Martini and Porsche share a long history, especially in motorsport. The legendary Martini stickers were first added on to a Scuderia Lufthansa Porsche 910, which was the first car to wear the Martini stickers. Since then, Porsche and Martini shared a great relationship, such as the 911 RSR and the Le Mans-winning 917s and 935s. But, it was not only Porsche’s race cars that showed the close relationship between the two giants. There was a special car built to celebrate the success of the two companies: the 930 Martini Championship Edition.
The 930 Martini Championship Edition debuted in the 1976 London Motor Show. Porsche had a huge success in motorsport that year with their cars. They conquered the World Championship for Manufacturers with their 935, while winning the World Sportscar Championship with a 936. Both of the cars wore the legendary stripes of Martini & Rossi but also had another similarity, it was based on the roadgoing 930 Turbo.
To celebrate the iconic year, two companies decided to produce a roadgoing collaboration. As expected, it was the 930 Turbo these two companies decided to work on. Porsche decided to offer Martini Racing Stripes on their 930 Turbo vehicles as an option(Option code M42) and was only available in Grand Prix White cars. The stripes run down both sides of the bodywork into the rear end. The stripes accent the car and its wide wheel arches, giving it an even more racy feel.
However, although there are quite a lot of cars with the M42 option, there are only a few ‘genuine’ limited edition Martini Championship Edition cars. These cars can be identified from their bespoke interior. Base 930 interiors were only offered in one color and no special orders were available until Sonderwunsch(Special wishes) department was founded in 1979. In contrast, the Martini Championship Edition boasted not one, not two, but a three-tone interior.
The three-tone interior was deeply inspired by Martini’s tri-colour scheme of red, blue, and white, which are also used in the Martini stripes. Also, the Fuhrmann Orthopaedic seats were first introduced as an option for the Martini Championship Edition. Originally called the Porsche Orthopaedic seats, these seats were devised by Dr. Ernst Fuhrmann to give more support from the seats to drivers who had osteopathic concerns while driving, including himself. These Fuhrmann Orthopaedic seats have two cushions on the base and the backrest. The cushions are finished in red and blue, which further adds more spice than the standard white and blue seats.
The rest of the cabin also featured well-designed details. For instance, the boost gauge was added inside the rev counter to give the driver a sense of how much boost he was getting. Also, a gold Porsche plaque was added to the gearshifter, and higher quality wool carpets were used. Furthermore, quite a lot of options including air conditioning, sunroof, window and headlight washers, and rear window wipers came as standard.
How does it drive then? There were no performance changes on the Martini Championship Edition. Therefore, the car drives pretty much like a 930 Turbo. According to Lee Sibley, an automotive journalist who got the chance to drive a 1979 3.3L version of the Martini Championship Edition states, “To drive, the Martini is forthcoming with its usual Turbo traits – think comedy lag to three-and-a-half grand, back-slinging inertia thereafter and gearing longer than a summer’s day in Scandinavia. A drive which requires thought and, at times, a great deal of guts, it’s a frankly brilliant mix and serves up arguably the most entertaining Turbo experience of any generation before or since.”
In the 3.3L version(which accounts for most of the Martini Championship Editions), the flat-six engine, with a single turbocharger, produce 300hp, which is not a lot but is still a sufficient amount to have fun. The car’s weight distribution is extremely uneven, with its 230kg engine in the rear of the car. However, it is the engine which is in the ‘wrong place’ that makes this 930 a challenging, but rewarding car to drive. The 3.3L version also features 917 derived ventilated brakes, which was a feature ahead of competitors.
Despite the exact numbers of the Martini Championship Edition is unknown, it is not the rarity that makes this car special. It is the craftsmanship and the detail Porsche and Martini had put into the car that makes this car the most desirable 930 ever built. The 930’s spoiler and the ‘Porsche butt’ is enough to make petrolheads drool. But once you add some Martini stripes and a bespoke interior, it will be stuck into your heart like a lead bullet, leaving an unforgettable memory that will make you crave for it.
At the end of the day...
“My love affairs with Porsches started as a ten-year-old, when my father took me to the London Earl's Court Motor Show. That was where I first laid eyes on the white Martini Turbo."
"In the blink of an eye, I fell in love with the car. ”