A weekly look at automotive news

Dan Scanlan
| Florida Times-Union

Porsche 935 coming to Amelia

They were wild and barely tamed, and they ate up the race tracks in their day as well as during HSR’s Classic 24 Hour Daytona Endurance Race a few week’s ago. Now the Porsche 935 will be featured at the 26th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 7. The landmark slope-nosed race car made its debut 45 years ago, evolved from the 911 with a new set of racing rules that shifted the emphasis of endurance racing from pure prototypes to modified “silhouette” GT cars.

“Fans loved the 935,” said Concours founder/chairman Bill Warner, who covered the car many times for Road & Track magazine. “The 935s were beasts: spectacular flame-belching, 200 mph, road racing ‘funny cars.’ But the 935 looks the way we expect a Porsche 911 to look, even with big flares, big muscles, big wings and the 935’s signature slopenose.”

The radical turbocharged Group 5 Turbo 935 was the ultimate, testing showing it good for 209 mph. The 935 won its first race in 1976, and scored its final major international victory in the 1984 12 Hours of Sebring. In 1979, Brumos Racing’s Peter Gregg won eight of 15 IMSA Winston GT Championship races with his iconic white-red-and-blue Brumos 935, earning his sixth IMSA GT championship. And part of the 2021 class will be Jeff Zwart’s Pikes Peak No. 11 Porsche 935-19, a modern version of the classic and based on the Porsche 911 GT2 RS road car.

Virtual car show held

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen many fall and winter 2020 classic car events postponed. So the folks at Classic Motorsports decided to hold its inaugural Concours d’ Cancelation, sponsored by Hagerty. More than 200 entrants graced the virtual show field as seen in a YouTube video at https://bit.ly/3lAl0fk, representing 24 concours events in the U.S. including The Amelia.

Cars shown ranged from a real AC Cobra and factory Ferrari special to Brigette Bardot’s personal Simca roadster and a Lotus once raced by Jim Clark and A.J. Foyt. Best in Show as well as Best Pre-War European Coachwork was presented to Oscar Davis’ 1-of-14 1938 Talbot-Lago T150C SS. The car was commissioned by Duke Philippe de Massa, and competed in the 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans. More than 80 judges determined the winners via Zoom. The full winners list can be seen at bit.ly/3kiFc3P.

Dune buggy company changes hands

It was a stroke of genius when Southern California car guy Bruce Meyers decided to plant a curvaceously simple fiberglass body atop a modified Volkswagen Beetle chassis way back in 1964, and the iconic Manx dune buggy was born. Still being made today, the company has been transferred to Trousdale Ventures, with iconic car designer Freeman Thomas as CEO.

Now called Meyers Manx LLC, 94-year-old creator Bruce Meyers and his wife Winnie will continue as ambassadors for the new company and manage the Manx Registry.  

“In what proved to be a stroke of genius, Bruce Meyers created and introduced the original Meyers Manx to the beaches and dunes of California in 1964,” said Thomas, known by his work at Porsche, Audi and VW. “This wildly successful whimsical, fun and capable machine launched a pop culture movement that helped define the sixties, a time of love, rebellion and free thinking that embraced the Meyers Manx as a part of authentic California beach culture that sparked joy around the world.”

“Maintaining the old and introducing the new is what lies ahead,” Meyers added. “We feel that Meyers Manx LLC can and will do just that!”

Trousdale Ventures is headed by Phillip Sarofim.

BMW launches flagship EV

BMW has unveiled what it is calling its new technological flagship with its electric iX Sports Activity Vehicle, its eDrive technology producing 500 hp and an estimated range of 300 miles. The design is the first model based on a new, modular, scalable architecture for future BMW Group vehicles. 

The iX goes into production in the second half of 2021, then hits U.S. shores in early 2022. It uses a lightweight Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic design as well as natural and recycled materials, while its EV powerplant will send it to 60 mph in under 5 seconds, BMW said. Its DC fast charging system can load more than 75 miles of range in 10 minutes. 

Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4549