Porsche 930 Turbo: Driving a legend

This is the story of one of my literal dream cars, come to life; my 1985 Porsche Type 930, 911 Turbo. I've just taken my first drive and I'm going to tell you how it felt and how I got the car I'd been dreaming of for 32 years.

When I was a kid I loved cars. My dad was a car guy and his enthusiasm rubbed off on me in a big way. He always had cool cars and always thoroughly enjoyed them and obsessed over them. We built model cars, raced RC cars, went to the Long Beach Gran Prix and many car shows and races over the years. I loved it all.

Then, when I was 16, and living with my mom, my dad sent me the poster. I believe it was a promotion for Road & Track subscribers. I opened the poster roll to find that my poster had "BURTON", our last name, as the license plate. It was so cool. I placed the famous Porsche ad above my bed. It featured a black Porsche 930 with all 4 wheels off the ground. What an amazing advertisement. What an amazing car.

The poster and the car were an inspiration. Years later, after starting the Flat 6 Club, some of the first designs I created were based on the poster and the 911 Turbo, even well before I could own the car.

Like most kids with a dream, I looked at it longingly and imagined what it would be like to own and drive a 911 Turbo. I imagined how I might obtain such a machine. I was thrilled at the possibility that I could get there, even though my below-average grades were pointing in a different direction. I had actual dreams of my older self being successful and owning some of these amazing cars. As you can see in the picture below, Seinfeld had the same poster on the set of the show!

Also keep in mind, I grew up in the 80's. I loved the Countach, the Testarossa, I loved the 288 GTO, and of course the 959, but the 930 haunted me. It was beautifully shaped and much prettier than the 959 to my eye. It was everywhere. It was even in my favorite video games. Back in the 80's, before there was Gran Turismo, Forza, or iRacing, there was Test Drive. I played it a lot. Lotus, Ferrari, Corvette, all of the great sports cars from the 1980s were playable in the game.  Guess which car was featured in the opening screen? The Porsche Type 930 911 Turbo was shown on the screen every time the game was started! In a world of bad asses, it was the baddest.

Test Drive

It's no wonder I've always wanted one. And now, at long last I have it. A triple black Porsche 930. Just like the poster. I still can't believe it. I peek at it in the garage and say goodnight. It's like the mystical beast from the poster somehow magically teleported into my garage, 32 years after I hung it on my wall.

So how did I get the car of my dreams? The full story is one for another time, but I will say I found this car from another member in the Flat 6 Club! The club that I started as a COVID project ended up bringing my dream car to me! Ralph, an early Flat 6 Club member had posted pictures of his black 930 in Alaska in the past. More recently, he posted that he was thinking about selling the car. I had just lost a bid for a 930 on Bring A Trailer and my friend Josh, saw Ralph's post and started calling me like crazy. I connected with Ralph who was super nice, owned the car for 7 years and loved the car but just hadn't been driving it. Fast forward a bit and the car is here!

Porsche 911 Turbo - type 930

So how is it to drive? It's an absolute kick! It makes me feel like I'm living in a Fast & Furious movie every time I drive it! It's loud and fast and a bit scary. I'm no stranger to fast cars, I sold a beastly 991 Turbo S to make garage room, but the 930 is certainly something special.

This car was upgraded "in period" with a K27 High Flow Turbo and a bespoke exhaust with an exotic dual Tial wastegate (yup, really) setup that sounds amazing. It's also running 1 Bar of boost according to the replacement VDO boost gauge that replaced the original clock (which I have). I got the car, washed it, got it inspected (it's in amazing shape, thanks Ralph!), changed the oil and putted around in it for the first week just to shake to down.

Porsche 930 Turbo

The 930 feels very different than my 1982 "outlaw" 911SC. The first things I noticed in contrast with the SC was the heavier steering --likely due to another inch of rubber on the front tires, as well as bit more weight, and the hugely tall first gear in the 930's 4 speed box vs. the short first in the SC's 915 5 speed tranny. The SC jumps off the line in first, where the 930 is a little hard not to bog down until you get used to it. To put this in perspective: at redline, the 930 is doing a bit more than 50MPH in first gear, compared to maybe half that in the SC! That's a big difference in feel. In both cars the engine start breathing fully at about 4000RPM at which point the pace picks up noticeably in both. However, at 4K the 930 in on boost, which at full throttle is a big kick in the ass, where the SC is nice and linear and much less INSANE than the 930!

Porsche 930 Turbo

After about week, I took her on my first freeway cruise with no real traffic. After letting the oil warm up, I ran through a couple of short on-boost pulls in 3rd gear. The car starts building boost at about 3500 RPM, you can hear and feel that big turbo start to push. It felt fast, very fast but I was letting off at about half boost, just getting a feel for it.

Finally I had an open road, I punched it, holding flat in 3rd past 4500 RPMs, the car's big boost gauge on the right swung wildly up to .7 Bar and then to 1 bar of boost, I held just a bit longer at 1 bar as the car's acceleration was a blur, I looked down as speedometer was sweeping past 110, headed for 120! I'm still in 3rd gear with the beefy 3.3 Liter Flat 6 sounding amazing behind me. It's still pulling hard, I'm actually shocked, this old 911 Turbo took off like a bullet and doubled my speed in almost no time. In fact, this felt wrong. I let off and got back to a normal free way speed. Checked all the gauges, everything looked good. The car felt fast but it didn't seem possible that I'd built that much speed so I pulled off and fired up my GPS Speedometer app for another run. I was sure the speedometer was off... maybe not by much but at least 10 MPH. On the next run I had the app record the speed and 930 repeated it's shockingly fun performance. I glanced down at the app a few times and it was dead on across all speeds. This 930 is the real deal. I met my hero and it did not dissapoint. It's a blast and I'm super grateful to get to own and drive such an amazing car.

Next time I'll compare the 930 against my otherworldly 2014 Turbo S! Both are fast. Both are fun, but in totally different ways. --Stay tuned!





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