Early cars pumped out 260bhp and used the weight of the rear-mounted engine and traction from the fat rear tyres to hit 0-60mph in under 6 secs and 155mph, more than enough to get the motoring press in to a right old frenzy. Such was the power and torque available, Porsche saw fit to equip the 911 Turbo with just four gears, with second good for well over 70mph.
In developing the Turbo, Porsche used knowledge gained from turbocharging the 917’s flat-12 of Can Am use. The 911 Turbo would itself become a formidable competition car, from the track to even anything goes Rallycross.
Production and development continued through to 1989. Engine capacity was increased to 3.3-litres and power to 300bhp in 1978, which is where it stayed. Surprisingly, perhaps, Porsche finally fitted a 5-speed gearbox in 1989, the Turbo’s final year of production.
Along with Guards Red and black, Grand Prix White was the 80s colour of choice. As Porsche’s default racing colour, it suits the Stuttgart cars well and it certainly suits this 1988 911 Turbo.
Registered on Jan 22, 1988, it was originally supplied by Charles Follett Ltd, London. Bought by a banker perhaps with his bonus? That’s the stereotypical image of the 80s Turbo. We like to think that Grand Prix White, with Metropole Blue leather interior is a bit too subtle, though. Options, typically, extend to electrically adjustable, heated, Sports seats, sun roof and luggage compartment carpet.
Mileage stands at just 42,000-miles, which is reflected in the obvious standard and condition. Most of this mileage was accumulated up until 2000. From then to 2012 it seemingly broke cover for its annual service and MOT, followed by light use for the next 10 years or so. In the last 6-months it has received a major service by Essex based Porsche specialists ADH.
As a 1988 Turbo, this example misses the G50 5-speed box by just a year. But not to worry, the 4-speed, 915 ‘box has its own character and it suits the Turbo well. It just takes a bit of a different mindset. Fourth is for the motorway and A road cruising, while second and third are for B roads, the latter extending well into 3 figure speeds.
It’s all about boost and torque. Yes, it takes a while to build, compared to modern turbos, but when it does it’s with a solid rush and a positive shove and not having to race through the gears, makes it almost relaxing, if that’s possible in a 911 Turbo. It’s all part of the Turbos legendary usability and compared to lesser 911s, the interior is almost plush.
A 911 Turbo legend, that’s eminently useable and nicely understated too, in Grand Prix White. Fast, but not furious, is all part of the Turbo’s mystique.