July saw Ryan Snodgrass' second book come to market, Turbo 3.0 — Porsche's First Turbocharged Supercar. Another superb offering from Snodgrass, and I personally love his panache for design and layout. He is also one of the pioneers of what I call, the "future of automotive publishing" by giving the customer a lot of specific details. Perfect for anyone who either owns one of the cars or is looking to buy one. This limited edition of 2500 copies has 536 pages and comes slipcased. The book was also nominated for "The Royal Automobile Club Book of the Year."
Review by Porsche Road & Race of the Turbo 3.0 book:
Amongst its numerous attributes, Porsche sports cars have always been about performance, engineering, innovation and being different. From the production of the very first sports car to bear the Porsche name, the 356 which came into this world in 1948, the company has strived to excel with each successive model. In this same mould, the 911 Turbo 3.0 is just one of Porsche’s many milestone achievements that have set this manufacturer apart from the rest of the motor industry.
In the same way that the Atlantic salmon swims upstream against the strong flow of a river to reach the headwaters to spawn, so too has Porsche avoided the easy path to achieve its goals. Many motor manufacturers might claim to have pursued similar ideals over the years, but few have come close to achieving these as consistently as Porsche has done. When the 356 was launched, its design was just so far ahead of anything else on the market, and being streamlined and lightweight, it soon started beating much more powerful rivals in motorsport. When it was replaced by the 911 model, racing drivers and teams loyal to Porsche continued to compete, giving the new model excellent exposure. It was the company’s success with the 917/10 and 917/30 turbocharged race cars though, that encouraged Porsche to experiment with turbocharging the 911’s 6-cylinder engine.
Apart from Porsche’s success with the Carrera 4-cam 4-cylinder engine in the 1950s and early 1960s, the most notable big step forward for Porsche, was in turbocharging the 911 engine. A number of manufacturers had dabbled with the concept, some had mild success even, but no other manufacturer came close to achieving what Porsche did with this technology. When Dr. Ernst Fuhrmann suggested hooking up a turbo to the 6-cylinder 911 engine, many questioned whether this would be manageable, or even if it could work in the passenger car market. History tells us that the 911 Turbo 3.0 launched in 1975 was the big breakthrough that saw Porsche’s sports cars grab the market’s attention. Many sports car loving kids around the world will happily admit to having had a poster on their bedroom wall of the Turbo 3.0 at some point (the Editor included).
Production of the 911 had fallen from a high in 1973 (15,438 units), around the time of the Carrera RS introduction, dropping 47% to a low in 1975 (8189 units). With the launch of the Turbo 3.0 in the spring of 1975, sales of all 911s began to climb again to 10,677 units in 1976 and 13,793 units in 1977. Not only was the Turbo 3.0 flying off the showroom floor, but Porsche was also writing history on the race tracks of the world with its 934 and 934.5 models. Put simply, turbocharging the 911 6-cylinder engine transformed the company from a little Stuttgart manufacturer into a serious contender around the world with both its road and race cars.
It should be remembered that Porsche launched the Turbo 3.0 at a time when other sports car manufacturers were facing bankruptcy, dramatic drops in sales, and increasing demand for cleaner running vehicles. In the face of such daunting odds, the Turbo 3.0 made everyone sit up and notice, from customers to race teams, from rival manufacturers to business and financial commentators. Many thought Porsche would fall on its face, but the reverse happened, and we can probably thank Porsche for being so brave in the face of the oil crisis, and for giving us the 911 Turbo 3.0 model.
The book, Turbo 3.0, written by Ryan Snodgrass and published by Parabolica Press, is an outstanding piece of work. The book’s narrow remit is precisely its strength, because if you are the lucky owner of a 911 Turbo 3.0, then you would not need any other book on this subject on your bookshelf. This exhaustive volume endeavours to cover everything an owner, restorer, historian or enthusiast would want to know about the dawn of Porsche’s turbocharged supercar. Turbo 3.0 covers not only Porsche’s historic 3.0-litre Turbo, but also the development of production-based turbocharged race cars by examining the Carrera RSR Turbo 2.14 and Turbo RSR 934/934.5 race cars.
