Simon Clay, courtesy of Bonhams
Simon Clay, courtesy of Bonhams
A prolific collector of fine automobiles, Mansour Ojjeh was ideally placed to secure for himself from Porsche a specially modified version of the German manufacturer’s ultimate road car: the fearsome 911 Turbo. Group 4 homologation rules, which required 400 road cars to be built, had spurred the development of Project 930 — the original 911 Turbo. In production from April 1975, the Turbo married a KKK turbocharger to the 3.0-liter RSR engine, a combination which, in road trim, delivered 260 hp for a top speed of approximately 246 km/h (152 mph). The engine was enlarged to 3.3 liters for 1978, gaining an inter-cooler in the process; power increased to 300 hp and the top speed of what was the fastest-accelerating road car of its day went up to around 258 km/h (160 mph). The 911 Turbo’s raison d’être — the racing 934 and 935 — had pioneered what would come to be known as the Slant or Flat nose, and this new look was soon in demand from 911 customers. Kremer Racing offered a conversion, and this service was later taken up by the factory’s own Customer Department to special order (Sonderwünschen) from 1981, becoming an official option only in 1986. The front wings were steel, incorporating cooling vents and pop-up headlamps (early examples had them in the air dam) while the rears had extra cooling intakes. There were different sills, and along with the body modifications came an even more luxurious interior. For his own special 911 Turbo, Mansour Ojjeh opted for the 935-type bodywork and an engine tuned to produce 375 hp, an increase of some 25% over standard. Maximum torque went up to a tire-shredding 361 lb/ft. According to the Porsche specification sheets on file, the result was a top speed of approximately 285 km/h (177 mph) and a 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) time of 5.2 seconds. In addition to the 935-type bodywork, the sheets list the following special equipment: roll bar, automatic harness, Recaro seats, wooden dashboard paneling, central locking, lowered suspension, competition shock absorbers and competition stabilizers. Copies of the car’s original factory documentation (on file) refer to it as a “Porsche 911 Turbo Spezial.” Unrestored, but maintained in first-class condition, this unique and historic Porsche 911 Turbo is worthy of the closest inspection.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1983 Porsche 930 Turbo 935 spec. coupe
Years Produced:1983 (a one-off)
Number Produced:One
Original List Price:N/A
Tune Up Cost:$2,000 to $2,500, including valve adjustment
Distributor Caps:$19
Chassis Number Location:Aluminum plate trunk front sill plate; stamping on inner trunk above gas tank
Engine Number Location:On vertical fan stand under fan facing right
Club Info:Porsche Club of America
Investment Grade:A

This car, Lot 52, sold for €230,000 ($315,445), including buyer’s premium, at Bonhams’ Spa Classic Sale at Spa Francorchamps, Belgium, on May 14, 2014.

This highly modified 930 makes an excellent Porsche for analysis because it was a Porsche factory-built special. It was one of the early cars to come out of Porsche’s answer to the tuners of the day (DP, Kremer, Koenig, et al), the Sonderwünsche (“Special Wishes”) Department, later better known as Porsche Exclusive.

A special client gets a one-off monster

The base car was a 930 Turbo with a ROW production serial number (U.S. Turbo models having been suspended between 1980 and 1985). Because the car was constructed for a very important client, not a lot of the stock 930 was left at the end of the project.

The buyer was Mansour Ojjeh, whose Saudi father, Akram, had founded Techniques d’Avant Garde. TAG was a trading firm that prospered by exporting European goods to Saudi Arabia.

TAG later became well known as the sponsor of the Williams Formula One team, and then partnered with Ron Dennis’s McLaren team, after Dennis’s 1982 buy-out of Americans Teddy Mayer and Tyler Alexander. TAG Group soon would buy 60% of the team. TAG Turbo Engines then commissioned Porsche to build their 1.5-liter turbo V6s that debuted in 1983 and powered the McLaren-TAG team to the World Constructors’ Championship in 1984 and 1985, plus the Driver’s Championship again in 1986, with Niki Lauda and then Alain Proust. Between 1984 and 1987, the TAG-Porsche engine powered the team cars to 25 wins in 68 starts with 18 fastest laps.

While McLaren paid about $500,000 for the design of the Type 2623 Formula One engine, TAG funded construction of all 50-plus engines and all their rebuilds. Needless to say, the Ojjehs were very important clients for Porsche. Thus when Mansour Ojjeh requested a special Turbo early on in the relationship, the Factory leapt to the task.

A memorable car

Bonhams presented factory documentation on the car’s build: letters, specification sheets, and photographs that Porsche put into a portfolio on the car for Ojjeh. One photo shows PAG President Peter Schutz delivering the car to Ojjeh with Zuffenhausen plates 862-Z-3425. My good friend Rolf Sprenger ran Porsche’s Sonderwünsche/Exclusive Department for many years. He remembered this project well:

“Originally, Mansour wanted to buy a 935 race car modified for a road license, similar to what Graf Rossi [author note: of Martini-Rossi, Porsche’s primary racing sponsor in the early 1970s] did with his road-licensed 917. But such was no longer legally possible. So, we at Werk 1 built up a car with Elmar Willret and Rainer Ulbrich, and their crew doing the work. We built it on a stock 1983 930 chassis. Mansour came to Werk 1 twice to see the construction, which took about six months. We first presented the car to him in Weissach, and he took it out on the test track.”

Porsche had responded to Ojjeh’s request by creating an early supercar. The 3.3-liter engine was a stock Type 930/66 unit, number 67D0689, well modified to deliver 380 horsepower and 360 foot-pounds of torque, vs. 300 and 280, respectively, for a normal 3.3-liter Turbo. This car reportedly was good for 5.2 seconds 0–100 km/h (62 mph), with a top speed of 175 mph vs. 5.0 seconds but only 155 mph for a stock 1983 Turbo. The gearbox was the standard 930/34 four-speed with a cooler.

Porsche to the max

The car’s appearance was more extreme, with a 935-derived all-steel flachbau — flat nose. The car also got boxed rockers, a front air dam and a huge rear wing, plus over-sized rear fenders adorned with leading-edge air inlets. This was altogether a look that the factory would offer more broadly starting in the later 1980s, albeit in a less extreme version.

The car got a roll bar, Recaro performance driving seats and a competition-derived suspension. It also got electric windows, a large stereo system, and a full tan interior with rear storage compartments as on the 1987–88 Club Sports. Wheels were center-lock BBS modulars, 10 inches by 15 inches in front and 13 by 15 inches in the rear, with Pirelli P7s all around. One of the factory photographs describes the car’s underpinnings as a “Type 934 Chassis.” The Turbo weighed in at over 3,300 pounds — a fulsome road car. For 1983, this Porsche-built special was a breakthrough and a progenitor of Special Wishes cars to come.

A restoration away from full value

As presented at auction, this Sonderwünsche Turbo was reportedly in its original state, unrestored, and in excellent condition. It had 12,004 miles showing. A Belgian friend traveled to Spa to try to buy the car, but found it so heavily used that he passed. It was very dirty, had mice droppings, lots of repaint — was generally shabby. He opined that it needed a full restoration. Similarly, the SCM auction editor on site found the car to be well worn and was of the opinion that the odometer had probably been around once. (See auction report, page 78.)

Given the unexpected used — or perhaps abused — condition, I consider the $315,500 price to be on the high side. The build specs, the documentation, and the Mansour Ojjeh ownership are all big pluses. A full restoration from now, the car will not be outlandishly above its anticipated market value. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of Bonhams.)

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