Production History of the Carrera 3.0

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

Carrera 3.0 Review in Sport Auto Magazine, January 1976

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:

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Carrera 3.0 in “The Porsche Book”

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

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The Un-Ubiquitous Carrera 3.0

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.

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1975 Porsche 911 Brochure

This is a brochure from 1975 showing some of the slightly older model Porsches but still great to see!

The Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0


The Porsche 911 ‘Carrera 3′ has a very special place in the history of the Porsche 911, as it brought together elements from two of Porsche’s most legendary cars. 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 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’.

It was sold between 1976-1977 – built between two other models in the 911 line up: the standard 911 and the 911/930 Turbo.  During its short two year life span, only 3687 cars were built – a tiny amount compared to nearly 58,000 911SCs and 76,500 3.2 Carreras produced. Of these 2564 were coupes and only 1123  produced in Targa format, and only a very small number were manufactured in RHD. It was donned with the prestigious Porsche ‘Carrera’ label.  Carrera is a trademarked name (Spanish for ‘Race’) exclusively used by Porsche for some of its models to honor the company’s success in the Carrera Panamericana.

The Carrera 3.0 engine was essentially the Phenomenal 911 Turbo’s 2994 cc engine minus the turbocharger. Built before the ’911 SC’ it has everything the SC has, and more. It’s a different drive with more power @200bhp; more torque @188 ft/lb @4200rpm and it was 10% lighter too. It has the 6 bolt flywheel and a crank from the legendary 73 Carrera RS. The 3.0 carrera would go on to be the basis for all future developed 911’s up to 1989 including the 911SC and 3.2 Carrera. Performance numbers for the Carrera 3.0 are astonishingly similar to those of the famed Carrera RS of the early 70′s and it’s the last time Porsche would use the Carrera name until the Mid 80′s.

Despite a reputation for being a ‘tamed-down’ version of the original 2.7RS and 2.7 Carreras, The Carrera 3 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. The Carrera 3.0 is arguably a better car than the 2.7, even though the latter has the cache of sharing an engine with the RS 2.7 and the older revvy unit made the car more fun to drive.

For its time the Carrera 3.0 was an extremely powerful sports car. Its 3 litre horizontally opposed, air cooled engine, using Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, produced 200 bhp at 6000 rpm and 188 lb/ft of torque at 4200 rpm. The car was offered with either a 4 or 5 speed version of Porsche’s legendary 915 manual gearbox.

They are a very special model and are their future is set to be an un-sung hero and the next generation of the 911 line up to attract the kind of attention normally reserved for the 2.2s and 2.7 Carrera’s.  Recently some Carrera 3.0′s have sold for quite substantial money. This stunning black Coupè just sold for a reported £30,000 - and this lovely white Targa recently just went on the market with a £35,000 asking price