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Today we are accustomed to the image of Apple linked to minimalism, essentiality, quality and refinement of design and finishes. Such a company, with such a strong perception, has practically no need to gain visibility by tying it to external factors. A few decades ago, however, it wasn't exactly like this and even Steve Jobs decided to follow the path of sponsorships in motorsport. 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 appeared at the time - of his Apple Computers on the most prestigious tracks in the world through an iconic Porsche 935 K3.

The example in question was entrusted to Dick Barbour Racing of San Diego, a historic team with dozens of endurance successes with its very fast Porsches. California is precisely the theater of this collaboration, given that in addition to San Diego and Cupertino, Bob Garretson's Garretson Enterprise Race Shop was also based in Mountain View: and it is here that Jobs had taken his 356 to do some work... Precisely Garretson, together with Allan Moffat and Bobby Rahal, formed the crew with which the car with the rainbow apple attacked none other than the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

On 14 and 15 June 1980, Apple Porsche then faced the grueling French marathon starting from an encouraging fourteenth place. After 11 hours the car that had finished second the previous year had to raise the white flag due to a piston failure.

That same year the 935 K3 also raced in 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 just 6 laps to conclude with a podium in the 500 Miles of Road America.

Porsche 935 Apple Computers - design by Filippo Bergamaschi

Porsche 935 Apple Computers – design by Filippo Bergamaschi

Timeless charm

Despite these realistically less than sensational results, this car, precisely because of the uniqueness of its coloring and sponsorship, has become a true pearl for collectors. The current owner, the actor and voice actor Adam Carolla, purchased it years ago for a sum of 4,4 million dollars and it is estimated that its current value exceeds the threshold of 10 million. Curiously, however, the car wears the 1979 livery, the one that came second with Paul Newman, Rolf Stommelen and Dick Barbour at the wheel, Carolla being a fan of the models with which the American actor raced.

Furthermore, the failed victories did not penalize the image of the American giant in the slightest, which continued its rise, albeit not always linear, in the following decades.

A faithful replica, used in competitions and rallies dedicated to historic machines, was recently sold for half a million euros, confirming the great appeal of this object.

In recent times we have seen the historic rivals of the Cupertino company - Microsoft - make their appearance on the Toyota Yaris of the World Rally Championship, in NASCAR and on Renault-Alpine in Formula 1. At the same time Google entered the field alongside McLaren on single-seater of the team. Is the time ripe to see Apple involved in motorsport again?

Discover other stories and curiosities about the world of sponsorships by exploring ours blog.

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