Imagine for a moment that it’s the mid-’80s. You’re in Germany, working at the Porsche factory in Stuttgart in a job that splits your time between the Sonderwunschprogramm (translation: ‘Special Wishes Program’), where you’re an engineer, and the test track, where your driving skills are put to use evaluating the company’s latest automotive technologies.
You’re exposed to some amazing machines on a daily basis, but it’s an extra special one when a white, right-hand drive 930 Turbo comes through with the M505 ‘Flachbau’ option ticked. The ‘flatnose’ conversion gives the car a 934/935 race car look for the road, but the owner of this 930 has also checked option 220, a limited-slip differential, which the vast majority of Turbos are leaving the factory without.
For whatever reason, the car makes a bit of an impression on you, and although that fades in the weeks and months that follow, this particular special wish build will likely never completely escape your mind. That’s why, the following year, after you’ve taken up a managerial role with Porsche in South Africa, you know exactly what you’re looking at when a white 930 Turbo Flachbau rolls into the workshop. A VIN check confirms that it’s the car.
I’m not entirely sure if Robert Reister – the Porsche engineer, test driver and manager in question here – believes in fate, but I guess he might. Because then and there, he decided that he’d one day own the 930. A little over a decade later, he actually made it happen.
The car is not in his possession now – Robert indirectly sold it on to its current owner in 2010 – but the fruits of his labour remain intact. Those fruits come in a number of different forms, but improved performance was always Robert’s underlying goal with the 930. With his background, keeping it standard was never an option.
In modifying the Turbo to his own specification, Robert made a few select changes to the exterior. The giant 993 RS wing is an obvious later-model addition, and it’s hard to miss the 964 RS front bumper and rear end treatment either.
For wheels, inspiration came from Porsche race cars of the time, and those three-piece, gold-centered BBS 18s look right at home.
The 930 would have left the Porsche factory with 325hp from its 3.3L turbocharged flat-six, but today it’s making around 400hp thanks to a few internal and external upgrades. There’s 964 Turbo camshafts, 935 headers running a 964 K27 turbocharger, a huge intercooler, uprated turbo oil scavenge pump and MoTeC engine management.
In a previous specification that reputedly saw the car hit 193mph (310km/h), Robert had the engine tuned up to 650hp with race-spec camshafts, forged pistons and a higher compression ratio among other changes.
Getting all the power to the ground is a Patrick Motorsport race clutch and lightweight flywheel running into a RUF 5-speed gearbox and that aforementioned OEM option LSD.
The limited slip differential helps immensely, as do the super-sticky 295/35ZR18 Bridgestone Potenza RE050 semi-slicks out back (RE002 265/35R18s up front). In the suspension department, Bilstein dampers and three-way adjustable stabiliser bars have vastly improved the 930’s infamous roadholding, while 993 Turbo brakes do the same for its ability to slow and stop from speed.
Inside, the 930 remains as Robert specced it – RS style. There’s a half cage painted white to match the exterior, lightweight carbon fibre door cards with pull straps, 964 RS carbon fibre-shelled Recaro seats re-trimmed in leather and fitted with OMP Racing harness belts, and an OMP Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel. The gear knob, which has been with the car forever, provides a little wooden warmth to the otherwise black cabin.
Although it seems like this 930 was built up for competition use, the truth is that it never saw a race in Robert’s care. It was, however, a Porsche Club South Africa regular and fellow owners didn’t need to ask Robert twice for a passenger ride. One friend, who had driven many 930 Turbos in his time, said this car genuinely scared him.
When the 930’s current custodian – the owner of a specialist Porsche workshop – was offered the car, he wasn’t really interested. Turbos and Flachbaus had never been his thing. But after his very first drive, that all changed. The combination of extra power with more linear boost delivery, lighter weight than a factory 930 Turbo and the handling improvements Robert made, make it a pleasure to drive, even for the daily commute in traffic. The only aspect that may be changed in time is the seats. They sit a little too high for the current owner, so will likely be swapped out for original 930 Turbo units at some point.
As it sits though, it’s an amazing addition to his collection. 930 Turbos are cool, but a 930 Turbo Flachbau with enhancements by a Porsche factory engineer and test driver is something else.
Photos by Stefan Kotzé
I'm inspired by such unique cars. They made a mark in history. It was why I designed a flachbau C8 Corvette. Nobody notices it on a tiny youtube profile, but when they do, it's the same reaction as the actual porsche flatnose. Either "ew that looks unsettling" or "whoah that's cool"
regardless, I wish this car was a trendsetter, not just a rare sight for the industry. It looks otherworldly on the street, and has so much more presence than its standard rivals.
Liked the article, looking forward to your next coverage.