50 Years of 911s No.5---Porsche 930 Turbo 'Flachbau'(Slant-Nose)---Chan's Favorite?
The first few questions you’re probably asking about this car likely includes: ‘What even is this?’, ‘Why does it resemble a 935 and not a 911’, and most likely ‘Why would anyone buy this thing?!‘.
Well, curious readers, the answers to the first two questions I may or may not have, but the answer to the last I can only infer and give my opinion.
The 930 Turbo. We all know it, or, most, anyways, especially of its infamous ‘Widowmaker’ moniker and noticeably un-benign handling characteristics. But, for as much as I want to cover it’s history in one go, that wouldn’t really leave me with much to cover for a future 930-Turbo post, now would it?(#ChanTryingToExtendSeriesLengthConfirmed)
What I’m more interested to cover is what they called the…..Hang on, uh….‘Sonderwunsch-Programm’. What that basically means is, ‘Special Order(Wishes, in literal translations) Program’. What it does is fairly self-explanatory, so quite like Q by Aston Martin, in Today’s context. In the ‘50’s, these were mainly printed-out lists to its customers of available upgrades for its cars. This included most things that would be considered standard today, like windshield washers, a particularly rare thing in those days, I suppose.
It worked on an invitation-only basis, and basically allowed Porsche owners to customize their cars, literally however the heck they wanted, from performance upgrades, special paint colors, styling mods, and interior colors. Essentially, one, anything thought to be technically possible could be fulfilled, in theory, and two, the only limiting factor was quite literally, the amount of cash that the customer had to throw at Porsche to bring their visions to life.
So, what does this all have to do with the 930 Slant-Nose, then? Well, here’s the thing: In 1982, then-co-owner of TAG-Heuer, Mansour Ojjeh, gave Porsche the mission to create ‘a 935 Racecar for the road—-But with all the luxuries’.
To this end, Porsche started out with a 930 Bodyshell, then, having stuffed a 934’s 3.3-Litre Turbocharged Flat-Six into it, one that was uprated to 375 hp and 361 lb-ft of Torque, they fitted the suspension, brakes and bodywork of the 935 around it. It was then given a coat of red they called ‘Brilliant Red’, while the cabin was swathed in cream-colored leather and wood veneer(Probably a lot less than the 1977 Vantage, though)-apparently a first for Porsche. Featuring a list of 550 modifications, this was an elaborate customization; other enhancements include a set of BBS split-rim alloys, Recaro seats and a Clarion sound system. The finished car would soon become a hit, and customers began demanding a ‘Street 935’ out of Porsche as a factory offering.
Option packages M505 and M506(Presumably the two option packages to start a Flachbau conversion for Coupes and Convertibles) started at around $29,000 USD back in the day, valuing the option at nearly half the standard Turbo’s asking price(Though in most cases, the premium was around 60 percent, or higher if you personalized your car). These packages could theoretically be applied to non-Turbos, but the cost meant that most picked the top-tier 930 Turbo as their starting point. But, never fear though, as all this actually was for good reason, since this would reflect laborious production as the fenders were cut and reshaped by hand at the factory. To complete the look, the famously-80’s-pop-up-headlights were also added, with louvers found not too far behind. All this gave the Porsche an “all-business” look over the standard round lamp face.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, only 948 orders were placed, making the Flachbau 930 one of the most rare and unique 911s to date. Like many other rarities, there are numerous aftermarket slant-nose conversion kits, making authentic originally spec’d Slant Nose cars highly sought-after collectables. Personally, I wouldn’t try to find a original Slant-Nose. I’d just buy a normal 930 and get myself a conversion kit, honestly. Its much cheaper, I suppose. Yeah, soooo much cheaper…..(Cough cough The darn prices of air-cooled 911s nowadays is MAD! Absolutely Mad!)
Of course, underneath, assuming that your car was a Turbo, it’d still maintain most of the Turbo power figures, also assuming that you hadn’t asked for any performance upgrades while you were at it with your Flachbau conversions. In the case of the 1981-onwards model year cars, this meant 300 hp standard, good for 0-60 in something like 5 seconds, and a top speed of about 162 mph. Of course, for cars delivered to the European Market, most sported the 330 hp performance kit that added a four-pipe exhaust system and an additional oil-cooler, aside from remodelled front bumpers and units bearing the add-on often featured additional ventilation holes in the rear fenders and modified rockers, in the case of the normal 930 Turbo. All this brought acceleration figures down to 4.85 seconds to 60, top speed increasing to 171 mph.
The Slant-Nose would remain as an option till the end of the 930-Generation’s term, in 1989. This was the year when the 964 would replace the 930, though I guess a privilege that 1989 cars got was the use of the Five-Speed G50 Transmission shared with the 964. And as we all know, the 964 Turbo eventually succeeded the 930-Turbo, while using a 3.6-Litre-version of the 3.3, and a five-speed to go along with it.
…And that’s about it for the Flachbau. I suppose one could say that this is arguably my favorite 930, and perhaps, even my new-all-time favorite, with its 935-like front end, that somehow still gives off an understated look that befits most 911s, and performance good enough to backup the good looks. Honestly, if you want one, well….There’s the two aforementioned routes to take, though allow me to say this first: 930’s have gone up in value massively, and finding a cheap one is incredibly hard. For a Flachbau, more so, even. Heck, you might see Flachbau’s only at auctions, and we all know what kind of prices those things sell for.
Anyways, it seems that my time is up for now. As per tradition, do feel free to leave more information, overlooked details and the like in the comments, and I suppose its time I make my exit.
This is Joel, saying ‘Goodbye till the next time.’
[Note from Chan: So, I’m out of the retirement home, for a bit. How long has it been again since I saw the light of day in Car Throttle again? I think I’ve lost count. Anyways, I just know I’ve been gone for a bit, but I’ve just been having homework stacking up over the past weeks and months, and I haven’t found myself with enough time to do an article of any kind, but now that my schedule’s opening up a bit, I guess I managed to find the time to finish this one. I won’t be quite so able to stick to a consistent schedule anymore, so I’ll do these more when I have the time, likely on a Sunday(My time, anyways). But, its getting late, and I do have other things to attend to, so its time to make an exit.
Well, I just hope you enjoyed reading this, and I apologize if the formatting’s a bit off.
I’ll see you lot again when I post the next article, huh. Stay alive till then for us all, will ya?
From: Joel Chan]
(P.S: For all of you looking to get into writing blogs after reading those from the likes of Dylan Smit, VroomVroom or anyone else, don’t make the same mistakes as I did. You can recover from a blemish on your track record, but its better if you don’t have such a blemish in the first place. Take it from me.)