The Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0

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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.  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

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Driving the Carrera 3.0

“There’s a huge amount of old cock talked about the handling of old air-cooled 911s…” – Top Gear’s James May – Porsche Post (PCGB) February 2007

James May’s comment alludes to the Porsche 911’s reputation for being dangerous, even deadly, when driven round bends carelessly. True, drive a 911 recklessly and you’re likely to pay a heavy price, but drive it carefully and it’s not only safe, it’s incredibly rewarding. So what’s it like to drive a Carrera 3?

The first thing that strikes you when you slide into the driving seat of the car is how comfortable and supportive the tombstone style seats are, and once you’re sitting down, just how much room – legroom and headroom – there is. Long-legged six footers needn’t worry here about heads touching the roof or pushing the driving seat right back.

Getting the right driving position is really important. There’s no steering wheel adjustment and finding a good balance between those pedals sticking up from the floor, the steering wheel and the gear lever is crucial if you’re going to enjoy driving the car. For years I had the seat too far back and never really felt at ease with the car. Then I decided to sit nearer the wheel, making it much easier to change gear nicely and to apply both accelerator and brakes smoothly and progressively.

The next thing that strikes you is the dashboard with its rev counter taking centre stage: the simple elegance of the instrument binnacle with its five round dials and the mish-mash of other switches scattered all over the place. Even now, I still find it hard to remember where they all are and what they all do, but I don’t find the need to use many of them anyway, so it’s not a big problem.

Turn the key and the car literally bursts into life, an orchestra of spinning and whirring components combining to produce that unique 911 engine sound. And, of course, all this sound is coming from behind you. Then, engaging first gear (or reverse) you notice how heavy the clutch is and how clunky the gearbox can seem – you always need to engage the gears as smoothly as possible or you can find yourself fighting with the cogs. Likewise, when you feather the brake pedal for the first time it feels heavy, and it is – there’s no servo assistance on these cars, only the power of your right foot. This isn’t a car with power steering either and the front can feel surprisingly heavy at low speeds due to the drag from those big front tyres.

Get going, though, and you immediately notice how responsive the engine is to the accelerator and how easy it is to ‘feel’ the car – from here on, the car involves you in everything it does and the feedback from the steering and suspension is instantaneous. And it’s best to respond positively and immediately to all those messages being transmitted to you because as the speed increases and the engine becomes smoother and louder the car almost demands that you drive it faster.

The engine is incredibly responsive at all speeds but you do have to work the gearbox effectively to get the most out of it. Pulling away quickly from a roundabout or traffic lights you need to get into second gear quickly and from there into third. The Carrera 3 is well known for its cammy engine and once it reaches 4000 rpm it really starts to do the business – even today, few cars feel as stunningly quick as the Carrera in third gear, as it’s wondertful flat-six engine winds itself up to 6000 rpm and beyond.

Compared to most of today’s cosseted performance cars the Carrera is undoubtedly a demanding car to drive and you do need to keep concentrating, especially if you’ve become complacently used to driving with the comforting, life preserving backup of ABS, traction control, electronic stability control, airbags and all the other things that make driving in the 21st century so much safer than in the 1970s. The car remains thoroughly well engineered, though, and with its front and rear anti-roll bars keeping the car tight and sharp through the bends and those big all round disc brakes stopping it quickly and effectively there’s no reason for any but the most reckless of drivers to worry about losing control on public roads.

The engine is at the back, though, so you do have to take care with bends. However, unless you’re driving right on the limit (or just downright dangerously) you’d be extremely hard-pushed to lose control in the dry (in the wet it’s a different matter – but then it’s a different matter for any car). As with all 911s, negotiating bends safely means braking before you get into the bend, not while you’re in it, and then accelerating smoothly through and out of it. With all that weight at the back, though, sticking the anchors on suddenly midway through a fast bend is simply asking for trouble.

The Carrera isn’t all about sheer excitement though. The engine has plenty of torque and will pull powerfully and willingly from 1500 rpm in top. Even in fifth at 70mph, a touch on the accelerator pushes you back in your seat as the car responds immediately to the request for more power. In traffic the car toodles along nicely and, if you want it to, it will happily cruise sedately and comfortably with the children in the back, attracting gazes from passing cars while quietly dismissing the inevitable speed challenges from passing hot hatches and sporty (and not so sporty) BMWs, Audis and Mercedes’.

With the top off, the Targa version of the Carrera 3 adds a different dimension to the car’s already long list of plusses – open-air driving in a real sports car. True, the heater’s a bit hit-and-miss and the wind noise can be a problem, but who cares? And with that big rollover bar behind you, the car feels as safe as houses.

