Did You Know….???
….. that only 173 Carrera 3.0s, verified by their chassis numbers, have been registered over the years with the Porsche Club Great Britain: 46 coupe and 18 targa models from the 1976 model year and 75 coupes and 34 targas from 1977 (a further 33 claim to be Carrera 3.0s but don’t have a chassis number registered). ….. that only 3687 examples of the Carrera 3.0 were produced compared to nearly 58,000 911SCs and 76,500 3.2 Carreras.
….. that the Carrera 3.0 (along with the 2.7 and Turbo) was the first Porsche model to feature the trademark rectangular electrically operated door mirrors that remained a feature of the 911 up until 1992.
….. that the Carrera 3.0, despite a reputation for being a ‘tamed-down’ version of the original 2.7RS and 2.7 Carreras, had almost identical 0-60 and 0-100mph performance figures but was endowed with so much extra torque that it could pull from 25 to 100mph in top gear over 3 seconds faster than either of its production predecessors
…… that the Carrera 3.0′s engine was developed from the power unit of the very rare Carrera 3.0RS, of which only 109 were built. 50 of these cars were uprated to RSR specification and were enormously successful racers in the 1974 and 1975 seasons, winning both the FIA GT Championship and the IMSA Championship each year. For further photos of these fantastic cars you should visit the excellent Porsche 911 RSR Resource Page
“There’s a huge amount of old cock talked about the handling of old air-cooled 911s…” – Top Gear’s James May – Porsche Post (PCGB) February 2007
James May’s comment alludes to the Porsche 911′s reputation for being dangerous, even deadly, when driven round bends carelessly. True, drive a 911 recklessly and you’re likely to pay a heavy price, but drive it carefully and it’s not only safe, it’s incredibly rewarding. So what’s it like to drive a Carrera 3?
The first thing that strikes you when you slide into the driving seat of the car is how comfortable and supportive the tombstone style seats are, and once you’re sitting down, just how much room – legroom and headroom – there is. Long-legged six footers needn’t worry here about heads touching the roof or pushing the driving seat right back.
Getting the right driving position is really important. There’s no steering wheel adjustment and finding a good balance between those pedals sticking up from the floor, the steering wheel and the gear lever is crucial if you’re going to enjoy driving the car. For years I had the seat too far back and never really felt at ease with the car. Then I decided to sit nearer the wheel, making it much easier to change gear nicely and to apply both accelerator and brakes smoothly and progressively.
The Carrera 3 has an interesting place in the history of the Porsche 911 as it brought together elements from two of Porsche’s most legendary cars. First, it represented the latest incarnation of the Porsche Carrera, originally introduced to the 911 series as the classic 2.7 litre RS in late 1972, and later revamped as the ‘impact-bumper’ Carrera 2.7 in 1974. In fact, the Carrera 3 was the last 911 to bear the name ‘Carrera’ as a production special. Next, the Carrera 3′s 2993cc engine used the same die-cast aluminium crank-case as its awesome cousin, the newly introduced Porsche 930 or ’911 Turbo’. This shared unit, codenamed 930/02, was derived from an engine developed for the extremely rare 3.0 RS in 1973. The Carrera 3.0 was first introduced in August 1975 for the 1976 Porsche model year and was available for two years until July 1977. During these two years only 3687 of the cars were produced for the ‘I’ and ‘J’ Series 911 production runs (2564 Coupes and 1123 Targas). Despite the limited numbers, though, the Carrera’s normally aspirated version of the Turbo’s power unit proved to be a powerful, strong and extremely reliable engine, and the overall design of the car was to form the bedrock for the remaining years of the 911 series’ development (through the 3.0 litre 911 SC and 3.2 litre Carrera) until the introduction of the 964 model in 1989. Continue reading
The German magazine, Sport Auto, in a special issue for January 1976, provides perhaps the definitive contemporary road test of a Carrera 3.0.
Under the banner heading ‘Power Tool’ the celebrated German motoring journalist Dirk-Michael Conrad reviewed just about every aspect of the new Carrera 3.0, in the process comparing it to its 2.7 Carrera predecessor and to the contemporary 930 Turbo.
