The Porsche 930 Turbo Slantnose
In this addition of the Crown Classic Car series, we are going to look back to the late 70’s and mid eighties to an icon that caught my eye in college. I still remember the day when one of my fraternity brother’s dad rolled up in a Porsche Red 930 Slantnose Turbo. My eyes were immediately drawn to the car. Its lines and that tail just called for speed. There was a poster in the 80’s called justification for higher education, this care was mine. So how did the 930 come to be? What cause Porsche to give the 911 a slant nose? So many questions so let start at the beginning.
Porsche's drive to consistently improve their racing program lead to many ground-breaking innovations. Thanks to homologation regulations in the racing world, which required a finite number of cars to be produced and sold before the models were allowed into competition, many of those ground breaking innovations were served up to the public through production cars built and sold to meet those requirements. The Porsche 911 Turbo is a perfect example of homologation gone wild.
Porsche began experimenting with turbocharging technology on their race cars during the late 1960s, and in 1972 began development on a turbocharged version of the 911. Porsche originally needed to produce the car in order to comply with homologation regulations and had intended on marketing it as a street legal race vehicle like the 1973 Carrera 2.7 RS. The FIA's Appendix “J” rules that brought about the 911 Turbo Carrera RSR 2.1 in 1974 changed in 1975 and 1976. The FIA announced that cars for Group 4 and Group 5 had to be production cars and be available for sale to individual purchasers through manufacturer dealer networks. For the 1976 season, new FIA regulations required manufacturers to produce 400 cars within a twenty-four month period to gain approval for Group 4. Group 5 would require the car to be derived from a homologated model in Group 3 or 4. Porsche's Group 4 entry was the 934, homologated on 6 December 1975. For Group 5, Porsche would create one of the most successful racing cars of all time, the 935. While the original purpose of the Porsche Turbo road car was to gain homologation for the 1976 racing season, it quickly became popular with road car enthusiasts. Four-hundred cars were produced by the end of 1975. Since Porsche wanted to be racing for the 1976 season, they gained FIA homologation for the Porsche Turbo for Group 4 in Nr. 645 on 6 Dec 1975 and the 1,000th 1976 Turbo was completed on 5 May 1976.
Ernst Fuhrmann adapted the turbo-technology originally developed for the 917/30 CAN-AM car to the 3.0 litre flat-six from the Carrera RS 3.0, creating what Porsche internally dubbed as the 930.
The development of Porsche's first turbocharged version of the Model 911 began in 1972. A prototype of the first 911 Turbo was unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in the fall of 1973 to test the market potential of the design. The production version was released at the Paris Auto Show in 1974 and was finally put into production in Europe for the model year 1975 and marketed simply as the "911 Turbo". The first exports didn't hit the shores of the US until 1976 and were initially badged as "Turbo Carrera" for a short period of time. Soon the designation was changed to Type 930 and was carried through the remainder of it's production.
The original plan for the 911 Turbo was to meet the homologation requirements of 400 units that were to be produced over a period of 24 months, at which point Porsche would cease production. When the homolog
ation rules changed and the car was no longer needed to meet requirements, Porsche decided to soldier on and continue development with a goal to produce a variant of the Model 911 that would top the line of production Porsche models and could directly compete with the luxurious powerhouses being turned out by Ferrari and Lamborghini.
In order to handle the higher power output, the Type 930 was given a suspension revision, larger brakes, larger wheels, wider tires and flared fenders to accommodate the extra beef. A large rear spoiler was added, known familiarly as a "Whale Tail" or a "Tea Tray", to help create down force at the rear and push more air through the engine. Lastly, the new superstar of the Porsche line-up received a stronger 4-speed gearbox.
As impressive as the stats and performance graphs were for the Type 930, the car proved dangerous and even deadly in the hands of inexperienced drivers. The rear-engine placement was advantageous for traction; however, the severe turbo-lag would create sudden bursts of power during cornering that would break the car loose and cause it to spin out of control. Less experienced drivers would react by quickly releasing the throttle which only amplified the situation - the result was more often than not disastrous. Keeping the engine at high revs ultimately minimized the turbo-lag which soon became apparent to the more skilled drivers who were then able to finesse the cars into producing the outstanding performances they were capable of.
The Type 930 didn't receive any significant upgrades until 1978 when the engine size was increased to 3.3 liters and an intercooler was added which bumped up engine output to 300hp. The brakes were also upgraded again, and the spoiler was re-designed and raised slightly to accommodate the addition of the intercooler.
What I’m more interested to cover is what they called the ….‘Sonderwunsch-Programm’. What that basically means is, ‘Special Order(Wishes, in literal translations) Program’. It worked on an invitation-only basis, and basically allowed Porsche owners to customize their cars, literally however the heck they wanted, from performance upgrades, special paint colors, styling mods, and interior colors. Essentially, one, anything thought to be technically possible could be fulfilled, in theory, and two, the only limiting factor was quite literally, the amount of cash that the customer had to throw at Porsche to bring their visions to life.
Option packages M505 and M506(Presumably the two option packages to start a Flachbau conversion for Coupes and Convertibles) started at around $29,000 USD back in the day, valuing the option at nearly half the standard Turbo’s asking price(Though in most cases, the premium was around 60 percent, or higher if you personalized your car). These packages could theoretically be applied to non-Turbos, but the cost meant that most picked the top-tier 930 Turbo as their starting point..
In 1980 the Type 930 was pulled from the US (and Japanese) markets as a result of yet another change in emissions regulations. It remained available on the Canadian and European markets and beginning in 1981 could be special-ordered as a "Flachbau" or "slantnose" edition. Each Flachbau unit was hand-crafted by remodeling the front fenders into 935-style slantnose and stuffed with an upgraded 3.3L engine that produced 330hp. Very few were built as they commanded quite a premium over the cost of a basic 911 Turbo. So few were built that the slantnose units often commanded a high premium price, and an initial premium of up to 60 per cent (highly individualized cars even more) over the standard price. Nine hundred forty-eight units were built. The Flachbau units delivered in Europe usually featured the 330 hp (246 kW) performance kit.
For the 1983 model year another special-order, 325hp performance option was introduced. Along with the performance upgrade, the package included a 4-pipe exhaust and an additional oil cooler which required a re-designed front spoiler, additional ventilation holes in the rear fenders and modified rockers.
Finally in 1986, the Type 930 was re-introduced to the US and Japanese markets, fitted with a 278hp emission-controlled engine. Coinciding with the reunion of the Porsche Turbo with the American roads was the release of the Targa and Cabriolet versions which were welcomed with both open arms and wallets by Porsche enthusiasts.
The last major revision for the Type 930 came in 1989, which was ironically the last year of production for the model. It was finally equipped with a G50 transmission - the 5-speed manual that many feel should have been incorporated into the initial design back in 1975. Maybe that was just Porsche's way of proving that they could squeeze superior performance out of just 4 gears - because they did.
The Type 930 was officially replaced by the Type 964 in 1990, however it will always have the honor of being the model that began Porsche's Turbocharged legacy as each subsequent generation of the Model 911 from the Type 930 forward includes a turbocharged edition.
And like that a new faster model was born. However the 1988 Porsche 930 Red Slantnose that my college friends dad pulled up to the fraternity house in will still be one of my most desired cars ever built. A true Porsche that requires a real driver to handle it.
Peak Porsche 930 Performance Parts and Systems
Porsche parts are small but important pieces of overall systems that work together to ensure the speed and handling Porsche is known for. If you are focusing on performance parts, make sure you are paying close attention to the following: