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911 911 [1964 – 1989]

Is the 911 Carrera Club Sport The Best Driving Air-Cooled 911?

The 911 Carrera Club Sport is an exercise in minimalism not equaled by any other impact-bumper 911. With the broad torque curve of a 3.2 and the elemental simplicity of a 2.7RS, this is a very special car. In typical Porsche fashion this car wasn’t constructed with a Chapman-era-Lotus-like approach to weightloss, however. Chapman was happy to shave grams off every component and only add some back when the part broke. Porsche took a much more pragmatic approach, and left the driver with only the bare essentials.

While many hardcore 911s have come without air conditioning, the CS is on another level. To my knowledge no other roadgoing 911 took the sun visor from the passenger in the name of weight savings. They’re not driving, so their idle hands can block the sun if necessary. Hopefully the passenger also completed their ablutions before climbing aboard- carrying extra weight is really not in the spirit of things.

The car also used lightweight manually-adjusted cloth seats rather than leather, had carpet where the rear seat should be, ditched the model’s distinctive foglights, and added some of the absolutely-necessary door graphics. The engine wasn’t exactly unique, though it was blueprinted for max effect. As a result it was known to make slightly more power than Porsche admitted to officially. The redline was also 500 revs higher than the standard car.

This litany of minor changes resulted in a car that may have carried fewer components, but was a startling amount more than the sum of its parts from behind the wheel. Is the Carrera Club Sport the best driving classic 911? Maybe. Even if it isn’t, it is deservedly in the company of the all-time greats, from the 2.7RS to the 993 Carrera RS. Though it never officially crossed the Atlantic, the Carrera Club Sport is certainly on our air-cooled Porsche shortlist.

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Porsche 930 Turbo vs 944 Turbo… Préjugés !

Finalement, tout les oppose. L’une à un 4 cylindre, l’autre un Flat 6 refroidi par air. L’une à le moteur à l’avant pendant que l’autre l’a dans son sac à dos. L’une à une ligne carré avec pop up et l’autre est une grenouille rondouillarde aux courbes musclées. Pourtant, les deux embarquent une bricole qui […]

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Speedster generations

“I took a 911 Cabriolet off the line and drove it to my hot-rod shop,” admits Preuninger. That car became a mix-up of Gen1 GT3 and that Cabriolet.

The result of the GT boss’ work was first shown to a select group of customers as far back as 2014 alongside the 911 R concept, which the Speedster shares a lot of DNA with. This new Speedster is a GT department model, a car which, if you take Speedsters at their most elemental, it always should have been. 

Even so, Preuninger admits: “We didn’t focus on every last gram and we’re not concerned about lap times.” While that might be true, a kerbweight of 1,465kg is just 52kg more than a manual GT3.

The Speedster, like the R, is exclusively manual, with no PDK being offered, saving 17kg in weight and pleasing the driving purists among us. There are the same 911 R carbon-fibre front wings, the underbody at the rear being R-derived, while PCCB is standard too.

Those early customers who saw it liked the idea of a properly raw Speedster, doing without any roof, but Preuninger and his team denied them that, fitting a hood, in part to ensure that owners actually use them rather than park them away with delivery miles in collections. And the 1,948 Porsche will build? That’s the year when the first Speedster was built. 

Opening the low, neat roof is simple enough – a button unlatches the hood at the top of the lower windscreen and unclips the buttresses which then spring up from the large clamshell. The clamshell lock is released too, and the huge carbon-fibre panel – the largest Porsche has ever made, and weighing just 10kg – lifts out and back on struts, the hood simply pushed into its stowage area underneath.

Pop down the cover and the Speedster is open, as it should be, the slightly steeper rake and lowering of the screen, as well as that rear, fundamentally changing the look of the 911. It’s very reminiscent of original 356 Speedsters, losing the sometimes-uncomfortable, heavy-looking rear of later 911 Speedster models. There’s also a hint of Carrera GT in its proportions, particularly that rear three-quarter view.

The black stone guards on the flanks fore of the rear wheels were a late – and necessary – addition, admits Preuninger, breaking the visual length while harking back to the G-series models.

You don’t have to have them, and if you’re after an even more retro style then there’s the Heritage Pack plus a numbered, customised Porsche Design timepiece, as is the norm these days.

Forget those, though. Preuninger leans in, says to press Auto Blip and the exhaust button and go and drive it. I argue I’ll do the footwork myself and leave the Auto Blip off, Preuninger laughing and saying: “It’s better than you,” before adding, “and me…”

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Porsche 911 RS IROC Replica… Level Master !

Là les amis, il va y avoir du lourd et du très rare ! Et va falloir aborder pas mal de sujets… L’IROC, Denny Hulme, JK Racing et Gérard, qui s’est retrouvé à la base de toute cette histoire avec, une Porsche 911 3.0 SC de 1982 strictement d’origine? Mais en en tant que pilote, […]

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930 v 964 v 993: air-cooled Turbos

This is the story of an action hero: one who starts as a trigger-happy maverick, becomes all-powerful, then ends up going straight. Well, that’s the Hollywood version at least.

The truth about the air-cooled 911 Turbo – from 930 to 964 and 993 – is harder to sum up in a sound bite. So dim the lights, grab some popcorn and settle in for a saga of sequels without equal.

Posing outside the Paul Stephens showroom in Essex, our Turbo trilogy makes for a great movie poster. They’re The Expendables in four-wheeled form: brimful of testosterone and bulging in all the right places.

The 964 Turbo 3.6 has the most visual clout, crouched like a coiled spring on dished Speedline split-rims. It’s one of the most aesthetically aggressive 911s, on par with the 993 GT2 and 991.2 GT2 RS.

The 930 isn’t far behind, its fulsome hips and signature spoiler immortalised on a million bedroom walls. And the 993 Turbo is equally iconic, albeit smoother and more urbane.

The 964, built in 3.6-litre guise for the final year of production only, is also our A-lister in terms of price. At the time of writing it was offered at £224,995 – enough to buy both the 930 and 993.

Is it the big-budget blockbuster those looks suggest, or does the sweet-spot of this air-cooled 911 line-up lie elsewhere? I’m childishly excited to find out.

I start with the 930. ‘The Widowmaker’ shares its epithet with a movie about a nuclear submarine, and its presence feels equally forbidding. However, it could have been much wilder.

Inspired by the on-track success of the turbocharged 917/30, the prototype 930 was a back-to-basics road racer – effectively a Carrera 3.0 RS with forced induction – and just 200 cars were planned. Porsche’s sales and marketing department had other ideas, though, envisioning the 911 Turbo as a luxurious super-GT.

In the end profit triumphed over purity, and the Turbo debuted in 1975 with air conditioning, electric windows, a rear wiper and a four-speaker stereo. Climbing aboard, this flagship 1987 911 still feels well-appointed today.

There’s supple leather, deep-pile carpet and even heated seats. Only the boost gauge, nestled within the rev counter, offers a clue to its added oomph. Well, that and the four ratios etched atop the gear lever – the SC had switched to five-speed back in 1978.

The original 3.0-litre 930 served up 260hp: a modest 63hp more than a contemporary Carrera 3.0, and Golf GTI power today. Even so, edgy handling and all-or-nothing power delivery made it a challenging steer.

Le Mans-winning Porsche racer Tony Dron said: “Frankly, it demanded too much skill, even from an experienced driver, and that made serious driving hard work… I was far from convinced that selling them to the public was a good idea.” An upgrade to 3.3-litres and 300hp in 1978 also included beefier 917 brakes and a more stable chassis. This had “better handling, but was still something of a monster when driven really fast”, noted Dron.

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