Foreward

Friday, 16 December 2011

First Porsche 930 turbo


When the first ever Porsche 930 turbo demonstrator arrived in the UK, registration plate GLP 870 N, I went down to Harpers to see it. Harry Olrog was preparing the car off the car transporter, which usually meant removing all the protective wrappers and de-waxing the exterior. The car was then driven a couple of miles up the road on trade plates to AFN for pre-delivery inspection in the workshops. This particular car was Guards red with black leather interior and although the standard car was specified as a 3.0 litre flat 6 single turbo charged unit developing 260 bhp, this demonstrator had been up rated to 300 bhp.
Nick Faure had been engaged by Porsche Cars Great Britain to take and accompany potential customers out in this demonstration car on test drives. I think Porsche Cars Great Britain were worried about turning the average customer loose in a Porsche 930 turbo on their own, which was likely to be a recipe for disaster due to the unfamiliar turbo lag, massive amount of torque and power the car delivered, which could apparently catch out even an experienced driver.
Anyhow, Nick duly arrived in the evening to pick up the 930 turbo from AFN and he drove straight around to Harpers to see Bill Bates and me, as I spent most of my spare time at Bill’s. Nick asked me if I wanted to go down to his house in Surrey with him in the newest Porsche in the land and I jumped at the chance to spend the evening in this fantastic car.
After a coffee, Bill waved us off and we were soon weaving our way through the traffic and Nick was feeding me all the responses he was getting from the Porsche 930 turbo first hand. The traction of the car in top (4th gear) was unbelievable and it would pull away in top gear at engine idle speed due to its massive torque and just keep accelerating. We soon wound our way along the winding damp leafy Surrey lanes and Nick was playing around with the car to see how it handled. It occasionally tried to catch him out but Nick was more than capable of handling this car and we had an enormous amount of fun together. We duly arrived at Nick’s large flat, which was above Sidney & Faye Jordan’s magnificent house called High Wykehurst, on the Surrey - Sussex border just behind the village of Ewhurst. 
Syd was a commercial artist and produced the Jeff Hawk cartoon strips for national newspapers and was also a founder member of the Porsche Club in the early days when he drove a Porsche 356 Carrera 4 cam. He had since sold his Porsche and at that time drove a Mercedes 280 Coupe.
High Wykehurst was very grand and I was surprised to find out that Syd did not own this entire house. They had the major part of the ground floor, but there was a second part of the house owned by someone else with their own entrance around the back. Nick and his wife Caroline had the attic area, which in the old days of this house would have been the servant’s quarters, which had been turned into a magnificent flat for them. I stayed over with Nick & Caroline that evening and in the morning after breakfast we took the Porsche 930 turbo down to Brighton for another run.  We then drove back to Isleworth and Nick was trying the car out on every type of surface and road type.
I must have been one of the first people ever to ride and have a drive in a Porsche 930 turbo in the United Kingdom an experience to be remembered.
Nick was also a commercial artist and he was working on a montage of all the Porsche cars Bill Bates had owned. Bill did not know about this and I often would sneak some photographs out to give to Nick to copy into his work. Nick showed me his work in progress the previous evening whilst I was visiting. Some weeks later Bill was really surprised and taken back when Nick presented the finished work it to him.

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