porsche’s greatest race cars. Loosely based on the 911, it featured a flat nose and a large tail section for better aerodynamics, plus a powerful turbocharged engine. Porsche also unveiled a new version in 2018, based on the 911 GT2 RS, but only to pay tribute to the original, not as a race car or even a street car.

In addition to factory teams, the 935 saw plenty of success in the hands of privateers. That was the case with this particular car, JLP-2. It was the second 935 raced by the father-son team of John Paul Sr. and John Paul Jr., who previously raced a heavily modified Corvette.

After the destruction of their first 935 during the 1979 racing season, the team built JLP-2 using a chassis, engine, and other components purchased from Porsche, according to the listing. However, JLP-2 sported numerous modifications, including Kremer K3 bodywork, and alterations to the tub for greater structural rigidity. 

As built, the 935 was powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter flat-6 with Kugelfischer fuel injection. The engine could produce up to 740 horsepower, depending on boost levels, according to the listing. It sent its power to the rear wheels through a 4-speed manual transaxle.

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JLP-2 raced at the 1980 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it finished second in its class and ninth overall. It was largely sidelined by the more extreme JLP-3 935 for the 1981 season, and was sold to M.L. Speer ahead of the 1982 season.

Campaigned by Speer, the car finished third at the 1982 12 Hours of Sebring. JLP-2 was retired after the 1985 season, then changed hands a few times over the years. Its builders, meanwhile, were later convicted for running an illegal marijuana trafficking operation.

Today, JLP-2 wears the same blue-and-yellow livery it wore at Le Mans in 1980, and sports an engine rebuilt in 2019, according to the listing. To put the asking price in perspective, a modern 935 tribute sold for $1.5 million at auction in 2020. That would seem to indicate $2.1 million is a deal for a car with this provenence.

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