Whale Tail – “The sea was angry that day, my friends.”

As you may have guessed by now, I have a man crush of sorts on the 911 Turbo. Really any model or year of Turbo. It started many years ago when I first started loving Porsches. It didn’t take long before I discovered the wickedest Porsche of them all (at least from a kid’s perspective)…the 911 Turbo. Aside from the blinding performance of the car in that day, there were two factors that contributed to my love of the 911 Turbo the most: the Whale Tail and Flared Fenders.

In my opinion, these two things went hand in hand. I thought cars looked funny with one but not the other. The whale tail was by far the coolest stylistic differentiator that made me really fall in love with the Turbo. It served several key functions such as housing the intercooler (in later years) and providing some important downforce for the rear end at high speeds.

More importantly it set the Turbo apart as a no holds barred, in your face, “I’ll blow any of your weakling cars off the road” car. Whether or not it could actually make good on the smack it was subconsciously talking didn’t really matter. Looking at that car just made it seem like those things had to be true. In fact, I just saw a late 80’s 911 Turbo at a dealership and still had the same feelings. My daughter, who doesn’t really like the whale tail, even loved the car and pegged it as one of her favorites of the day at the dealership among Porsches, Ferraris, etc.

Fast forward to today and I have to say, I miss the whale tail. I was in a local Porsche dealership last week and walked by a 2008 911 Turbo sitting on the showroom floor. It was an amazing looking car, and I liked the updated styling, but still missed the big old appendage on the back of the car and overstated fender flares.

Maybe Porsche will do some retro version of the 911 Turbo some day and bring back those old styling characteristics. Better yet, maybe I should just find a 1970’s vintage 930 and have the real thing!


  1. I could not agree more with this post. Every time I pass a 1988 Porsche Turbo I melt. That tremendous whale tail and huge flared fenders gets me every time.

  2. My friend and co-worker owns a beautiful silver 996. No flared fenders of course. However, due to an unexpected expedition with an expedition that backed into the car, he decided to move from the factory deck lid to a really cool 996 Turbo-style tail.

    The car already had an aero kit on it…but after putting the new tail on he said the car gets twice the attention that it used to without it. I agree…there is something about the tail that you either get or don’t get.

    Speaking of tails (or spoilers), I couldn’t ever understand why all of these tuner cars had these big old spoilers on them. The Subaru STI (boxer engine!?!) and the Mitsubishi EVO. What the heck is the deal. I didn’t get it. At first. But then I bought a 500hp STI with that ridiculous tail and I got it. Going over 100mph (on a closed course, of course) it generates downforce and although I can’t say I felt it, “they” say it really helps.

    Porsche tails and Rally Car tails are different, I know, but I still say you either get it or you don’t.

  3. i remember when i was a little kid and dad would always point out the huge whale tail on these cars. mmmmm brings back some good memories

  4. Best thing about a whale tail…..Looks like it belongs there and somethings wrong without one!

  5. I love the whale tail on the old 930 widebody. It is truly a classic and would love to have one someday.

  6. I will always love those whale tails

  7. I saw one similar to the picture last week with the whale tail and all. It was cool, and all I could think about was getting to drive it.

  8. Phil Schneider says

    The older turbos were beefier

  9. mitchell says

    does that make you the old man trying to send soup back in a deli?


    that is one nice looking fish
    er, mammal