1988 Porsche 911 Turbo
“Hello, I’m Edford Classic Cars and I’ve got an unnatural obsession with 1980’s Porsche 911 Turbos.”
There – I’ve come clean. I do my very best to make sure my Social Media ‘car spotted’ feeds don’t have too much of a bias towards classic Porches. But it’s hard to restrain when I’ve spotted such icons. I think it might be because I have a very vague memory of being shown a friend’s dad’s one in a garage shortly before being driven up to the National Motor Show at the NEC when I must have been about 11. Or it could just be the whopping great whale tail that I want to stretch out and lie on. Or the Fuchs alloys. Or the swollen rear arches. Or the iconic ‘wide eyed’ round headlamps. Oh come on… it’s just everything about them, isn’t it?
My wife asks if these Porsches are “the ones that look like a frog?” OK, I can sort of see what she means. From the front, the round headlamps could be seen to resemble a round-eyed and alert amphibian. An alertness that, con-incidentally is hugely required if you actually drive one of these 80’s classics. They’re super fun, yet twitchy, yet ultimately a complete hoot to drive. My Lord though, you need to pay close attention that it doesn’t try to stuff you into the nearest tree. Pure 1980’s ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ yuppiness.
Internally coded as the ‘930’ model– I’m particularly interested in these Porsches that basically spawned the simple ‘911 Turbo’ moniker in the mid 80’s. It is a development of such a classic shape that, as is the running Petrolhead / Jeremy Clarkson joke; the 911 actually doesn’t look that different today that it did in the 70’s and 80’s. Newer ones just have more airbags, are less frog-like and cost more, naturally.
Let’s start from the back of the 930 Turbo. From the red light bar that extends all the way across the bootlid, to that humungous, ridiculous and brilliant “could lie down on it” whale tail spoiler (don’t lie down on one, please – you’ll get smacked, unless you own it ☺) that I believe is the second greatest spoiler in all of humankind (what – you don’t have a favourite car spoiler? GET OUT!) – the Escort Cosworth holding the closely-contested number 1 spot. Comment below if you disagree.
Bring your eyes down to the flared rear arches, which were extended 12cm from the previous 911, and which ensure that when chasing one of these down the road or on a track… all you’re going to see is a squat, purposeful stance. Phat, as the yoof might say (I’m getting too old for this term so you won’t hear it come from my lips again).
The interior was ‘functional’, as it’s noticeably missing any major comforts we’ve come to expect over the last 20-odd years such as power steering. The essential dials read-out just how close to light-speed you’re currently nearing, as well as a couple of sensors (that it has to be said with these older supercars) you’re only ever one drive away from financial catastrophe and you being your local Porsche garage new favourite victim, I mean, uh…customer.
I’ve seen several of these across London over the years and I have to say there are very few cars that still own such a road presence as much as these old Porsches do. I remember, there was one behind a private gate that I used to regularly divert 5 minutes out of my way on my walking commute, just to stroll by and admire on the off-chance I’d see it driving. How many cars can you say that about? I think it’s the car that has an appeal to all types of people, who can all appreciate that these are classic, classy cars with a timeless design that just sits so ‘right’. A car that thankfully – as far as I’m aware – hasn’t dropped to a low enough price that any undesirables can afford it to ruin its sterling reputation. And by undesirables, I mean bankers. The original Yuppies ☺
Top Tip! Find the Porsche models and year-versions hard to follow? Want to know what Targa means and you don’t know your 912 from your 911 Carrera S and your 914? I came across this super-handy category guide from the good people at Porsche themselves. A good browse to get yourself familiar!