930 S: best of the early Turbo

Not heard of the 930 S? It’s as rare as it is glo­ri­ous, as To­tal 911 finds out…

Total 911 - - Contents - Writ­ten by Joe Wil­liams Pho­tog­ra­phy by Rich Pearce

What do you know of the rare 930 S? To­tal 911 re­veals its fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory

There’s no other car quite like Porsche’s 911 Turbo. Ad­mired for be­ing the only true every­day su­per­car, the Turbo builds on the 911’s mantra for seam­lessly blend­ing prac­ti­cal­ity and per­for­mance and takes it to a whole new level, adding ex­plo­sive power, strik­ing fea­tures and cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy into the mix. The ul­ti­mate do-it-all 911 with style and el­e­gance in droves, the Turbo has sim­ply al­ways sat at the top of the tree, right from its de­but in 1975.

Much like the 911 it­self, the Porsche Turbo has en­joyed con­sis­tent evo­lu­tion rather than all-out rev­o­lu­tion through­out its 43-year pro­duc­tion run, as high­lighted by our ‘golden’ 930 v 991 cover fea­ture. This is par­tic­u­larly so for the Turbo’s early years when it was more com­monly re­ferred to by its Typ 930 in­ter­nal model des­ig­na­tion from 1975 through to 1989. In those 14 years Porsche’s 930 evolved from a rapid if agri­cul­tural per­for­mance weapon to a rather more so­phis­ti­cated su­per­car. It got faster, sure, but the Turbo also be­came more ef­fi­cient and eas­ier to drive, too.

From its more hum­ble be­gin­nings as a 3.0-litre, four-speed and whale­tailed ma­chine putting out 260hp in the 1970s, by the mid-1980s the 930 had mor­phed into a 3.3-litre, in­ter­cooled car with 300hp and, by 1989, five for­ward gears. The last year of 930 pro­duc­tion is thus con­sid­ered the most de­sir­able, that five-speed ‘box mak­ing bet­ter use of the Turbo’s erup­tive power.

How­ever, evo­lu­tion of the orig­i­nal Porsche 911 Turbo didn’t end there. For those who craved a lit­tle ex­tra ex­clu­siv­ity, a touch more ex­u­ber­ance from their Turbo experience (and let’s face it, in the late 1980s there were many who did), Porsche had its 930 S ready to of­fer.

Never heard of the 930 S? Don’t worry, you’re for­given. Few peo­ple have ever re­ally heard of the model, and in­for­ma­tion from a host of re­sources, in­clud­ing books, is scant at best. Here’s what we know.

In the Bri­tish mar­ket this was badged the 930

SE, col­lo­qui­ally re­ferred to as a ‘slant­nose’, aptly named and suit­ably ap­pointed with the M505/506 steel front end evoca­tive of the Mo­tor­sport depart­ment’s spec­tac­u­lar 935 race car. Other ap­point­ments to the SE in­cluded a Pow­erkit, front spoiler, sill ex­ten­sions and rear in­takes which fed air to the brakes. A sub­stan­tial re­vi­sion of the 911 Turbo, this was all the work of Porsche’s Son­der­wun­sch or ‘Spe­cial Wishes’ depart­ment. It of­fered the slant­nose as an op­tion for the 930 un­til 1986, when a slant­nose was chris­tened as a model in its own right to co­in­cide with the depart­ment’s re­nam­ing to Ex­clu­sive. The SE was badged 930 S for the United States mar­ket, sold in Cabri­o­let, Coupe and Targa body styles from 1987.

