Porsche Hangout

porsche hangout Why Was The Porsche 930 Nicknamed “The Widow Maker”

The Porsche brand certainly has an impressive legacy. And looking back at each model introduction throughout history to today, the company only solidifies its place in automotive history even more. Many of the iconic Porsche models over the years continue to be high-valued collection cars. Some, like the Porsche 930, were true innovators.

The Porsche 930 was the first production car to harness a turbocharged engine, earning it the pseudo-name “Porsche 911 Turbo.” However, this legendary performance car also has another not-so-endearing nickname. Today, learn why the stylish Porsche 930 is also known as “The Widow Maker.”

A Look Back at the Porsche 930

Porsche AG produced the Porsche 930 from 1975 to 1989. You’ll recognize one of these gems as the first with the wide-body design. If you’re old enough, you might remember the distinct look of those flared rear wings. Enthusiasts also know the Porsche 930 by its other moniker, the Porsche 911 Turbo.

The prototype was unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1973 and the production variation made its debut at the Paris Auto Show in 1974. It didn’t arrive on US shores until 1976.

Revolutionary Design and Engineering

Much of the Porsche 930’s success can be attributed to its design and engineering. Ernst Fuhrmann developed the legendary car by adapting the turbocharged technology. This turbo was originally intended for the CAN-AM racer Model 917/30 of the time. Of course, to handle that many horses (256) the Type 930 would need a more robust suspension, among other features.

So, Fuhrmann revised the suspension, introduced wider wheels and tires, introduced larger brakes, and outfitted the Porsche with the signature flared fenders to accommodate the massive power boost. The Porsche also upgraded to a stronger four-speed gearbox and took on the “Whale Tail.”

The Ultra-Rare Porsche 930 Slantnose

Some consumers were hands-down enamored with the Porsche 930. Others, however, wanted a Porsche 935-era racing look for their street cars. So, the 930 Slantnose was born, with its pop-up lights, rocker panels, and vented rear fenders.

Three generations of the Slantnose graced the 80s, one from 1982-1983, the second from 1984-1987, and the third from 1988-1989. Only 948 were built in total, making the Porsche 930 Slantnose a highly sought-after classic gem today. Over the years, these few remaining cars were rolling through the auctions with $360,000 bids.

Every Engine Configuration – Turbocharged

What made the Porsche 930 so innovative for its time was its turbocharged engine variations. Over the model years, the Porsche 930 evolved into three power-packed engines, each air-cooled, featuring a single turbocharger, and with manual transmission. We’re talking about zero to 60 in under five seconds fast, which was a game-changer for the time.

  • 3.0-liter producing 256 horsepower
  • 3.3-liter producing 300 horsepower
  • 4.0-liter producing 400 horsepower (later models)

Factory Upgrades Worth Noting

Throughout its lifespan, the Porsche 930 did experience a few factory upgrades worth noting. In addition to these updates, Porsche also introduced a host of more luxury-oriented updates, including premium sound systems, leather seating, and a power sunroof.

  • Sport suspension with stiffer springs and dampers
  • An upgraded exhaust system
  • More substantial brakes with four-piston calipers
  • A rear spoiler
  • 16-inch or 17-inch wheels

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Porsche 930?

Buying a Porsche has never been a purchase of affordability. After all, you’re buying a car and badge synonymous with performance perfection. The base model Porsche 930 had a starting MSRP of around $30,000 back in 1975. Later models started at $50,000. Both of those price tags, which might seem economical by today’s standards, were considered premium pricing back then.

Add in the rare collectability of these cars plus today’s economy and expect to pay much more for one of these cars now. According to Classic, the average Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe, a 3.3-liter 930, costs about $136,680.

Why It’s Called ‘The Widow Maker’

Critics and consumers alike embraced the Porsche 930 upon its release. They hailed it for its distinctive style and incredible performance. The turbocharged engine was a big hit and selling point for sports car enthusiasts. Quality and durability were also cited as high-value characteristics. But it wasn’t long before this impressive car would take on another name – “The Widow Maker.”

The big power and new handling proved to be novel for some unsuspecting drivers. After several crashes and subsequent fatalities associated with the Porsche 930, “The Widow Maker” became this car’s new nickname. In certain driving conditions, less-experienced drivers applying too much throttle would inadvertently cause the heavier back end to swing. Sometimes, the rear would swing so much that it would result in the car spinning out of control.

In other instances, drivers experiencing that back-end swivel for the first time would oversteer, resulting in a dangerous loss of control. The Porsche 930 is still revered as a powerful car that’s difficult to handle behind the wheel, especially for novice or first-time drivers.

Aging Gracefully

Despite its penchant for crashes as a difficult-to-handle sports car, the Porsche 930 is still a popular car. Its high-quality components and solid design ensure it continues to stand the test of time, even today. Enthusiasts and collectors will insist the 930 has aged well. And even if it has the nickname “The Widow Maker,” it’s still a downright legend. Here are a few other little-known facts about the Porsche 930 to impress your friends:

  • The rarest color of the Porsche 930 is “Velvet Red.”
  • While the Porsche 930 seems to have one foot in the “performance” lane and another in the “luxury” lane, it’s officially in the league of super cars.
  • For those who love Porsche and films, the Porsche 930 graced the screen in 1987 for the movie No Man’s Land, which is about car thieves targeting 911 models.

If you find yourself the proud owner of a Porsche 930, congratulations! You own a piece of iconic Porsche history! Just remember to take every step to maintain and preserve your historic ride. Come back right here to Porsche Hangout, to find insights, tips, and fellow enthusiasts who share your love of this high-performance brand.

Spread the love