The original 911 Turbo was a revelation. Introduced in 1974, the first 930 models had a 3-litre engine, producing 260 horsepower at just 5,500 rpm with relatively soft levels of boost and a 6.5:1 compression ratio.
The first journalists to sample the 911 Turbo were literally blown away. ‘To be shoved so hard in the back that you need highback seats to keep your head on, yet neither to feel nor hear anything more than a muffled hum, is a very odd sensation indeed”, wrote Roger Bell back then.
In 1977, the 930 grew to 3.3-litre engine capacity, and got some decent brakes. The addition of an intercooler took power to 300 horsepower, with 303 lb/ft of torque. 60 appeared on the speedo around 5 seconds after take off, and 160 would appear in short order: if you kept your foot in.
On paper, the 930’s big turbo and leggy four-speed gearbox is hardly ideal for use as a rally car, but that has not stopped Richard ‘Project’ Tuthill from picking one up in Eastern Europe and putting it through a rebuild process at Tuthill HQ in Wardington, just down the road from Ferdinand.
The car has been through a strip and interior tidy, with new seat rails and fire extinguisher install. The engine and transmission are out for an overhaul, the car is being completely rewired and made ready to rally in anger. It has also just had brand new Turbo brake calipers, straight from Porsche.
“One challenge is having the fastest car in a straight line,” says Richard. “But also, there’s more to rallying than the British Championship. Some great events take place in Europe, where Turbos are highly regarded. I think this will strike a chord with the fans: the few miles I did in it before we took it to pieces were amongst the craziest I’ve ever done in a rally car!”
I’ve driven a lot of Tuthill cars over the years but this lightweight Turbo off-roader is a whole other kettle of fish. I can’t wait to try it out!