Gallery: Paul Newman's Le Mans class-winning Porsche 935

Car Culture

This is the Porsche 935 that Paul Newman, Dick Barbour and Rolf Stommelen took to a class victory at the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours

Paul Newman's Porsche 935

Photos: Evan Klein, from Adam Carolla’s car collection

It was a plot that would have been regarded as too fanciful, even for Hollywood.

Paul Newman Porsche 935 rear

Any self-respecting studio would have rejected a script involving a big-shot movie star going to the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time at the age of 54 and coming within an ace of victory.

Paul Newman Porsche 935

Simply, the writers would have been told to get out of Tinseltown.

More: Watch: Paul Newman’s Porsche 935 at Laguna Seca

Paul Newman Porsche 935 BBS wheel

But at Le Mans in 1979 facts proved stranger than fiction. Paul Newman could have won the French enduro in that year and probably would have won but for a jammed wheel nut.

Newman 935

But his eventual second place, with team owner Dick Barbour and Rolf Stommelen, was only the final chapter in a bizarre event.

Paul Newman 935

The winning machine spent an hour parked on the Mulsanne Straight as one of its drivers toiled to fix a car he and his brother had purchased — for cash — literally minutes before the start.

The idea of Newman doing Le Mans came from the man himself, according to Barbour. He proposed it after Dick Barbour Racing’s first assault on the French enduro in 1978…

Newman 935

For the full feature on Newman’s 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours triumph, plus more on his racing career and Adam Carolla’s incredible car collection from Newman’s racing career, subscribe to the magazine

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