In a letter from the author that accompanies each book, Snodgrass tells the reader that it was his desire to raise the bar for quality and research, in the publication of top-line books. He has indeed succeeded in achieving both goals, admirably. Without any doubt, this is one of the best researched books on the subject of Porsche production cars yet, and the quality of writing and presentation, ensure that it will stand out in the market. But the book is no lightweight, comprising 512 pages, and with book dimensions of 280 x 320 mm tall, this is a substantial piece of work, but be assured, you won’t find a better piece of research and writing on this model anywhere.
Individual chapters cover: Turbocharging Roots; Porsche Turbo Arrives; Drivetrain; Rolling Chassis; Body; Interior…and much more. There is a chapter devoted to motorsport, and then separate sections covering Accessories, Literature, and Production Data with several Appendices closing out the book. As a Turbo 3.0 owner or enthusiast, you will not want to be without this book, as for example, from page 452-497 the author has listed the production data on all 2819 Turbo 3.0 chassis. After this follows many pages giving Production Changes: Engine; Gearbox; Rolling Chassis, and much more.
This is truly a comprehensive, all-inclusive publication and you will be glad that you have a copy on your bookshelf. The book is offset printed on the highest-quality paper and enclosed within a protective slipcase, but only 2500 individually numbered hardcover copies of the Turbo 3.0: Limited Edition will be sold.
If you really want to get the full works, then the exclusive Turbo 3.0: Publisher’s Edition is offered in an individually signed and numbered series and limited to just 300 copies. Only available direct from Parabolica Press, the Publisher’s Edition differs from the Limited Edition with several unique and extra special surprise features included within a bespoke clamshell box designed specifically for the Publisher’s Edition. Additionally, the Publisher’s Edition carries on Parabolica Press’s theme of offering a “behind the scenes” look into aspects for how each book is produced. The Turbo 3.0 Behind the Scenes Supplement continues where the Carrera 2.7: Publisher’s Edition Supplement left off by exploring the deep research necessary to produce books at this level, peering through the viewfinder of several photographers and, finally, understanding how artistic concepts become reality for several commissioned illustrations.
The purchase price is not insignificant, but you will not be pleased when they are all sold out, so get your copy now!
The Porsche fan site Love for Porsche – Liebe zu Ihm review of the Turbo 3.0 book:
The Turbo 3.0 book is just as the car : a benchmark
The automotive industry had not easy times in the mid seventies. New safety and emission regulations were imposed to them, and the oil crisis left quite a trace in the period. Porsche had some dark times too with diminishing sales. Dr Ernst Führmann, designer of the iconic 4-cam Carrera Engine, was the CEO of Porsche in that period. In Can-Am races, the turbocharged Porsche 917/10 and Porsche 917/30 had proven its reliability. So Ernst Führmann had the idea of putting a turbocharged engine in a street legal Porsche 911. The idea of the Porsche 911 Turbo was born.. a story that still continues.
Ryan Snodgrass of Parabolica Press, known from the excellent Carrera 2.7 book, took a dive in the history of the Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 liter, nicknamed the Porsche 930. Ryan Snodgrass used all possible material to his disposal. The Porsche factory archives were of course an important source of information, but that was not enough for the author. Ryan Snodgrass interviewed people involved with the design of the Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0, as well as mechanics, test drivers, engineers, racers and owners. The enormous amount of information is compiled in the book “Turbo 3.0 – Porsche's First Turbocharged Car”. And just as the Carrera 2.7 book, the Turbo 3.0 book became a one- model only encyclopedia. A book any Porsche enthusiast needs to have in the library.
It is hard to imagine how detailed the Turbo 3.0 book is. That makes it a perfect source for perfectionists, restorers and historians. As you could expect of a book like this, there is a list of all the chassis numbers with information like the color the car left the factory, type of engine and gearbox and the option list for that particular car. But there is more useful information. How many of you know all the different possible colors for a Turbo 3.0? And did you know what the toolkit should look like? The Turbo 3.0 book has plenty of detailed information about all possible colors. The chapter about the interior has pictures and information of all upholstery available at the time. All gauge variations are described as well as the radios that could be ordered at the factory.
In the 536 pages, literally nothing remains uncovered. The privateer racing exploits of the 3.0 liter Turbo are included as well as the development of the cars that directly derived from the Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0: the iconic Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 2.1, the Porsche 934 and Porsche 934/5. “Turbo 3.0 : Porsche's First Turbocharged Supercar” was among the 6 books shortlisted for the Specialist Motoring Book of the Year Award of the Royal Automobile Club. Even though it was another book that ran away with the award, being on the shortlist is an honor on its own. And to be honest... well deserved. This book sets a new standard and it will become the reference for the Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 without any doubt. It is worth every cent. This book should be in any automotive library. You can order it directly at Parabolica Press.
