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.

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