Porsche 930 3.0 v 3.3 G50: Head versus Heart

If I told you that one of Porsche’s most iconic cars arrived at its motor show debut more than 40 years ago fitted with wooden components, would you believe me?

It may be a far cry from the polished concept cars seen at today’s auto expos, but this particular Neunelfer’s introduction to the world was far from ignominious.

The 1973 IAA in Frankfurt was the first chance for the public to see the new impact-bumper 911 but talk around Porsche’s stand wasn’t about these newly festooned Neunelfers. Instead, it was a show-stopping prototype that had captured the attention of passers-by. Visually, it was hardly a surprise.


Starting life as a 911 2.4S chassis, Dick Soderberg’s team in the Porsche design studio had fitted flared front and rear RSR-style arches and a new front bumper (from the IROC racers destined for US shores that winter) to the concept car. And then there was the rear wing, sweeping dramatically away from the decklid. It all served to create a beguiling metal skin.

Using the lessons learned from its Can-Am successes, Porsche claimed the new, turbocharged car developed 284hp from its 2.7-litre engine (the same size as the new 911 Carrera that also debuted at Frankfurt) but underneath the attention-seeking clothes, things weren’t all as they seemed.

Many of the components – including the turbocharger – were far from fully functioning. In fact, they were made from wood, painted to appear like the real deal!


The 911 Turbo at Frankfurt was far from the finished article, but despite the designers’ scepticism, the general public’s imagination had been captured. Even the oil crisis-driven spike in petrol prices that winter didn’t deter peoples’ enthusiasm.

When the production-ready 911 Turbo was debuted in Paris in October 1974, Zuffenhausen’s order book was soon filled with customers whose hearts had been won over by the car internally known as the 930. By the end of 1975, more than 270 examples had been delivered (without the aide of the burgeoning US market where the Turbo didn’t initially meet the strict smog tests).

With 400 examples required over two consecutive years for the FIA’s new Group 4 and 5 regulations, the 930 was well on its way to homologating the 934 and 935 too.

To read our Porsche 930 3.0 v 3.3 head-to-head in full, pick up Total 911 issue 144 in stores today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, own download it straight to your digital device now.


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