Cheap Turbo: 1979 Porsche 930 Conversion

There’s a reason this 1979 Porsche 911 may seem like a bargain at $49,970 for a widebody, turbocharged example in near-mint condition. That’s because it began life as a 911SC that received the full 930 treatment, from the 3.3L turbocharged mill to steel factory fenders. The result is a creation that could pass for the real thing, but does beg the question as to how much a copy is worth. Find the 911/930 here on craigslist and offered by Palm Desert Auto.

I will admit to being fooled by this example when first looking at the ad, and scratching my head as to why a seemingly clean 930 could sell for under $100K. Perhaps it had been wrecked or it was a non-runner, but that’s clearly not the case. I do like that the conversion was performed years ago, so this 911 has been living its double life for quite some time.

And unlike non-Turbo cars that get the cheap and/or quick conversion to look like the real thing, this 911 has the goods, from the steel fender conversion to the engine lifted right out of a 930 with 45,000 miles to the deeply bolstered OEM bucket seats. The work was seemingly done the right way, but I’d recommend a professional inspection to judge the quality of the conversion.

I do think the Turbo script on the doors is a bit much, along with the badge on the engine lid. Let’s save those for the genuine articles, and make this 911 into more of a sleeper with the goods to back up those fat fenders. I feel like this will always be a hard car to get your money back out of, especially since another $25-$50K gets you a genuine 930. Would you go that route or take a chance on this copycat 930?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    We built one of these for a customer in the early ’90s minus the 930 engine. All 930 suspension and steel bodywork. Front fenders are bolt on, rear flares were weld on, everything else pretty easy bolt on. Lots of dollars spent on body parts, wheels, seats, etc. but starting with a good chassis you can get a good car out of it. The purists need not apply but these cars were built for fun and travel so saving a whole bunch of money on one isn’t the worst thing to happen.

    Like 7
  2. Ralph Swan

    The 930 market is all over the place… year, color combo, mileage, options etc. all play a role. I’d like to say the values sit at 100k+ (as I own one) but clean ones currently start at $65k and go up from there.

    Like 1
  3. xrotaryguy

    Finally a Porsche with a not-quite-so-crazy price tag. And with the performance to back it, makes sense to me!

    Like 2
  4. Jack Quantrill

    If you buy this, you will hate yourself in the morning!

  5. Joe in NH

    If this has a 5 speed, as stated in the ad, it is likely a 915 which Porsche deemed unsuitable for the 930 Turbo do to the power / torque output. 930’s came with a 915 4 speed with wider, larger gears to deal with the increased performance. If it has a G50 gearbox it is a much tougher unit. As far as “Turbo look” Porsche had the M491 option which was a 911 with the Turbo wide body that was built in small numbers. Either way an awesome looking car.
    Joe in NH

    Like 1
  6. Steve D

    My racecar was an 911SC M91 update including the brakes. This car looks like it has SC brakes on it. I own a 930 too and I’ve seen decent cars but they start at 75k. Mines insured realistically at 95k.

  7. Chas h

    Good point about the trans. The sellers website claims a rebuilt 915 5 speed, which likely won’t take too many hard launches.

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