Carrera 3.0 Facts

Did You Know….???

….. that only 173 Carrera 3.0s, verified by their chassis numbers, have been registered over the years with the Porsche Club Great Britain: 46 coupe and 18 targa models from the 1976 model year and 75 coupes and 34 targas from 1977 (a further 33 claim to be Carrera 3.0s but don’t have a chassis number registered). ….. that only 3687 examples of the Carrera 3.0 were produced compared to nearly 58,000 911SCs and 76,500 3.2 Carreras.

….. that the Carrera 3.0 (along with the 2.7 and Turbo) was the first Porsche model to feature the trademark rectangular electrically operated door mirrors that remained a feature of the 911 up until 1992.

….. that the Carrera 3.0, despite a reputation for being a ‘tamed-down’ version of the original 2.7RS and 2.7 Carreras, 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

…… that the Carrera 3.0’s engine was developed from the power unit of the very rare Carrera 3.0RS, of which only 109 were built. 50 of these cars were uprated to RSR specification and were enormously successful racers in the 1974 and 1975 seasons, winning both the FIA GT Championship and the IMSA Championship each year. For further photos of these fantastic cars you should visit the excellent Porsche 911 RSR Resource Page

…… that former British Rally champion, the great Roger Clark, once owned a Carrera 3.0.

….. the Carrera 3.0 was never officially imported into the United States – the 911S sold there was a variation of the 2.7 litre model with 165bhp. There are a few there now, though!

….. the Carrera 3.0 is unusual in having a 5-blade cooling fan – although it is a popular modification to replace this with the newer 11 blade version.

….. that in contemporary road tests the Carrera 3.0 posted quicker 0-60mph times than the 911 Turbo……

….. The Porsche 911 guru Michael Cotton wrote, in 1985, that as a personal choice, ‘a production Carrera 3.0 with 200 horsepower and a distinctive ‘cam’ effect from 4,000rpm is a particularly nice car to own’ and that two other Porsche gurus, Lindsay Porter and Peter Morgan, once memorably commented that the Carrera 3.0 ‘must rate as one of the most desirable of the 911 family’

…… Carrera 3.0s have raced, and continue to race, extensively and successfully, more than holding their own against newer and more powerful machinery

….. that the Carrera 3.0 is renouned for its free-revving engine. Its mechanicals featured a light aluminium crankcase (also used in the 935), a crankshaft inherited from the Carrera RS and a 6 bolt flywheel…… that the Carrera 3.0 is lighter than it successors, weighing in at 1093kg – making it almost 6% lighter than the SC (1160kg) and almost 10% lighter than the 3.2 (at 1210kg) in standard form. The standard car also weighs less than the later (1987-1989) stripped-down Carrera 3.2 Club Sport which weighed in at 1170kg.
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Production History of the Carrera 3.0

This post was taken from the http://www.911carrera3.co.uk website which is no longer online.

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.

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 915 manual gearbox, or with Porsche’s 3 speed Sportomatic semi-automatic transmission. Few Sportomatics survive now, many of them having been converted to manual form.

The Carrera 3 enjoyed marvellously quick and responsive steering, whilst the handling was taut and, for its day, sensational. The car was also incredibly safe, the front and rear anti-roll bars reducing body roll and improving stability, and the 282mm front and 290mm rear disc brakes managing to stop the car in record times for the mid-1970s.

As far as performance was concerned, Porsche claimed a rather understated 0-62 mph time of 6.3 seconds and a top speed ‘in excess of 142 mph’. However, in road tests by the motoring press the car managed times of 5.7 seconds for the sprint and a top speed of 145 mph, with overall fuel consumption coming in at around 18 mpg. The road performance of the Carrera 3 was generally considered to be better than that of its immediate predecessor, the 2.7 Carrera, owing to its larger engine, improved torque characteristics and the use of K-Jetronic fuel injection.

Porsche also made ‘comfort’ and ‘sports’ packs available for the Carrera 3.0 with the final J-Series cars being offered in one of two factory specifications: the classic, spoiler-less version with Koni dampers and 6 inch front and 7 inch rear wheels; and the Carrera 3 Sport with Bilstein shock absorbers, bigger wheels sporting Pirelli P7 tyres, special seats, front lip spoiler and a rear rubber ‘whale-tail’ spoiler.

Throughout its short production life, the Carrera 3 sat in the middle of the 911 range, between the standard 911 and the Turbo. However, for the 1978 model year, Porsche decided to rationalize the normally-aspirated 911 range into a single car, abandoning the Carrera designation, and renaming the new model the 911 SC. It would be a further six years before the Carrera name reappeared (on a 911 at least) with the introduction of the 3.2 Carrera for the 1984 model year.

