How A Porsche 930 Turbo Went From The Royal Family Of Bahrain To Iceland
Photography by Birgir & Bjorn Kristinsson
If you were born in the sixties or early seventies, chances are your bedroom walls included either a Lamborghini Countach or a Porsche 930 Turbo. Petur Haraldsson, the owner of this golden beauty, clearly had the latter. He recalls driving through downtown Reykjavík with his mother in their family Volvo one day when he saw a black Turbo-look 911 in the process of turning traffic into Swiss cheese, and the as he says “The look and sound of that Porsche has stayed with me ever since; I had never seen anything like that before, the wide hips and huge spoiler! We tried to keep up to it but there was no chance.”
Petur knew a Turbo was the one to get when he grew up, and it was all the incentive this young man needed to sock away his allowances and everything else he earned. When he was 19, Petur thought he’d amassed enough to put a Porsche key in his pocket, and he set off to find one (this is before the market started its steep rise). The thing is, there weren’t a lot of Porsches in Iceland at the time, and the ones that were available tended to be 924s, 944s, and just the occasional 911, let alone a Turbo. Nothing stuck, and he kept searching for the right car.
Finally, he found the black Turbo-look car that had been ingrained in his mind from so many years earlier, but the excitement was tempered by the condition; the years had not been kind to this particular 911. Finding the car again may have seemed like destiny, but the practical concerns of the time and money required to bring it back to life meant this piece of personal history had to be left behind as the search continued.
A few months later, another Turbo-look appeared for sale. This time it was a Targa, and this time it was worth spending just about everything he had to own it. It was a 1977 2.7 car with the Turbo-look kit, painted white and riding on BBS mesh wheels with gold-painted centers. It had the spoiler, the hips, the wheels, a stunning combination, and one that Petur would enjoy for just shy of two decades. He decided to move to Germany, and this is when the white car was reluctantly sold. However, spending time on Porsche’s home turf soon saw him taken with 911 fever once again, and he set off to look for a black G-series wide body with the 3.2-liter flat-six instead of the older 2.7 this time around. Somewhere between one bad car and another, Petur thought about his childhood 930 poster and thought “Why not chase the ultimate dream?”
So, the 930 was the new target, and interestingly enough, Petur found options back in Iceland. While on holiday from his work in Germany, he contacted every 930 owner in Iceland (there were three), and it turned out that two were willing to sell. One was a 1980 car that needed too much work, so that was out, but the other was a different story. The Helibronze metallic Turbo had clocked only 30,000 miles since 1984, and it showed in its condition—a beautiful car but quite expensive. Eventually the two arrived on a price though, and Petur drove away happy in the Burgundy drivers seat. It was a wild color combination, befitting Petur’s notion of the ultimate dream car.
This car was a special-order from the factory, and it was ready to be exported on September 26th, 1984. Its destination? Performance Cars Bahrain, where it arrived soon after completion, on October 20th. Its owner was a member of Bahrain’s royal family, and it led a pampered, sheltered life. 18 years later, the 930 was taken by its second owner, an American solider stationed in the country. That soldier would go on to a reassignment in, you guessed it, Iceland. He brought his 930 along with him to the NATO base he was working at, and he intended to import the car to the States when he eventually made his way back home. However, the euro-spec vehicle was too much of a hassle to bring in (legally anyway), and so the soldier decided to part ways with his 930 in Iceland. Lucky for the Petur and the two other Icelanders who owned it before him!
So, Petur took ownership of the golden 930 in Iceland, and brought it back to Frankfurt where he lived with his family. He enjoyed the car in this setting (especially on unrestricted Autobahns), though he still had some ties to Iceland that extended to the car. With fellow members of the Icelandic Porsche Club, he took the 930 on a trip to Stuttgart on the European Porsche Parade to visit the birthplace of his beloved car. They continued on from the Museum to Chantilly, just north of Paris. He says the camaraderie of the Parade was like no other he’d experienced, but in terms of sheer driving excitement nothing can beat the Alps. Petur has done several runs into the alpine elevation, and typically with other air-cooled enthusiasts joining him.
The beautiful Alpine passes can be treacherous of course, and the roads are very demanding of man and machinery that intend to travel at speed. It’s an exhilarating way to drive the car, and after climbing the tarmac snake to the summit the rewards extend beyond the view; the adrenaline is still pumping freely, heat is distorting the air above the deck lid, there are the sounds of metal ticking as it cools… The scenery and shape of the roads is unbelievable, but again, it is the community of the fellow Porsche owners that are right alongside Petur in these moments that make them unforgettable.
It really is unbelievable how well a 30-plus-year-old Porsche can cope with the alpine conditions; the 930 is quite demanding to drive anywhere, but on the edge of a cliff, with no power steering, no electronic aids of any kind, and four long gears, it’s a tricky dance to do correctly. And then there’s the fact that the turbo sometimes kicks in mid-apex with such a wallop that you hold on to dear life hoping not to fly off the next cloud-splitting curve.
The feeling, the smell of oil and gasoline, the sound on run-off going downhill when the 930 really growls—it gives you goosebumps every time. Today, the 930 is back with Petur and family in Iceland, and is being thoroughly enjoyed along the curvy country roads framed with the striking nature of the landscape.