Porsche wasn’t the first to apply turbocharging to production gasoline engines. GM had done it a decade before with both the Chevy Corvair and the Oldsmobile Jetfire. Which, in fact, means the 930 was actually the second production turbocharged flat-six. But while GM quickly abandoned the idea and didn’t return to it until the 1980s, once Porsche adopted turbochargers, it never let go. And to this day, its most broadly notorious turbocharged car is its first: the 930.
After the overwhelming success of the turbocharged twelve-cylinder 917/10 and 917/30 Can-Am cars, Porsche delved deep into forced-induction flat-sixes with its racing machines, starting with the 934 and 935 sports cars (which the 930 was originally developed to homologate) and the 936 prototype. Turbocharged boxer sixes ruled the Porsche racing roost through the 911 GT1, winning Le Mans outright in both prototypes (936, 956, 962, WSC-95) and outrageous derivations of production cars (Kremer 935K3, 911 GT1). The 930—originally badged as the “Turbo Carrera”—carried the banner of Porsche motorsport like no other production automobile from Zuffenhausen until the arrival of the 993 GT2, a car that was fundamentally a return to the basic rear-drive, big power, kill-yourself homologation-special concept of the 930.
Porsche combined the knowledge it gleaned from both the 930 program and its racing cousins to build the mythic 959, the most technologically advanced car of the 1980s. In short, Porsche’s modern era truly began in the mid-1970s, with the development of the 930 on one side and the so-called “transaxle cars” on the other. And in an age of massive collector-car inflation, 930 prices have risen harder and faster than most, partly due to its significance and partly because of its reputation as a tricky-to-handle widowmaker prone to sort out the poseur chaff with remarkable quickness.
Not long ago, a nice first-gen 911 Turbo could be had for around $30,000. They’ve more than tripled in value since, and if current asking prices are any indicator, they’re not done moving. A friend of ours is unloading a Turbo he’s owned for twelve years because he feels it’s too valuable to drive in the manner he enjoys driving it. In short, the market for these suckers has gone absolutely bonkers. But in the spirit of ’76—profoundly a strange era marked by airbrushed vans, subpar marijuana, Hamm’s beer, cutoffs, and perforated half-shirts—we’d like to present to you a 1976 911 Turbo with the positively cranium-shattering asking price of $259,000.
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This particular example, according to the eBay listing, was the very first 930 ordered in the U.S. It still wears its original blue California vanity plate, reading simply, “930.” As-ordered options included 15×8-inch front and 15×9-inch rear wheels, a Becker Mexico tape deck, a sunroof, and a limited-slip differential. The original owner plunked down $29,564.80 in late 1975. The car itself was shipped in January of 1976—the 63rd 930 constructed—and the owner, Ronald Resch, took delivery on February 7. It appears that since then, the car has basically been treated like a garage queen, logging on average about 1600 miles per year.
Given the car’s value and purported originality, we sadly don’t expect it to log too many more. The 930 is one of the Malaise Era’s few true blue-chip investments, although we might point out that, had you instead purchased a house in late ’75/early ’76, it’s definitely possible (in some parts of the country at least) to have made more money on real estate. But let’s face it, wouldn’t you rather die in a 930 than in a house fire?