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"The Widowmaker" Air-Cooled Porsche 930 Turbo

From the beginning Porsche was all about using racing to develop their production cars. The use and development of turbocharging engines followed this sequence with the introduction of turbocharging in 1972 in he powerful Porsche 917/10 that dominated racing at the time.

Porsche 911 Turbo
Porsche 930 Turbo as Seen at Werks Reunion

Turbochargers came to the production vehicles shortly thereafter with the launch of the 930 series in 1975. The first 911 Turbo produced 260 hp; more than enough to make it a Supercar for the day. The initial production of the 930 as it was known internally was just 500 units to meet the motorsport homologation requirements. Demand was strong for this muscular looking and performing Porsche so production increased.

In 1977 the first big improvement was made to the 911 Turbo when the engine displacement was increased from 3.0 to 3.3 liters, increasing output to 300 hp.

Porsche 911 Turbo
Porsche 930 Engine Bay

These early Porsche 911 Turbos, aka 930’s became known as “The Widowmaker” as so many were wrecked with drivers inexperienced in dealing with the sudden surge of power from the turbo-lag characteristic that tended to swing the heavy rear-end around with inexperienced drivers. If you managed the boost of the turbocharger the driver was rewarded with one of the fastest cars in the world at the time.

Many a young man had a poster of a Porsche 930 Turbo on his wall and the desire continues today as these young men now have the disposable income to purchase a Classic Porsche 930 Turbo.

Porsche 911 Turbo, Porsche 930
The First Porsche 930 Turbo for Louise Peich

The very first 911 Turbo was a gift to Louise Piech, daughter of Ferdinand Porsche and has many unique features:

  • Turbo Badge delete

  • 10K RPM Tachometer

  • Un-tinted front windshield (so Louse could paint sitting inside her car)

  • Red Plaid interior

The current 911 Turbo is no longer a “Widowmaker” but still offers a tremendous amount of power in a 911; 500 hp. The electronic driving aids and turbocharger technology have help to resolve the notorious power surge that used to swing the heavy rear-end around when accelerating through corners.

Tags: Porsche 930, Porsche 911 Turbo, Porsche Widowmaker

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