But there’s more. As you can see, the ex­am­ple in our pic­tures doesn’t come with that famed 935-es­que front end made fa­mous by the likes of Moby Dick, re­tain­ing in­stead the more cus­tom­ary fend­ers with tra­di­tional, per­ma­nently up­right head­lights at its fore. Re­tain­ing pretty well ev­ery­thing else from the SE’S spec sheet, th­ese cars were badged ei­ther LE for ‘Limited Edi­tion’, or S, as the ul­ti­mate sign-off to Porsche’s il­lus­tri­ous 930 Turbo. Just 50 were made, one for each Porsche Cen­tre of the time, with 14 right-hand-drive ex­am­ples bound for the United King­dom badged as LES, while for the US mar­ket the car re­mained a 930 S. Need­less to say, it is con­sid­er­ably rarer than the M505 flat­nose 930 S it­er­a­tions it shares its State­side name with.

The cur­rent cus­to­dian of the car in our pic­tures is Jo­han Dir­ickx, owner of the JFD Col­lec­tion. Rather more fa­mous for his com­plete line-up of ev­ery RS and RSR, it takes a spe­cial 911 with forced in­duc­tion to wind up in Jo­han’s garage, and this fits the bill per­fectly. Fin­ished in PTS Slate grey, this 930 S dis­plays many of the design hall­marks of the Turbo which UK buy­ers will recog­nise as an LE. Take

“Only those in the know will be acutely aware of its ex­tra­or­di­nary significance as the car which glo­ri­ously crowned 930 pro­duc­tion”

note of the car’s ag­gres­sive front chin spoiler worked into a re­vised PU which houses that ad­di­tional oil cooler, while at the rear four tailpipes are de­ployed in­stead of the 930’s stan­dard dual side ex­its. A re­vised in­ter­cooler and tailpipes form part of the make-up of Porsche Ex­clu­sive’s Pow­erkit, which also con­sisted of a larger KKK tur­bocharger. The re­sult was a hike in power out­put from 300 to 330hp.

You’ll no­tice those tri-slat rear air in­takes are miss­ing, but this is Porsche’s Spe­cial Wishes at its best: hand-made to or­der ac­cord­ing to the wealth and won­drous think­ing of its well-heeled cus­tomers, the orig­i­nal owner in this in­stance opted against them. Bear­ing in mind the un­der­stated ef­fect Slate grey has on this Porsche 911, we think it’s a good move.

That ‘Mcqueen’ PTS colour was what at­tracted Jo­han to this 930 S in the first place, it adding an ad­di­tional layer of rar­ity to a car that, as a hand-built Porsche Turbo, al­ready has its place as a very spe­cial 911 as­sured. Not that you’d re­ally know it: the beauty of this car is that to the unini­ti­ated, this could well be an­other nor­mal 930 – only those in the know will be acutely aware of its ex­tra­or­di­nary significance as the car which glo­ri­ously crowned 930 pro­duc­tion.

Tak­ing a seat in­side the car re­veals some other key de­vi­a­tions from stock. Lav­ished in fine black leather with elec­tri­cally as­sisted seats, the later 930’s cus­tom­ary cen­tre con­sole mounted in front of the five-speed shifter has been mod­i­fied, the switchgear for cli­mate con­trol now sit­ting in each cor­ner of a much wider panel. The space left in the mid­dle is slightly bizarre to look at, though again it forms an­other cor­ner­stone of the Son­der­wun­sch mantra: ‘what the cus­tomer asks for, he or she will have.’ A leather Momo Co­bra steer­ing wheel sits in front of the 930’s cus­tom­ary VDO di­als, its rim thicker than the four-spoke item usu­ally found in­side the 930 Turbo. In­ci­den­tally, the Uk-bound LE cars fea­tured a three-spoke item sim­i­lar to the 1974 Car­rera, al­beit with a gold-plated crest at its cen­tre.

Jo­han twists the key in its ig­ni­tion and the 930 S flat six rum­bles into life, its tone deep and gruff on idle. Doors closing with that trade­mark early 911 ‘clink’, we fas­ten our seat­belts and pre­pare to un­leash 330hp on the coun­try­side roads out­side An­twerp.