In terms of outright performance the article noted that the car was more refined but also quicker than its predecessor, something that the author put down to several factors:
‘Firstly this is because of the enlargement of 300 cc: the three litre engine, enlarged by 5mm compared to the previous 2.7 litre – and up until now only available in the Turbo – is now used in the Carrera. The torque remains similar to its predecessor at 26mkp but for the 1976 model year is available at 4200 rpm, in comparison to its predecessors’ 5000 rpm. Finally, it is undoubtedly due to the choice of k-Jetronic…replacing the previous, more direct mechanical inlet manifold injection. ‘
The overall effect was a more civilised (but still exhilarating) drive than that of the earlier car:
Here is a little excerpt from “The Porsche Book” on the Carrera 3.0
Type Carrera 3.0 (1975-1977)
The Carrera 3.0 continued the tradition of one of the most famous Porsches in the history of motor sport. The 3-litre model provided a very high performance and magnificent handling and safety in a more relaxed way, with less noise and better comfort, than all its predecessors. The capacity increase from 2.7 to 3 litres notably improved the engine’s flexibility and mid-range performance, the maximum torque of 190 lb/ft now being developed at 4,200 rpm instead of 5,100 rpm. While the Carrera 2.7 RS required 34.2 seconds to accelerate from 40 to 160 km/h (25 to 100 mph) in top gear, the 3-litre took only 30.9 seconds. The maximum power of the 200 bhp engine was obtained at only 6,000 rpm. Acceleration and maximum speed, however, were identical with those of its predecessor. And, not to be scorned, the latest Carrera consumed less fuel, thanks to its K-Jetronic injection system.
The Carrera 3.0 came with lavish standard equipment. The automatic heater control, the electrically adjustable and heated external mirror, the headlight washers and the electric window switches merit special mention. All 1976 models were guaranteed for a full year with no mileage limitation. With the introduction of zinc-coated sheet metal for the body shell—a complete innovation in the motor industry—Porsche gave an additional full six-year warranty on the floorpan and the entire stressed structure. External identification of the Can-era 3.0 from its immediate predecessors was easier than in the case of the other 911 models. All previously chromium-plated parts were finished in matt black and wider rear wings (fenders) allowed fat high-speed radial tyres to be used. Forged alloy wheels, the front ones 152 mm (6 inches) the rear ones 178 mm (7 inches) wide were standard equipment, but 152 min and 203 mm (8 inch) wide wheels respectively were available at extra cost.
General description: Type Carrera 3.0 (basic model)
Coachwork and chassis
By Gib Bosworth
1976 was a busy year for Porsche as the factory began to evolve the 911 with expanded boulevard offerings featuring a coupe and targa version utilizing 2.7L CIS engines, the last few of the Carrera 2.7 MFI coupes (123), a brand new 3.0 Turbo with fat bodied fenders and whaletail, and a top-of-the-line normally aspirated 911 making use of the the new Turbo 3 liter case….the Carrera 3.0. It was the first year that Porsche began dipping complete bodies in a liquid zinc bath for better protection from rust, a complete innovation in the auto industry at the time, which led Porsche to offer a 6 year warranty on the floor pan and the entire stressed structure (details lifted from the Boschen/Barth Porsche Book).
The Carrera 3.0 was not available in the US, and the factory produced only 1093 coupes and 479 targas in 76, and in 77 built 1473 coupes and 646 targas…which makes these cars un-ubiquitous in 2011. (ubiquitous…present or appearing to be found everywhere, omnipresent). The factory offered the 3.0 with stronger aluminum cased engines utilizing Bosch’s CIS to meet emission and sound requirements with 200 hp to replace the emission challenged Carrera 2.7 MFI cars, and of course they had to perform better (or at least as good) as their predecessor (210 hp). Paul Frere discussing tests of the C3.0 vs. the C2.7 says: ” the loss of 10 hp in the I series Carrera 3.0 engine compared with its 2.7 litre predecessor is of very little consequence, maximum speed being reduced by a mere 2 mph to a still very useful 146.2 mph, with all standing start acceleration figures practically identical or, if anything, on the better side of it. Flexibility, however, which was already excellent with the 2.7 litre Carrera, shows a quite dramatic improvement, 25-50 mph time in 5th gear dropping from 14.1 to 9.4 seconds, the 50-75 mph time from 12.1 to 10.4 seconds, and the 75-99.5 mph time from 12.4 to 10.7 seconds.
This is a brochure from 1975 showing some of the slightly older model Porsches but still great to see!
Great brochure here showing the history of Porsche and how they have changed through the years!