For the last two decades of his life, Steve Jobs was a Mercedes man, through and through. But in the 80s, Steve Jobs was a Porsche man. He gave one as an award to the salesman who sold the most Macs in the United States. And in 1980, Apple even sponsored a Porsche to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car endurance race.
Italian site The Apple Lounge has a fantastic article, piecing together the history of Apple’s sponsorship of a Porsche 935 K3.
The car itself was a beauty, boasting an 800 horsepower, 6-cylinder, twin-charged boxer engine. Driving the car were Allan Moffat, Bobby Rahal and Bob Garretson as part of Dick Barbour’s racing team.
Apple sponsorship, a killer car and a driving team that consists of some of the legends of the sport? How could the first iCar fail?
Yet fail it did. Spectacularly. Dick Barbour’s team was forced to withdraw from the 24 hour race with 13 hours to spare, due to a melted piston. It raced a couple more times, but it never did particularly well, coming in 7th place and 3rd place in its next two races.
Yet the iCar lives on, in a manner that Apple is no doubt intimately familiar with these days: the Apple Porsche has its own third-party knockoff, which apparently still races in European revival circuits. It makes an appearance in the video below:
To learn more about the first iCar, check out The Apple Blog’s in-depth article, which is loaded with more pictures of the Apple-sponsored Porsche in action.