Head­ing out of town gives the Turbo a chance to warm up and its oc­cu­pants to take stock of the car’s set-up. Its ride is bril­liantly pol­ished, rid­ing over im­per­fec­tions in the road as if they weren’t there, this with­out the un­wanted vague­ness at higher speeds which usu­ally comes as a caveat. Glanc­ing out ei­ther side mir­ror, those beau­ti­ful, bulging hips of the 930 take up most of the view, the tea tray spoiler’s rub­ber lip poised per­fectly be­hind it. It’s a vis­ually ar­rest­ing sight, but back­wards is not re­ally where our vi­sion needs to be in an early 911 Turbo.

Clear from the sky­line of Bel­gium’s most pop­u­lous city, there’s noth­ing but an open road ahead of us as we cruise in third gear at 2,500rpm. With lit­tle need for prompt Jo­han buries the ac­cel­er­a­tor pedal to the floor in third gear, and we’re off. For a split sec­ond noth­ing re­ally hap­pens of course: the rev nee­dle merely strolls past 3,000 and then 3,500rpm, be­fore all hell lets loose at fully four grand.

It’s as if the Turbo has been given a shock from a heart de­fib­ril­la­tor, the Turbo’s vi­tal signs trans­form­ing in front of us. The rev nee­dle now rips around the last third of the tacho while the smaller boost gauge be­neath it shoots from its left-lean­ing slum­ber to max­i­mum at­tack at just un­der 1.0-bar of boost.

Be­hind us a crescendo of noise has built into a riproar­ing whoosh as the flat six ap­proaches max­i­mum en­gine rev­o­lu­tions, while the re­lease in in­er­tia has tran­scended to a glow­ing warmth right in the pit of our stom­achs. Jo­han reaches for fourth gear and we’re off again, re­peat to fade, the sen­sa­tion of the Turbo’s de­liv­ery no less al­lur­ing.

It’s not as Jekyll and Hyde as the early 3.0-litre

930, but the S is still ut­terly ex­plo­sive and full of char­ac­ter in the way it serves up its power. The ex­tra 30hp pro­vided by the S’s Pow­erkit is no­tice­able too, it de­liv­er­ing a real ham­mer blow right up to the red­line.

That five-speed gear­box is bet­ter matched to the car too, its shorter ra­tios giv­ing a more pol­ished drive. Jo­han makes good use of sec­ond, third and fourth gears on the pub­lic road when in a four-speed 930 he’d only re­ally need sec­ond gear, though his gear se­lec­tion and throt­tle in­puts re­main con­sid­ered so as not to let the early Turbo’s in­her­ent abil­ity to boostup mid cor­ner rear its head.

There’s enough body roll in the cor­ners to make this 930 very play­ful, and Jo­han is adept at dancing the car along the coun­try roads, the brakes do­ing enough to bring the nose of the car down be­fore tuck­ing in for a turn. Even­tu­ally com­ing to a stand­still at a set of traf­fic lights en route back into town, the Turbo’s quad-exit ex­haust sys­tem is pop­ping away be­hind us and we’re af­forded a mo­ment to take stock of the ma­chine here mak­ing us grin so un­re­servedly.

An enigma to many, the 930 S marks an in­ter­est­ing line in the sand both as an epic swansong for the Type 930 pro­gramme, de­funct for 30 years as of next year, but also as a stel­lar near-be­gin­ning for the Ex­clu­sive depart­ment, which still forms an in­te­gral if ex­u­ber­ant cor­ner of Porsche’s VIP busi­ness today. Re­tain­ing the lines of the orig­i­nal some 15 years pre­vi­ous, the 930 S is the rarest and most glo­ri­ous early Porsche 911 Turbo on the planet.

“Those beau­ti­ful, bulging hips of the 930 take up most of the view”

Thanks Thanks to Jo­han Dir­ickx of the JFD Col­lec­tion for ac­cess to the 930 S.

ABOVE AND TOP Front PU houses Pow­erkit’s ad­di­tional oil cooler, while in­side, lay­out of cli­mate con­trol switchgear is unique if bizarre

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