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