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:

‘When shifting, a somewhat softer power delivery lessens the typical Carrera aggressiveness; one has the impression that the power is put down in a less nervous way…Luckily, there are no compromises made at the absolute performance level.’

The performance compared more than favourably as well, at times noticeably so:

‘…the legendary Porsche fist treats its passengers to an unimpaired punch. Only 6.3 seconds pass when the speedometer indicates 100 km/h. Thus, the 1976 Carrera is actually a tenth of a second faster than its 210 PS predecessor. Largely identical values are to be observed at the typical km/h markers: up until 180km/h the new car gains 0.2 seconds with 21 seconds in comparison to its predecessor.’

All this was down to the new car’s improved torque:

‘A comparison of power delivery diagrams explains the miracle: up until 5000 rpm, the three litre machine delivers considerably more power then the 2.7 litre. At 2000 rpm, 73 PS are available as opposed to the 2.7 litres’ 55 PS, at 3000 rpm the ratio is 115 : 85 PS and at 4000 rpm the ratio is 156 : 138 PS. The three litre is also more powerful at 5000 rpm with 187 PS where its predecessor delivers 180 PS. Only over that marker can the old Carrera finally get by and overtake. That is also the explanation for the slightly higher top speed of the old Carrera at 239km/h which, after an hour driving, will be 4 km further afield then the Carrera 3.0.’

The report notes that these impressive performance figures are:

‘even more remarkable as the new car not only has less overall power, but is also 45 kg heavier due to sound insulation…’

…and highlights the characteristic camminess of the Carrera’s new engine, which encourages drivers to maintain high revs as a means of getting the most out of it:

‘Unfulfilled bite up to 4000 rpm is followed by a decent kick when the torque comes really into action before moving into third gear you already reach 100 km/h so, on A-roads, you should start lifting your right foot already. The third gear is easy to slot into, by now you turn the stereo-radio off in order to better appreciate the engine sound, 150 km/h: fourth gear, the car doesn’t stop to pull and continues to progress, 190 km/h and move into 5th all the way to the top.’

As part of its road test the Carrera was put through its paces at the Hockenheim circuit, and the author provides a first hand account of how to make the most of the car’s sensational handling:

‘A first timid round on the Hockenheim circuit provides us with an almost textbook mild understeer with pleasant light steering. When you lift the accelerator in a bend, the Carrera moves good-natured into neutrality. This is courage inspiring. So we enter the next turn a bit more energetic: still understeering, albeit a bit more pronounced, the bushes next to the ameisen turn- in silently call you, weight transfer and there: the rear overtakes you. That’s not how to do it.

Therefore, slowly into the next turn, an empathic progressive acceleration and: yes, now it comes together. With mild overhanging rear and with very slight counter steering it gobbles the bend. It has sniffed blood: faster. Somehow it doesn’t require marking the bend anymore: the car circles – gently controlled and steered by the accelerator – on the fast line of the asphalt. A miracle of traction, not a single wheelspin, all power geared towards progress: it’s intoxicating.’

And for its time, the Carrera’s breaking system proved massively inspiring as well:

‘ An impressive performance is also provided by the 4 inner ventilated disk brakes…by a warmed up braking system the car sets a Sport Auto record: 8.3m/sec3 whilst cold the brakes decrease the vehicle with a very convincing 7.6m/sec3.’

Comparing it to the Turbo, the report noted that the Carrera 3.0 offered a different, and possibly more engaging, driving experience. The Turbo was a car for fast motorway and long-distance cruising, whilst the Carrera was more suited to active driving:

‘In short: A turbo is more a sports car for level-headed people whilst the Carrera attracts more dynamic characters. It would be ideal however, when your garage housed both a turbo and a Carrera: one for the motorways and one for the A-roads.’

Finally, the article summarised the quintessential characteristics that made the car, like all 911s, so desirable:

‘It is only once properly installed behind the small steering wheel, falling boot lid in eyesight, a beefy engine behind, that one realises what one acquires with a Porsche: pure driver’s pleasure.’

And, from earlier in the article, a single line that sums up something of the continuing appeal of the Carrera 3.0:

‘…a full bore accelerating Carrera 3.0 will stimulate your senses and is an acoustic delight.’

