Unleashing The Glorious Beauty Of The Porsche 930

The Porsche 930 is quite possibly the ultimate Porsche 911 Turbo experience, blending together art and science in a classic, beautiful package.

This 930, with its barking, flaming exhaust, custom Martini Racing livery, and sporty stance is absolutely mesmerizing. Those flares!

If I could have that experience for a mere five or ten minutes of the day, how could I not choose that?


Contact the author at justin@jalopnik.com or @WestbrookTweets.

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DISCUSSION

This one strikes a chord. My dad had a Canadian-market 1982 930, during the dark years when such things were not being imported directly. He picked it up at the factory in November, on fresh Pirelli P7 rubber, and proceeded to drive it around Germany with my mom, in varying wintry conditions. It was then returned to Stuttgart, but to do the workshop next door to the overseas-delivery center. There it was reconfigured (as a used car, mind you) back into proper Euro spec before being consigned for air freight to Canada.

I was but a young’un at the time, so spent my formative years being driven to school in the back seat, and not realizing the time that floor-hinged pedals, weird turbo noises, and (ahem) unusual torque curves were in any way unusual. It was, after all, just dad’s car.

Later, I was allowed to drive it. By then I’d driven various more conventional manual cars, so to say I was caught unaware by the clutch and gearshift action of the 930 would be a mild understatement. Its legendary sensitivity to control inputs was writ large in the trails one day on a wet road. Driving in a straight line, after just completing a somewhat inelegant gearchange, dad told me to look at the tire marks in the rearview mirror. There was an unmistakable kink at the point when I had let the clutch out too quickly.

To my amazement, he even let me drive it to my prom. My date couldn’t have cared less, which was really all I needed to know about her, but I still had a great time. I found out later he had arranged with the valet stand to ensure the car had a prime spot right out front. I did, however, have to return it home after the official party and swap for my mom’s (ready...?) diesel wagon (300TD!) for the rest of the night.

After a good long while, he started thinking about a replacement. He placed an order for a 996TT X50, and as its delivery approached, he asked me to help him with moving the 930 to its next owner. I would have bought it but wasn’t in a position to unfortunately, so we put it on eBay and someone from Calgary hit Buy It Now, flew into Vancouver, and drove it away. Dad and I were sad to see it go, but that was long before 911 hysteria had taken hold. If only we’d known.

I like to think one day I’ll be able to give him that raw, visceral experience one more time. The 996 is a nice car, but it’s nothing at all like the 930 despite being objectively “better” in every way. Nowadays, with a young son of my own, I wonder what might resonate in his memory 20 years from now, and hope I can give him something as unique and intriguing as my dad did for me.