A few months ago, I picked up a rather large package at the post office, brought it home and—it being the end of a long day—put it aside. After dinner, I opened the box and discovered a book full of boost.
You may be familiar with author Ryan Snodgrass’ freshman effort, Carrera 2.7, a first-rate reference book that fit right in with the new edition of Carrera RS from TAG. Both titles are considered go-to-books for settling matters of originality, and there was every reason to expect that the long-awaited sophomore offering from Snodgrass would follow the established format.
This time, however, Snodgrass enlisted as art director Richard Baron, whose body of work would fill a few bookshelves. Baron’s stylistic shift has given Turbo 3.0 a separate identity, in much the same way that a 1976 911 differs from a 1976 930. The core remains, but the differences are immediately apparent and very pleasing.
The organization seen in the previously mentioned books was used to form this one’s structure: chassis numbers, color codes, optional equipment, promotional campaigns, literature, tool kits, racing variations. All are where they should be, along with a narrative of the concept, development, introduction, and production run for 1975–1977. A more suitable title for this comprehensive study is The Really Big Book of the 3.0 Liter Turbo.
Turbo 3.0 is offered in a Limited Edition with a print run of 2,500, priced at $395, and the Publisher’s Edition of 300 for $595. Between the two, I feel Snodgrass got the print runs wrong: With its extra supplement and archival features, the Publisher’s Edition is so far superior to the Limited Edition that that additional $200 should be considered a smart move. When the 300 editions are gone, I expect to see the prices get up to a couple of grand on the various online outlets—and I don’t need a Magic 8 Ball to convince me this is a certainty.
One of the clever design aspects of the Publisher’s Edition involves the supplement and the archival folder. Think of the book as a published DVD, where you scroll down the menu and click on the special features box. The supplement takes the reader through a behind-the-scenes look at how the book was put together—it’s informative while avoiding any self-congratulatory traps.
Reference books often take up shelf space without justifying their presence. After the initial excitement while surveying such books, they’re usually put away because few of these reference titles are enjoyable no matter how engaging their overall story. The details might be accurate, but a lack of context robs them of the emotional connection that gives them meaning and allows them to evoke memories like your first car or first kiss—which can provoke an awareness that life is ever changing. For me, Turbo 3.0is just such a catalyst, one that prompted me to revisit a rewarding array of experience.
For those who can recall the early to mid 1970s, there was a great deal of unpleasantness, both in general life but especially in a car culture plagued by environmental issues, oil shortages, mandatory smog equipment, and a lethargic attitude toward design. For many of us who were VW enthusiasts, modifications were a way of life—and the aftermarket was an escape. We followed the major sportscar races, and we were thrilled by the 917s and successes of Follmer and Donohue. But, given a choice between a new 911 and a 914-6, it was the VolksPorsche that spoke to us. Few remember that, by 1973, the 911 was considered an old man’s car, one owned by aerospace engineers and dentists. Long before it was a deemed a class or “iconic,” the 911 shape had looked the same for almost a decade. In contrast, the 914, especially the “Six,” was a youth statement. It was different and almost within reach financially…almost.
Remember, too, that the 911 ST and 911 Carrera RS were not road legal in the U.S. Unless you read AutoWeek or Road & Track, those 911s didn’t exist. The news traveled considerably slower back then, and print magazines were often three months behind in delivering the latest trends from over the pond. When the 911 Turbo was announced, BMW had already produced the 2002 Turbo and a few U.K. manufacturers made attempts, but none of these ever hit our shores—so this market was unprepared for one of the most influential cars to ever reach production.
Porsche was not only build a road-legal 911 with forced induction, it would provide a version for the U.S. One of the strengths of the new 911 Turbo came about because of a change in safety regulations that required alteration to the bumpers. Design chief Tony Lapine and crew got it right and then some, transforming the 911’s aura and making it cool again. We didn’t just have a 911 and 911S we even had a Carrera with rear spoiler—but it was the Turbo we all wanted, knowing damn well only a few of us would ever own one.
