Thursday, September 29, 2011
The car for today is CF's 1979 Porsche Turbo 911.
The original Porsche 911 (pronounced as nine eleven, German: Neunelfer) was a sports car made by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany. The famous, distinctive, and durable design was introduced in autumn 1963 and built until 1989. It was succeeded by a modified version, internally referred to as Porsche 964 but still sold as Porsche 911, as are current models.
Mechanically, the 911 was notable for being rear engined and air-cooled. From its inception the 911 was modified both by private teams and the factory itself for racing, rallying and other types of automotive competition. The original 911 series is often cited as the most successful competition car ever, especially when its variations are included, mainly the powerful 911-derived 935 which won 24 Hours of Le Mans and other major sports cars races outright against prototypes.
In 1974 Porsche introduced the first production turbocharged 911. Although called simply Porsche 911 Turbo in Europe, it was marketed as Porsche 930 (930 being its internal type number) in North America. The body shape is distinctive thanks to wide wheel-arches to accommodate the wide tires, and a large rear spoiler often known as a "whale tail" on the early cars, and "tea-tray" on the later ones. Starting out with a 3.0 L engine 260 PS (190 kW; 260 hp), it rose to 3.3 L 300 PS (220 kW; 300 hp) for 1978. The early cars are known for their exhilarating acceleration coupled with challenging handling characteristics and extreme turbo lag.
Production figures of the car soon qualified its racing version for FIA Group 4 competition as the Porsche 934 of 1976. Many participated at Le Mans and other races including some epic battles with the BMW 3.0 CSL "Batmobile". The wilder Porsche 935, a finer tuned car in FIA Group 5 and evolved from the 2.1 L RSR Turbo of 1974, was campaigned in 1976 by the factory and won Le Mans in 1979. Private teams continued to compete successfully with the car until well into the 1980s.
Due to ever more draconian emissions regulations, the 930 was withheld from the important US and Japanese markets from 1981 through 1985. In the same time period, Porsche was involved in several wrongful death lawsuits in California related to the 930, even involving privately imported European market 930's. It was finally re-introduced into the United States in 1986.
As demand for the Turbo soared in the late 1980s, Porsche introduced novelty variants including a slant-nose version (option M505/M506), while not significantly improving the range mechanically. Although these cars could be sold for extraordinary premiums over the standard models, the company's reluctance to invest in research and development of the entire 911 line at that time turned out to be an almost fatal decision not only for the 911, but for the company.
Only in 1989, its last year of production, was the 930 equipped with a five-speed gearbox. The 930 was replaced in 1990 with a 964 version featuring the same 3.3 L engine
Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_911_classic#Turbo_.28Type_930.29_.281974.E2.80.931989.29 to learn more.
This is a long time survivor from my middle adolescent toy collection. Think I bought this one when I was either in 6th or 7th grade from a dollar store near where my mom worked at. A few weeks back I was at my grandma's house and she gave me a bag full of old cars I had that were sealed away inside a larger bag. This CF was among those and I hadn't seen it for about ten years.