Cars

Auto Display Car Feature: 1978 Porsche 930

The 930 is one of the most blatant examples of the trickle-down theory where race car technology is adapted for street cars intended for public consumption. During the late ’60s Stuttgart integrated turbo performance into its racing program and when they needed a homologation car, the dominoes that led to the 930 began to fall.

To qualify for a particular racing series, some sanctioning bodies demanded the cars be street legal and required the automakers to build and sell versions of the cars they intended to race. Consequently, these mostly limited editions were and are highly sought after. In 1975 the 911 Turbo, or 930, was born and while original plans called for 400 examples Porsche kept pumping them out. The 930 can be broken down into two generations: the 3.0-liter 1975 to 1977 models and the 3.3-liter 1978 to 1989. Porsche built 2,819 first-generation 930s and 18,770 second gens.

Beyond the motor and much more evident to the naked eye are the 930’s unique aerodynamic touches; namely the whale tail rear wing and, later in the production run, the rare 505 factory slantnose option. The 930 was a handful to drive as its overall power, short wheelbase and now infamous turbo lag all conspired to a tail-happy demeanor and serious oversteer when pushed past the edge.

Our feature car is a 1978 edition with an aftermarket slantnose conversion. This is a desirable, transitional year for the 930. Porsche 930s from ’78 feature the upgraded 3.3-liter engine that received an air-to-air intercooler and was rated at 300 horsepower. With the increase in power, the car also got bigger brakes and a revised suspension. This car sports an aftermarket Ruf intercooler and polished Fikse mesh wheels. We also love its “stuck in the ’70s” monochromatic stripes.

In 1980 emissions concerns punted the 930 from U.S. and Japanese markets. It came down to false expectations within Porsche as executives were looking to the 928 and its V8 power to take the pedestal atop the Porsche lineup. In 1981 Porsche enacted the Sonderwunschprogramm which is Porsche-speak for special order program and ushered in the Flauchbau or slantnose option. The 930 returned to the U.S. and Japanese markets in 1985 but was discontinued after the 1989 model year as the 911 was heavily redesigned and it was time to change the numbers game. It lived on in spirit as the 964 911 Turbo.

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