Translation: Bert Roex
Scans: Martin Merell (Martin – C3 Registry number 112 – is an official with the Porsche Club Sweden. His car – and tractor – appeared in edition Number 46 of 911 & Porsche World in 1997. A scan of the article can be seen below. Thanks to Martin for his permission to use it on the site)

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
The basically unmodified Type 911 body was changed only in details but, as already mentioned, incorporated high-temperature zinc-coated sheet steel. The decision to use this material was taken only after many years of experimentation, and after the pros and cons of this and other solutions had been thoroughly analysed. The introduction of the zinc-coated sheet metal was Porsche’s latest step in a programme aiming at increasing the life and the overall economy of its vehicles. The previously applied anti-corrosion protection, including the permanent sealing of all box sections. the underpan protection and the high quality finish applied over a primer layer obtained by the electrophoretic process, was retained. In addition to this, the use of rust-resistant aluminium components was extended. They now included the bumpers, the wheels, the rear semi-trailing arms, the front suspension cross member, the engine crankcase, cylinders and pistons. the gearbox housing and the steering gear housing. The stainless steel Targa roll-over structure was also fully corrosion resistant. Modifications to the running gear were very few. As in the other 911 models, the front suspension struts of the Carrera were slightly more inclined inwards to facilitate camber adjustment. The front brakes got new cast iron calipers, providing a friction area identical with that of the light alloy calipers. The front suspension torsion bars had a diameter of 19 mm (0.75 inch) while the anti-roll bar was 20 mm (0.79 inch) thick. The rear torsion bars were 23 mm (0.9 inch) in diameter and the anti-roll bar was of 18 mm (0.7 inch) diameter. The rear wings (fenders) were wider than those of the 911 in order to accommodate the 215/60 VR 15 high speed tyres.

Engine
The capacity increase to 2.993 cc was obtained by increasing the cylinder bore from 90 to 95 mm (3.5 to 3.75 inches). The cast aluminium pistons were obviously new too but the cylinder material was still Nikasil. The compression ratio of 8.5:1 allowed the use of regular grade fuel. The Carrera was fitted with the camshaft housing of the Porsche Turbo, and the camshaft itself was also new. The intake valves were now of 49 mm(1.9 inches) diameter: the exhaust valves were similar to those of the Turbo engine, but were not sodium filled. Engine lubrication was improved by a larger capacity oil pressure pump. The engine cooling blower had only five blades as mentioned. The fuel tank and pump were modified as in the 911-2.7 and the Bosch six-plunger injection pump was replaced by the Bosch K-Jetronic continuous flow injection system, basically similar to the 911-2.7 installation, but of different dimensions.

Transmission
The Carrera 3.0 was equipped with the Type 915/49 four-speed gearbox. A five-speed version and the three-speed Sportomatic were optional. A stronger clutch release cable was used and the cable guiding nipple was screwed to the gearbox housing. In Sportomatic cars, the clutch release governor valve was modified to suit the different intake vacuum resulting from the change from mechanical to K-Jetronic injection. Both the clutch servo and the torque converter housing were modified to suit the higher engine torque.

Equipment
The Carrera 3.0 was exceptionally well equipped. A leather-covered steering wheel, leather-covered seats and interior trim were standard, but cloth and imitation leather were also available. The floor was covered with thick carpets, the door trim panels and the rear cockpit panel were beaded, the rigid door pockets were lined with cloth and the thermostatic heater control was also standard equipment. The coupe had electric window switches. Further standard equipment of both coupe and Targa models was an electrically adjustable and

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.

The C3.0 had 39/36 mm intake/exhaust ports with 49/41.5 mm valves, and when modified with the 74 style exhaust systems (2 into 1 like all earlier 911s) often produce 215-220 hp at 7000 rpm. They reach the same torque value as the C2.7 (188 lb-ft) at 4200 compared with the C2.7 at 5100 with the S cams. They have same cranks as the C2.7s which makes them rev quickly compared to the later 911 SC, and tests showed the 78 SC slower than the C3.0: 6.3 sec vs 6.1 sec for 0-100 km/h, and 15.8 sec vs 15.0 sec for 0-160 km/h. When compared to the US 74/75 Carreras, with 175 hp, the C3.0 out performs them handily…6.1 sec vs 7.3 sec 0-62 mph, and 15.8 sec vs 18.7 sec 0-100 mph.

Ok, enough specs and data comparisons…here is my 76 Carrera 3.0 in Platinum Metallic with a fresh paint job…(but no passenger seat yet, still working on the interior details). These are really sleeper cars in the 70s Carrera family, few produced, high performance, still light (1090-1100 kg–2400-2420 lb), and with the zinc coatings, most are not rust buckets when found today (at least those living in the sunny climes of the US.) A smile always comes to my face when I drive this car….it’s a little hot rod for sure.