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Porsche 911 Classics

Broadcast date : 15th October 2006

If you were to mention one car that has stood the test of time, that car would be the Porsche 911. And if you had to pick an example of that range that changed the way we think and feel about sports cars, that would be the Porsche 911 Turbo. Timeless appeal is what we are looking at here.

Nothing sounds like an air-cooled six-cylinder Porsche Motor. Thereís a mechanical meshing that harmonises with the shrill shriek of the cooling fan that makes the hairs on your neck, even your arms, rise up in a shivery salute.

The Porsche 911 had been around for 12 years when the first production turbocharged version hit the streets and it made a whole bunch of supercars instantly obsolete. 

A well-known racing driver called Andy Payne bought one of these 930ís back in the 1980s, and he said the reason he bought it wasnít to drive it. He was going to park it in his garage, open a six pack, and just look at it all night long!

Beautiful the 930 certainly is, even though some of its styling cues may look a little dated now.

Massive fender flares, deep nose spoilers, beautiful Fuchs alloy wheels, stone-chip-guards and that trademark rear whale-tail were like something out of a science fiction movie back in 1975, when it first broke cover.

Two years after the 3.0-litre Turbo appeared, an even faster version was developed. This is a 3.3 litre 911 Turbo, a 1979 model, and its condition is almost spotless.

Itís a steal for R300 000, considering that any Porsche Turbo, old or new, offers entry into an exclusive supercar club. Even one approaching its thirtieth birthday.

As for the 993 Series turbo which appeared in 1995, this car took the 911 Turbo story into another dimension.

This was the first production 911 to offer twin turbochargers as standard, and also a four-wheel-drive system.

The trademark roof and window silhouette of the 911 has been carried through all the models since 1964, which gives all 911ís a common, instantly recognisable identity

The 993 Porsche Turbo is most easily distinguished by its sloping headlamp treatment on a body that is otherwise pretty much stock 911. 

But this was the car that brought together all the engineering skill developed by Porsche in four decades of competition onto the street.

It uses massive Brembo brakes with ABS Ė the earlier models didnít have anti-lock braking Ė and a viscous coupling with electronic interface for its all-wheel-drive system.

The twin tailpipes at the rear give clue to the carís dual turbo system, smaller turbos minimising turbo lag and enabling more compact charge ducting.

The always-crowded engine bay of the 911 suddenly became even more jam-packed in 1995, as shown by the dual intercooler banks atop the flat-six motor.

Back in 1996 this was the fastest car that Car Magazine had ever tested and it remains near the top of the heap to this day.

0-100 km/h took 4,6 seconds and top speed was 289 km/h.

The power output is 300 kiloWatts, which is stunning for a 3,6 litre car. Yes, for the first time in 15 years, Porsche had upped engine capacity on this model too.

Ten years ago the Porsche Turbo cost R799 000. Right now, itís probably worth close to R1-million as it stands. 

Car Magazineís first test of the Porsche 930 Turbo was published in 1982, and raised more than a few eyebrows, as well as a few hackles.

In an era when a 70 kiloWatt Ford XR3 was rated as a performance car, the Porscheís 0-100 of 6,1 seconds simply blew everyone into the weeds.

The top-speed figure that Car quoted, on the other hand, was ridiculous Ė ridiculously slow.

The top speed was listed as a mere 228bkm/h, and every owner who had one knew for a fact that this car could run 260 km/h in the space of a couple of blocks. This rankled with Turbo owners for years.

You needed your wits about you too. Porsches could be tail-happy in this era, although grip was stupendous for the time.

The neat thing about air-cooled Porsche Turbos was that the dashboard and cabin layouts remained virtually the same, no-matter what the model year.

Keen-eyed viewers will have noted that in 1982 the price was just R72 500, although it became more expensive later in that tumultuous decade.

Today this beautifully-preserved example is on the Supercup Auto floor for R300 000, proving that supercars, particularly Porsches, can be an investment.

A four-spoke steering wheel, complete with airbag, is the most noticeable change in the 993, which is seventeen years older than Supercupís first-generation 930.

The seat shape is essentially the same, and look at that upholstery on a ten-year-old car.

Hopefully in the coming weeks weíll be bringing the new 911 Turbo to your living room. Whatever, a Porsche, any Porsche, is something to celebrate.


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