April 23, 2018
“Without the 3.0-liter Turbo, Porsche’s turbocharged racing story would be a shadow of what it is today and, perhaps, Porsche would never have achieved the reputation of being the groundbreaking, technology-driven manufacturer that it still trades on today.”
Enough with the preliminaries. Yes, this book is an “event” unto itself—not least considering its arduous and oft-delayed production path—and while the turmoil probably put a few nails into its perfectionist author-publisher’s coffin, it’ll give you the entirely uncommon thought that there is, still, intelligent life out there. If you are a 911 fan, especially a Turbo fan, none of this will matter because you already know that, based on the strength of the author’s previous work, this is not a book you can afford to be on the fence about. Only 2500 copies (plus 300 in the $595 Publisher’s Edition that was used for this review) exist anyway, so, spool up that turbo and get your order in.
If you have the patience, start your exploration of the book with the 20-page “Behind the Scenes” Supplement. It’ll give you a mighty appreciation for the fantastic amount of thought and work that goes into producing a book of this caliber. And that’s if everything goes well . . . Murphy’s Law could have been invented for the publishing world. . . . People who’ve been aware of this book project for the last few years and had to readjust their “now I can die happy” clock repeatedly know well enough the litany of production challenges Snodgrass had to overcome in order to adhere to his vision. Now the book is here, at last, and of course it was worth the wait. As did the previous book, the new one raises the bar in regards to “richness” in terms of presentation, selection and organization, and distinguishes itself in regards to the integrity of the data, inferences drawn, new micro details added to the record.
A necessary caveat: the book deals only with the original run of 3L Turbos, the 2874 cars built 1975–77. Even if you are—tsk, tsk!—someone to whom all 911s look alike, a 911 Turbo, or, properly, a Porsche 930, is instantly recognizable. Hint; it’s that tail! Throughout its life it was Porsche’s top-of-the-line model, and as engineer-turned-race driver Jürgen Barth (a Porsche author, too) rightly says in his Foreword, at its launch it was the fastest production car in Germany but still even civilians found it “a really fun car to drive” at the limit—if they had been properly briefed on its use, by the likes of him.
For motorcars that burn gasoline, especially performance cars, turbocharging is nowadays a hot topic and so anyone who looks at the technology angle will benefit from seeing here how the first road car produced in series tackled the problems.
The Turbo 3.0 book picks up where the author’s previous one on the Carrera 2.7 ends, both in terms of chronology and also technical evolution. The books were conceived as companion volumes and what little overlap there is between the two in regards to especially photos is only for the sake of rounding out certain aspects of the story.
To thread the needle, Snodgrass offers a quick summary of the technical principles behind forced induction and showcases early applications including ships and aircraft. One of the automotive projects actually involved a young Ferdinand Porsche, in the 1920s (working on the Mercedes-Benz SSK), decades before the firm he was yet to found would become a leader in this technology. This section really is only a high-level snapshot and the novice reader will probably not gain a fully rounded understanding of why turbos were so complicated and therefore costly and also failure prone and therefore were considered unfeasible for mass-produced road cars.
The level of magnification changes drastically once the story turns to Porsche, first the racecars beginning with the all-dominant 917. The existing Porsche literature is immensely deep and it can’t have been easy for Snodgrass to reconcile different accounts, choose which gaps to fill, and clean up the data. From the business case to design parameters to marketing strategies to specs for different world markets, this one authoritative books puts it all your fingertips.
On the illustrative side there are many gems and almost half the images have never before been published. In terms of craft the cutaway [above] by Makotu Ouchi must rank supreme. Moreover, it is the first ever of a Turbo 3.0! The in-period photography of the Porsche factory by Guy Morrison adds singular detail; images of his were already used in the Carrera book as was the contemporary studio work of Michael Furman. The layout is easy on the eyes and the prose, detail laden as it is, a joy to read.
Much more could be said but the case could not be made more persuasive: Whether you are a Turbo owner/aspirant or a bibliophile book geek, on every count, this book is significant.
May 18, 2018
Following its domination of the Can-Am racing series in 1972 and 1973, Porsche used its experience with turbocharging technology gained in motorsports for serial sports car production. Launched in 1975 with a turbocharged flat-six engine, flared wheel arches to accommodate wider wheels, and unmistakable “whale tail” rear spoiler, the 930 Turbo was revolutionary in its performance. It was the fastest German production car upon its introduction, helping Porsche to fortify its reputation as a seminal sports car manufacturer.
Following in the considerable wake of his award-winning Carrera 2.7, author Ryan Snodgrass again hones in with laser-like focus on just a single variant of the iconic 930 Turbo—the earliest 3.0-liter examples produced from September 1974 through June 1977—tracing the model’s roots and origin during an era that is often referred to as a dark time for performance cars.
May 10, 2018
Ryan Snodgrass is an excellent storyteller who proved capable of making the subject of a single Porsche model – the 911 Carrera 2.7 MFI – engaging reading supplemented with exceptional documentation. That book had no shortcomings.
However, when Snodgrass set out to relate the planning, engineering, styling, and development history of the Typ 930, he used his own work as his benchmark. Then he reset it a great deal higher with his latest book turbo 3.0. This work – throughout – tends to humble the word “encyclopedic” as Snodgrass explores every element of turbocharging and the turbocharged Porsche 911 in detailed photos, diagrams, and documents. There are pages (and pages) of paint color representations, a complete series on actual cars, and an astonishing chart identifying ALL Turbo 3.0 colors and the frequency of their appearance in 1975, 1976, and 1977.
March 26, 2018
We air freighted in several pallets of Turbo 3.0: Publisher Edition books late last month and have shipped out at least one book for every pre-order placed before November 1, 2017. Within those pallets a few Turbo 3.0: Limited Editions arrived, and those were shipped out to the very earliest orders from last May 2017.
Another small batch of Publisher Edition books arrived in Seattle this week and will be shipped out over the next few days. Mid-April an air freight of 120 books arrives into Seattle International Airport, mostly Limited Editions, and will be shipped out to those who pre-ordered last Summer and Fall. In May, the container ship will arrive in at the Port of Seattle with the remainder of the books which will go out to the remaining pre-orders.
Your patience will be well rewarded. The Turbo 3.0 book shaped up to be an exceptional book which we think is unparalleled to any of the 400+ automotive books in our library. Anxiously awaiting? See what the very first readers think in their reviews of the book.
© 2013–2018 Parabolica Press LLC
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