This is where Snodgrass and his book come in. They bring all of the memories back—the anticipation, the yearning, and, most of all, the first time I drove a Turbo, in 1976, when a friend trusted me with his new car for a couple of days. Silver on tourist delivery plates, it was beautiful. It was also, as I was quick to learn, one of the most dangerous cars ever built. Learning about turbo lag was a new experience, and boost was to be respected—because you absolutely had to know when the power was about to come on. What really caught my attention were brakes, because brake pads the same size as those introduced on the 1969 911S were no expected to stop the boostmobile. Even so, I loved every moment in that car—and Snodgrass’ book provided an emotional ticket back to those times.
What distinguishes the 930 from almost every other Porsche is its cultural influence. When the word “turbo” came up in conversation, chances were high that it was in reference to a Porsche. The impact the 930 had when it came to extending the lifespan of many used 911s cannot be overstated. Dealers sold thousands of 930 flares, and the aftermarket quickly offered up complete body kits in fiberglass to give your 1966 912 that “Turbo look.” No Porsche model—before or since—has made the singular impact that the Turbo in its original, 3.0-liter form did.
The high point of the Publisher’s Edition may be its archival folder, which has accurate reproductions of internal memos, production numbers, FIA documents, a price listing for each model, photos, and color proof sheets. It is as if it’s 1975 all over again, with a twist Snodgrass’s mammoth book has taken something familiar and made it an original, much as Porsche did when it transformed the 911 into the 930. As a reference book, the roots are permantent. As a time machine it’s a bargain.
Review by Mark Wiggington in Sports Car Market, September 2018:
“Exhaustive” doesn’t even begin to describe Ryan Snodgrass or his opus on the Porsche 930 3.0 Turbo. Let’s start near the back, on p. 452. Here, along with a handy production-data decoder for the model, is an exhaustive list of EVERY 930 from 1975 to 1977, including paint, interior, engine, gearbox, tires, distributor, de- livery and completion date — plus a synopsis of installed equipment. This level of detail is emblematic of Snodgrass’ work. He is a former software engineer, and his love of Porsches led him to start his writing career with Carrera 2.7, now followed by Turbo 3.0.
It’s a thick, 10.5-pound, beautifully printed, designed and written book on the car that Porsche used to repudiate the awful cars that came out of the mid-1970s, when fuel economy and safety were the highest representation of the art, and performance was an ugly stepchild. Using turbo technology and knowledge gained from racing the 917, the Carrera 3.0 was an antidote to the times.
While only 2,819 of the 3.0 Turbo cars came out of the factory, they had an outsized impact on the market (with prices to match, as a first-year 930 is going for around $150,000). Sometimes called the “doctor killer” for the dangerous intersection of high-horsepower, turbo-lag and a lack of skills behind the wheel, the 930 was actually a touch slower than the mechanically injected 2.7-liter predecessor. But that was mostly down to extra weight that balanced the increased output, mostly thanks to safety equipment (thanks, Ralph Nader!) demanded at the time. Heck, safety was such a top-of-mind item that there were threats to kill all convertibles in that period. So the introduction of the 930 was certainly counterintuitive — and well-received by enthusiasts.
And well-received is what this book should be. It’s an instant classic in the category of single-model history and detail.
Provenance: Ryan Snodgrass brings a software engineer’s hyper-fo- cus and demand for perfection to his second book. Turbo 3.0 is an intense, deep dive into the history of the model and every scrap of information available.
Fit and Finish: This book is simply beautiful. The claimed (I didn’t count them) 1,508 photos and illustrations are beautifully reproduced on quality stock. The overall design is understated and serves the content. The entire package is top-shelf.
Drivability: With Turbo 3.0, Ryan Snodgrass has reset the bar for any future Porsche book. The text is smart, lively and easy to read, supporting an incredible amount of information. At $395 for one of 2,500 copies of this limited-edition tome, you can expect the same appreciation in value as in the car — even as you appreciate Turbo 3.0 as a resource and good read.
Panorama's May 2018 issue reviewed the Turbo 3.0 book:
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.
