Today we are accustomed to Apple's image linked to minimalism, essentiality, quality and sophistication of design and finish. Such a company, with such a strong perception, hardly needs to gain visibility by tying it to external factors. A few decades ago, however, this was not exactly the case, and even Steve Jobs decided to go down the road of motorsport sponsorship. As a great fan of German motorcycles and cars, he decided to bring the colors - in the true sense of the word, given how the logo looked at the time - of his Apple Computers to the world's most prestigious tracks through an iconic Porsche 935 K3.
The specimen in question was entrusted to Dick Barbour Racing of San Diego, a historic racing stable with dozens of endurance racing successes to its credit with its very fast Porsches. California is indeed the scene of this collaboration, since in addition to San Diego and Cupertino, Bob Garretson's Garretson Enterprise Race Shop was also based in Mountain View: and it was here that Jobs had brought his 356 to do some work.. It was Garretson himself, along with Allan Moffat and Bobby Rahal, who formed the crew with which the car with the rainbow apple went on the assault at none other than the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
On June 14 and 15, 1980, the Apple Porsche then tackled the grueling French marathon starting from an encouraging 14th place. After 11 hours, the car that had finished second the previous year had to raise the white flag because a piston failed.
That same year the 935 K3 also ran the 12 Hours of Sebring, where it achieved a seventh place finish, the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen where unfortunately Rahal was forced to retire due to engine failure after only six laps to finish with a podium finish at the Road America 500.
Despite these realistically unimpressive results, this car, precisely because of the uniqueness of its coloring and sponsorship, has become a real gem for collectors. The current owner, actor and voice actor Adam Carolla, purchased it years ago for a reported $4.4 million, and its current value is estimated to pass the $10 million mark. Curiously, however, the car wears the 1979 livery, the one that finished second with Paul Newman, Rolf Stommelen and Dick Barbour at the wheel, Carolla being a fan of the very models in which the U.S. actor raced.
The lack of victories also did not detract in the least from the image of the American giant, which continued its rise, albeit not always linear, in the following decades.
A faithful replica, used in competitions and rallies dedicated to historic cars, recently sold for half a million euros, confirming the great appeal of this object.
In recent times we have seen the Cupertino company's historical rivals-Microsoft-make an appearance on the Toyota Yaris in the World Rally Championship, in Nascar, and on the Renault-Alpine in Formula 1. At the same time, Google took the field alongside McLaren on the team's single-seaters. Could the time be ripe to see Apple involved in motorsport again?
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