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The Porsche 930 and the Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS are two vehicles that helped define the 1970s luxury car market. With looks that kill and performance that thrills, vintage car enthusiasts adore all that these two vehicles have to offer.
Germany and Italy will go head-to-head our comparison highlighting each of these cars:
Ferrari’s production of the 308 GTB/GTS ran from 1975-1985. Known to the public as the 911 Turbo—Porsche manufactured the 930 from 1975-1989. This relatively similar timespan sets the stage for a car debate that will require some deep digging.
Let’s begin by evaluating Porsche 930 performance specs.
Bigger brakes and a four-speed transmission were a jumping-off point that allowed Porsche to separate the 930 from base 911 models. It didn’t take long for the 930 to draw U.S. market attention. Porsche 930s made their U.S. debut in 1976 with an impressive 276 horsepower. This level of horsepower was extremely uncommon during the time. Most American cars contained average V8’s that fell far short of the 930’s stellar performance.
There’s a widespread agreement among car enthusiasts that the 930 is one of the most beloved Porsche’s of all time. The model’s performance plays a big role in justifying its popularity. 930s came to life after Porsche began experimenting with turbos during the late 60s and early 70s. Multiple body and suspension changes began to pave the way for the 930’s exceptional performance.
All Porsche 911 Turbos came with a single large turbo that spoke for itself. The four-speed manual gave 930s the ability to rev up the big turbo in no time at all. Fast forward to the 1989 Porsche 930, and you’ll see that a 5-speed transmission hindered this 930’s performance as the car fell out of boost between gear switches.
The 930’s lightning-fast performance led to many body modifications over the years that optimized performance. Significant 911 Turbo modifications include the Slantnose 930 S, which became a smash hit during the early 80s.
Notable Slantnose 930 S specs include:
1978 was a big developmental year for the 930’s performance. The type 930 increased its engine size to 3.3-liters this year and added an intercooler that raised the car’s horsepower to 300. Stronger brakes and a slightly raised spoiler helped accommodate this 1978 power upgrade.
356 model Porsche fans most likely love the 930 Speedster. Porsche released the 930 Speedster as an anniversary celebration of its original 356 release. The 930 Speedster’s naturally aspirated 3.2-liter engine produced impressive early 80s numbers like 195 lb-ft of torque and 0-60 mph in only 5.9 seconds. Ernst Fuhrmann played a central role in the original 930’s development. Fuhrmann adapted turbo technology used in the racer 917/30 model to the 1974 Carrera RS’ 3.0-liter flat-six engine.
Larger wheels, flared fenders, and wider tires helped support the Porsche 930’s massive power output. The 930’s sizable rear spoiler served a higher purpose. This spoiler allowed the 930 to produce downforce within the vehicle’s rear while simultaneously increasing engine airflow. You might be wondering when car power starts to spawn driving issues. Porsche’s 930 produced turbo lag during cornering that could result in the swerving out of control. Inexperienced drivers were naturally the most common victims of the 930’s cornering problems. More experienced drivers kept the 930 at high revs, which created a higher sense of balance that complimented the car’s speedy performance.
Emissions regulations impacted the 930’s ability to render early and mid-80s U.S. sales. The 930 didn’t return to U.S. markets until 1986. This waiting period was well worth it as the 930 contained 278-horsepower emissions-controlled engine. Targa and Cabriolet 1986 930 models further propelled U.S. sales.
There’s no doubt that the Porsche 930 offered groundbreaking performance that left other auto manufacturers with their work cut out for them. Let’s see how the Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS performance compares.
Early tests 308 GTB tests proved successful for Ferrari. 0-60 mph in only 6.5 seconds plus a top speed of over 150 mph showed the public that the 308 GTB was worth considering. One of the most interesting aspects of the 308 GTB is that it contained fewer cylinders than Enzo Ferrari’s standard 12 cylinders. The 308 GTB became an instant hit with a price tag around 2/3rd the MSRP of a Berlinetta Boxster.
Ferrari 308 GTB models made good use of their V8 configuration with dry-sump lubrication and a group of four twin-choke Weber air filters. Tough U.S. emissions standards forced Ferrari to lower the 308 GTB’s horsepower to 237 while European models boasted 252 horsepower. 1980 led to a decline of the 308 GTB’s performance as fuel injection took the place of carburetors. Drivers wanting more power will benefit from opting for earlier 308 GTB models.
GTB models refer to the Berlinetta coupe, while the GTS represents the Targa version. One major perk associated with a 308 is their reputation for dependability when taken care of. Dependability remains a priceless asset in the realm of vintage luxury sportscars. The 308’s transmission was a 5-speed dog-leg manual. A dog-leg transmission emphasizes fast and exciting driving with a uniquely shaped shift pattern sequence. This shape we’re referring to is a positioning of the reverse gear on the bottom left. 308 drivers have the unique opportunity to start their car in 2nd gear, which is perfect for fast pickup or steep inclines.
