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)

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