Big things with little cars

LaLD Rennsport Reunion: Widowmaker

Porsche was no stranger on force induction, they started experimenting through motorsport in the 1950's with one of the most famous being the Porsche 917/30 from 1973, powered by a 5.4L turbocharged flat-12 producing 1580 hp that prompted rule changes in Can-Am.

Development of a turbocharged version of the 911 started in 1972. They started by adding force induction to the engine from the Carrera RS 2.7 and increased displacement to 3.0L good for 260 hp for the first 930 Turbo iteration in 1975. Coupled that with revised exterior including a new spoiler and flared rear wings with widen tracks giving the Turbo an extra 12 cm in girth. 


In 1978, Porsche made further upgrades to the 930, enlarging the engine again to 3.3L and adding an air-to-air intercooler. The rear “Whale Tail” was re-profiled and raised to clear the new intercooler. The spoiler also received the nickname “The Beer Counter” by Germans as the rear spoiler is large enough to place 40 bottles of German’s finest beer on top. Power output in this setup was increased to 300 hp. Other upgrades include upgraded brakes derived from the 917 racer.

The 930 Turbo was incredibly fast, it was the fastest production car available in Germany at the time. But it was very demanding to drive, the 930 Turbo was prone to oversteer for its rear engine and short wheelbase layout and since turbo technology wasn’t as advanced as present day, turbo-lag was a prominent issue. Due to its demanding driving experience, it was given the nickname: “Widowmaker.”


Due to changes in Japanese and American emissions regulations, Porsche was forced to withdraw the 930 from those markets in 1980. Porsche originally wanted to discontinue the 911 in favor of the front-engined 928 to take the spot as their flagship model so they cut back spending on the 930 to make it emissions compatible for the two markets. Porsche was later convinced the rear-engined layout defines the brand and vow to keep it alive and committed to make the 930 comply with US and Japanese regulations. Production was ongoing until 1989.


The overall proportion of this cast is great although some things need improvement like the tires are a bit too beefy for the wheels (attempting to be a Safari 911?) and the Porsche badge on the front is too large. But regardless, its a nicely done cast. And as a promotion item its rather excellent.

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