Noteworthy elements of the 308’s 2.9-liter engine include:
The 308’s front accessory drive is accessible when you remove the car’s right rear wheel. A limited-slip differential supplies the Ferrari 308 with power in an extensive range of driving scenarios. You might compare the 308’s horsepower levels with the Porsche 930 and end up siding with the 930. We wouldn’t blame you—but we would have you consider your ability to easily add an extra 100 horsepower to the 308 with the car’s many aftermarket upgrade opportunities.
Now onto the performance verdict.
We’re going with the Porsche 930 when it comes to performance. Yes, the Ferrari 308’s reliability is an essential component of its performance review—but what are drivers really seeking with these two vehicles? Drivers getting behind the wheel of a Porsche 930 or Ferrari 308 are most likely seeking power. You’ll find what you’re looking for in the front seat of a Porsche 930.
We’re able to see continual evolution within the Porsche 930’s performance capabilities. Porsche was able to make a major U.S. comeback with its 1986 930 models that met emissions standards with 278-horsepower. Keeping the 930 at high revs allows you to reap all of the amazing performance benefits that this Porsche has to offer. Intelligent design features like bigger brakes and wider tires helped support the 930’s unreal power. What’s truly amazing is Porsche’s ability to pack all of this power into a four-speed transmission.
Higher horsepower levels, significant design evolution, and hot-selling special editions are the reason we’re siding with the Porsche 930’s performance over the Ferrari 308.
Let’s dive into an interior and exterior comparison of these two legendary 70s vehicles.
The Porsche 930 interior’s hand-built nature justifies the high costs you’ll incur during restorations. Available color contrast options helped the 930’s interior live up to its potential. Porsche enthusiasts will find that the 930’s interior shares many similarities with previous Porsche models. Minor controls within 930 models contained scattered positioning while the five-dial instrument pack remained unchanged.
Leather within the 930’s cockpit contains a notoriously soft touch that runs across the car’s dash top. Noteworthy 930 TAG Turbo interior additions during the 80s included racing bucket seats along with a TAG brand tachometer that featured a 10,000 rpm redline.
So, how does the Ferrari 308’s interior compare?
Retro styling fans will fall in love with what the 308’s interior has to offer. This Ferrari’s straightforward three-spoke steering wheel and gated shift translate to a race-like driving experience. The basic sporty leather seats scream classic Ferrari. Every interior control within the 308 offers a high response rate that’s complemented by symmetrical design.
The Ferrari 308’s analog instruments convey far more information than your typical digital display. 308’s offers high visibility levels since the car’s design took place before the government-mandated airbag installation. Balance all this car’s convenient interior with exterior features like a Targa top, and you have a recipe for an unforgettable driving experience.
Porsche 930’s soft, elegant leather interior isn’t enough to beat the 308’s exceptional interior design. 308 models offer a more driver-friendly interior than the 930. This interior accessibility fits seamlessly into the balanced approach that the Ferrari 308 is so well known for. The interior controls contain more organization, while the simple sport seats and three-spoke steering wheel more than prep you for a quality ride.
930 Models like the Slantnose offered a unique front-end that utilized features like hideaway headlights and an intensely raked front-end. The Slantnose 930S’ looks weren’t all for show as these exterior design components improved aerodynamics. This same idea applies to the aforementioned 930 rear spoilers that helped increase engine airflow. Porsche’s use of a rear spoiler on 930 models is often met with mixed public reviews from a visual standpoint.
Slantnose 930s we’re part of Porsche’s special-order program in 1981. Front fenders on Slantnose 930s were cut before being shaped by hand. This handcraftsmanship partially explains the Slantnose 930s high price tag as the models are much rarer than other 930 models.
The 1978 930 tea tray spoiler lent major assistance to the car’s added intercooler that increased the car’s power output.
Ferrari 308 GTB’s were the company’s first fiber glassed-bodied cars for two years. 70s car enthusiasts can instantly identify the 308 wedged appearance that runs deep in the decade’s approach to sports car design. Deep side vents and circular taillights give the 308 a sophisticated and sporty appearance that’s hard to beat. Most 308 models are steel-bodied.
You might recognize the Ferrari 308 as Tom Selleck’s ride in Magnum P.I. This pop-culture fact instantly scores the Ferrari 308 some points in the exterior department. New fog lights and a rear spoiler increased the 308’s GTSi Quatrovalvole’s downforce from 1982-1985. The 308’s exterior design is simply timeless. With stunning mid-engine proportions and instant recognition from car lovers, the 308’s exterior excels.
We’re siding with the Ferrari 308’s exterior. This design helped propel Ferrari into mainstream recognition. At its core, the Ferrari 308 is affordable luxury that doesn’t sacrifice looks. 308 drivers will have no problem drawing double takes wherever they go.
Porsche undoubtedly made incredible exterior design progress with 930s models in the early 80s with their Slatnose editions. The difference-maker in this debate is that the 930s exterior is mostly business as usual, with performance being the real point of emphasis.
Our final tally marks the Ferrari 308 as the winner over the Porsche 930.
Do you agree with our decision? Or do you feel the Porsche 930s top-tier performance is worth more than the Ferrari 308’s interior and exterior design features? Be sure to share your opinion in the comment section of our social media feeds.
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.
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