1978 Porsche 911 Turbo Review Apr 27, 2017 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
With their powerful engines and timeless design, Porsches are among the most popular classic cars available. One of the most exciting classic models is the Porsche 911. While still available today in updated form (the Series 991), going back a few decades will show you a fun and eye-catching model: the 1978 Porsche 911 Turbo. You may also see this model referred to as the Porsche 930 Turbo, as that was the official name.
Creating the 1978 Porsche 911 Turbo
To understand why automotive collectors love the 1978 Porsche 911 Turbo, you will want to take a quick look at the models leading up to it. The Porsche 911 began production in 1963 as a high-performance, 2+2, two-door sports coupe that acquired a reputation for handling, power, and automotive exuberance. The Porsche 930, which most people know as the Porsche 911 Turbo, arrived for 1975 and lasted until 1989. It was designed to be the top-of-the-line version of the 911 with revised suspension, larger brakes and a stronger gearbox to handle the more powerful engine. When it was first introduced, this was actually the fastest of all production cars in Germany. Compared to the other 911 models, the 911 Turbo or 930 had flared fenders, an enhanced fluke, and a front spoiler.
Introducing the 1978 911 Turbo
Porsche revised the 911 Turbo for the 1978 model year, giving it a larger 3.3-liter turbocharged powertrain that could reach 300 horsepower with an intercooler. With this increase in power, the top speed increased to 165 miles per hour. There was also a new tea-tray tail as opposed to the previous whale tail as a way to make room for the intercooler.
What It’s Like Behind the Wheel
Those who have recently had the chance to drive a well-preserved 1978 911 Turbo will tell you that it does have some turbo drag. If you are at 3,000 rpm, mashing the throttle won’t do much to the boost gauge until you get to 4,000 rpm. At that point, it gets a bit rough until it calms down at 6,000 rpm. Despite this lag, you won’t notice much commotion. Although going above 4,000 rpm is incredibly loud, you will get a placid idle 600 rpm. At slightly higher rpm, the turbo muffles the roar of the intake and exhaust. This 1978 Porsche may not feel especially smooth by today’s standards, but it delivered an exceptional performance for the time and was a great stepping-stone that allowed Porsche to develop its current vehicles. Drivers love the roar of the engine as you spin the small car around the track with a raw physicality unmatched by modern vehicles.
If you are set on owning a Porsche 911 Turbo, you will have to look hard and be ready to spend a reasonable amount. In 2016, one 1978 model sold for $82,500. However, if you are willing to select from a range of 930s from the late 1970s, you will find yourself with more choices. The price will still be high, with listings tending to hover around $90,000 to $110,000, depending on the year. It’s more than worth the price for a turbocharged 911.