Petrolicious: Porsche 930 Turbo, The Widowmaker

Photo Credit: Petrolicious Screen shot via YouTube
Photo Credit: Petrolicious Screen shot via YouTube /

The Porsche 930 Turbo is the ultimate in driving challenge.

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Just a few days ago, we showed a video of 1965 Porsche 911’s being taken to the limit on the track.  The drivers were maximizing their abilities and were pushing so hard, that they caught their 911’s in slides, lap after lap.  The Porsche 930 Turbo is a different monster.  It’s still the same rear-weight bias, but with a bit more unpredictable punch once the turbo has kicked in.

Petrolicious takes us through an Deryck Shakespeares’s journey with the car.

This particular 1978 Porsche 930 Turbo is only 1 of 28 in Australia.  Safety wasn’t at the forefront of vehicle production during the 1970’s, so items like traction control, stability control, and power steering do not come with the 930.  Instead, it is all on the driver and the driver’s inputs to maximize the cars abilities, or to simply drive it safely to point B.

Early turbochargers do not have the linear feel like they do today, so boost at higher revs acted like a wild VTec system that could act at different points in the rev range.

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The air-cooled, rear-placement engine, along with the modern (at the time) chassis, led to a lightweight vehicle.  Rear weight bias is even more pronounced.  Add the wild power at the top of the rev range, and it’s easy to see why the car is nicknamed, “The Widowmaker.” Wider rear tires with proper tire pressure helps place more of a footprint to compensate for the weight bias, but in the end, it’s not enough.

The classic design, the driving challenge, and the overall aura of the car is what makes the Porsche 930 Turbo great.  It’s tough to find that kind of challenge, or personality, from a modern road car today.