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Porsche 930.jpg
Porsche 930
Porsche
aka Porsche 911 Turbo
Production 1978 - 1989
Class Supercar/Sports car
Body Style Coupe/Cabriolet/Targa
Length 4291 mm
Width 1775 mm
Height 1310 mm
Wheelbase 2272 mm
Weight 1300 kg
Transmission 4-Speed / 5-Speed Manual
Engine 3.0 Litre/3.3 Litre flat six, turbocharged
Power 260 hp
300 hp
Similar Ferrari 512BB
Ferrari Testarossa
Lamborghini Countach
Designer

Top of the 911 Tree

Rumours were abound in the motoring press that Porsche was going to release something big at the 1974 Paris Motorshow. Wild guesses were thrown everywhere - and included everything, from a Formula One project, to a new racing car, via a completely new model and suggestions that even a change of ownership was on the cards.

However, very few came near the truth - the 1974 Paris Motorshow was the release of the 930 Turbo - to many the personification of the 911 model.

Homologation Special

Originally intended as a homologation special to allow the 911-bodyshape to go racing, the 930 was destined to be a limited-run model. To homologate the 911 for Group 4 'Silhouette' racing, Porsche had to build 400 930s by 1976. But demand was much stronger than expected, and Porsche had sold the 400 cars by mid-1975.

The car was obviously popular, and Porsche had already decided that it would continue with the model. But internal conflict was rife over the form it should take - Ferry Porsche decreeing that the 930 should be a stripped-out RS-alike, and company CEO arguing that a luxurious, GT specification was what was needed. The board member sided with the CEO, and the 930 continued as the ultimate 911 - supercar performance provided by the 3.0 litre flat six, developed from the RSR racer, allied to a luxurious leather interior - featuring all the mod-cons available at the time. Particular options of interest were the 'Dr. Furmann seats' - curious bubble-padded perches designed to eliminate shoulder and back pain on long distance driving - and the Blaupunkt 'Portable' stereo - in reality, a giant black box weighing several kilograms. The new model was given the type-code '930' to differentiate it from the standard 911.

The model pioneered high-performance turbocharging, utilising a single KKK-unit to give 260BHP, and the harnessing of aerodynamics on a road car, in the shape of the synonomous 'Tea Tray' rear wing.

The advertising said it all - 'Exclusive. Explosive. Expensive.'

Upgrades

1978 brought the first real revamp to the 930 range, and large changes were made to the engine. Originally 3.0 litres in capacity, it had been bored out to 3.3 litres. This hiked power, from 260BHP to 300BHP, with help from the addition of an intercooler. The fourth gear ratio was lengthened in light of the car's new top speed. Other innovations included ventilated disk brakes, developed from the legendary 'Pink Pig' 917 Le Mans racer - and these were gripped by four piston calipers. Such an advanced braking system had never been seen before on a road car.

As can be imagined, performance got even more impressive - it was now possible to go from 0-60mph in 5.2 seconds, and onto a top speed of almost 180mph. Period press marvelled at the engineering - with British magazine Motor claiming 'the best example of precision engineering on four wheels' - but also higlighted how difficult it was to drive - 'suddenly, at 6000 rpm, we left behind two expensive and decidedly long black rubber stripes on the road'. The volatile nature of the car would eventually get Porsche into trouble in the USA, where several lawsuits were filed following fatal accidents. Porsche soon had to offer customer training for consumers who had bought a 930.

1981 saw the introduction of a seven-year ant-corrosion warranty, due to the fact that the 911 shell was now zinc-dipped to prevent corrosion. Front driving lights were added as standard, as well as the appearance of wing indicator lights.

Unfortunately, the strict emissions regulations of the USA strangled power outputs of the 930 to just 250BHP. When the 928 S was released, the power output was 300BHP. Porsche faced competition from within its own ranks, and subsequently removed the 930 from sale in the USA in 1981.

Porsche decided to prove the 930's worth to an assembled group of influential customers and world-famous motoring journalists, in 1982, at a NATO airbase. The plan was to race the 930 against a fighter jet, along the runway, to show how un-Earthly the acceleration of the vehicle was. The plane chosen was an 80,000BHP Phantom, and the driver chosen was Jurgen Barth, at the time Porsche's test driver. The Porsche covered the first 100m in 5.0 seconds. The Phantom jet took 5.2 seconds.

The Darling of the Sheiks

The 930 was declared one of Kuwait's most popular cars, as the oil millionaires chose to spend their money on Porsche's flagship. However, for some, the Turbo in standard guise was not exclusive enough. Porsche had 'Customer Preparation Department' in business since the start, in which it could modify, at a price, both the bodywork and mechanicals of standard Porsche models - and in the 1980s, the department was never out of work.
The Ojjeh Porsche

Firstly, came the 'Flatnose' cars, based upon the looks of the 935 racing car. This proved a popular modification, and Porsche started to consider producing a factory-built version themselves. This would come later. The largest project of the 'Customer Preparation Department' began in 1981, when Mansour Ojjeh, president of TAG Enterprises, commissioned a truly special 930. In essence, what Ojjeh truly wanted was a street-935, although Porsche claimed this could not be done. Instead, the decision was made to use a 930 as a base, and modify it from the ground up. In February 1983, a 930 went from the production line to the Department, and was dismantled. The Flatnose wings and bonnet were fitted, and plastics experts set to work on the wide arches at the rear. Genuine 935 parts, for example the rear wing, were used wherever possible. The front spoiler, bumpers and door trim were entirely hand made - which took time and money, and also ensured that an identical 'Ojjeh' could never be made. Mechanicals included 934 brakes, custom-made BBS alloys, custom suspension from Bilstein. Power was raised 70BHP, and the interior was lavishly trimmed with leather and wood, along with sophisticated electronics. The car cost three times that of a standard 930, but was a one-off, and Porsche learned many valuable lessons with this car - mainly that the 930 could handle extra power with only minor modifications.

Post-1985

1985 was the last main revamp for the 930, and consisted of cosmetic upgrades. A new seat design was offered, with electrical adjustment as standard. There was a new four-spoke, Porsche range standard leather trimmed four-spoke steering wheel. Electric central locking and air conditioning were fitted as standard. The only mechanical upgrade was stiffened stabilisers. Porsche reflected upon the success of the vehicle so far - over 10,000 examples had been built - and 1985 was considered the peak of its success - rich stock-marketeers lapped the 930s up as quick as Porsche could make them.

In 1986, Porsche released the Turbo SE - the factory Flatnose, which had been expected for many year previous. The new car featured the distinctive front wings and bonnet, along with 9-inch wide rear Fuchs forged alloys, black painted wooden slats in the rear wings and large side skirts. Power was up to 330BHP, the highest a factory 930 would produce. Interior-wise, a new three-spoke steering wheel was fitted. Colour charts were identical to the standard 930, but the option of 'colour-match-to-sample' was again offered. The car cost a huge amount over the standard 930, but Porsche still managed to produce a fair number - and for the super-rich, there was even a cabriolet version.

Big news for the 1986 model year included the re-introduction of the 930 in the USA, after many years' sabbatical. The emissions laws still stipulated a reduction in power ratings - the output was down to 282BHP.

The cabriolet version of the 930 was released in 1987 to all markets, an marked a revamp of cosmetics across the range - new colours and interior trims were added to the brochures, and the Fuchs alloy centres could be specified colour-matched to the body. The untidy rear foglight, which used to hang below the rear bumper, was now integrated into the reflector strip under the rear spoiler. A Targa version was released, also.

By 1989, sales of the 930 were flagging as the model showed its age. The new 911 had been released, and the bottom was falling out of the supercar market after the collapse of the stock market. Despite this, Porsche still revised the car, including a new five-speed manual gearbox and hydraulic clutch action, making the car much easier to drive around towns. The 1989 930 was also completely Asbestos-free from the factory, a first for the model. However, the decision was made to end the production of the world's most practical supercar in mid-1989. The last found homes in 1990.

Summary

Models

  • 1975-1978 - Porsche 930 3.0 Litre Coupe
  • 1978-1989 - Porsche 930 3.3 Litre Coupe
  • 1986-1989 - Porsche 930 Turbo SE Coupe
  • 1987-1989 - Porsche 930 3.3 Litre Cabriolet
  • 1987-1989 - Porsche 930 3.3 Litre Targa
  • 1989 - Porsche 930 Turbo LE Coupe

A car very similar to the Ojjeh 930 appeared in the 1981 film 'Condorman', driven by the lead villian. The car was converted for its owner, Angelo Pallavicini, of Switzerland.

The Pallavicini Porsche


Porsche 550 3.jpg
PORSCHE

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