Naturally, there are the de rigueur in-depth chapters that one might expect to be found on the subjects of turbocharging, drivetrain, chassis, body, and interior, incorporating first-hand accounts and interviews with factory personnel who worked on the project. Additional content includes sections on accessories; literature; marketing materials; and special bespoke models built by the factory for exhibition, executives, and important clients. Racing derivatives such as the Martini Carrera RSR Turbo 2.14, 934, 934.5, and privateer Turbo 3.0 entries are also examined. An appendix at the end of the book lists all 2,819 Turbo 3.0 chassis numbers complete with notations on original colors, interior, and equipment.
Over 536 beautifully designed pages, the prose is supported by more than 1,500 incredible color and black-and-white images, including illustrations, charts, publications, and internal documents, the majority of them truly uncommon or not published before.
Befitting a book that Snodgrass states demanded almost 5,000 man-hours of research, writing, design, and production time, the attention to detail is incredible, surpassing the already superb levels of data analysis and engineering development insights from the author’s previous effort. The book’s production quality is on an equal plane of existence with its writing and utilizes special wide-gamut inks and high-resolution, 15-micron stochastic screens, allowing the reader to zoom in on the details should they want to scrutinize the photos more closely with a magnifying glass when researching various minute details for their own restorations.
Available in a slipcased standard Limited Edition, of which 2,500 have been printed, and a numbered-series Publisher’s Edition (shown here) limited to just 300 copies containing additional niceties, Turbo 3.0 is a sublime reading experience, automotive book or not, and one that will undoubtedly generate feelings of lust for the 930.
Although a starting price of $395 might seem lofty, consider it a small price to pay—the reader is gleaning the immeasurable benefit of all the hours of effort and achievement the author has invested into uncovering anything an owner, collector, or re- storer could possibly want to know. A monumental piece of work, Turbo 3.0 must be considered one of the finest automotive books extant, and the definitive word on the model.
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.
Reinforcing the exhaustive attention to detail, captions for many photos in this book not only identify the model year and country of original delivery but also include the car’s VIN. The chapter on interiors identifies standard and optional upholstery materials (and on one jarring two-page spread illustrates the interior color scheme of one particular 1977 Martini Turbo 3.0 (also identified by chassis number) done for the London Motor Show.
For those intrigued – or enthralled – by Porsche factory custom cars, Snodgrass’s chapter on these special Turbos is fascinating. Snodgrass devotes equal space, time, and research to Turbo accessories, literature, and of course, production data.
With the title of his book, Ryan Snodgrass posits an interesting idea. While most automotive historians quickly and willingly will award Porsche’s 959 with the title of world’s first supercar, Snodgrass suggests the Turbo 3.0 may more rightfully carry that distinction. It was, after all, the fastest production car in the world when Porsche introduced it. It also was one of its most courageous, announced just as O.P.E.C. told the world the mid-eastern oil exporting countries were cutting off supplies of petroleum.
Books such as this – especially one printed and produced with such high quality photo reproduction, taking immeasurably high research, and representing several years of Snodgrass’ and his collaborators’ time, necessarily must command high prices. If you own one of these cars or simply are deeply interested, you must have this book in your reference library.
Turbo 3.0 – Porsche’s First Turbocharged Supercar 1975-1977; Ryan Snodgrass. 2018 Parabolica Press. 536p plus supplements. ISBN: 978-0-9962682-4-0. $395.00 (limited edition) from www.parabolicapress.com. More information at firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s the next best thing to buying a Porsche Carrera 2.7? Buying a book about it.
Specifically, Ryan Snodgrass’s definitive guide to the model, published by Parabolica Press in 2015 and called, helpfully, Carrera 2.7. Just 2500 were printed. There are about 300 copies of the Limited Edition version left, each costing £225. Sounds a lot? Don’t worry: in two years your investment could be worth £1000.
“Carrera 2.7 set a new benchmark for motoring books,” says Ben Horton of Horton’s Books, a specialist motoring bookseller in Marlborough, Wiltshire. “It’s not only an in-depth story of the car but is also packed with all the information – colour charts, component photographs, mechanical evolution – every owner, enthusiast or restorer could desire, plus it’s beautifully produced. “Buy a limited-edition version today and in two years it’ll fetch four and a half times its new price. I’ve been selling motoring books for more than 25 years and for the highest quality or most interesting books, I’ve never known a downturn.”
For the speculative petrolhead who’s clumsy with spanners but loves a good read, Carrera 2.7, and books like it, seem to be the perfect alternative.
Read the full article "The best motoring books: appreciating classics" in Autocar.