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 email@example.com
“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.”
- When you order this book, you’d better schedule some vacation time because this is one of those books you won’t want to put down once you get into it. You’ll also want to start building up wrist strength—the package the courier will leave on your doorstep clocks in at around 12 lb.
- The book is so hefty that you’ll want to get advice from your bookbinder friends, or Google it, how to properly break in a big new book without stressing the binding and bend it out of shape permanently.
- If there were valet parking for books, this one is one of those confections that would be left right out front, for all to salivate about.
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.
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.
The following two videos share a glimpse into the extremely high-quality printing the Turbo 3.0 book. We have worked hard with our pre-press and printing partners to push the boundaries of printing. During pre-press we utilized advanced techniques including custom wide-gamut CMYK profiles, sampling techniques to optimize each photo for maximum print quality, and automatic color correction adjust each photo to accurately account for the physical color tone of the actual paper.
During printing, special wide-gamut CMYK inks were used to get more tonal range out of each photo, the printing plates were produced with a 15μm stochastic random screen to significantly improve rendering of minute details when looking closely at a photo, and three different spot varnishes were used across the book. No expense was spared in ensuring the quality of book was as exceptional as the care and quality that goes into each car Porsche produces.
The first video shows a press operator removing one of the high-resolution stochastic screened signatures to do a quality control check.
The second video shows how an automated machine folds all the pages from one of the 12-page signatures. There are 45 distinct signatures that must be folded and sewn together to produce the Turbo 3.0 book.
A long time coming with many Porsche enthusiasts anxiously (and patiently) awaiting its arrival, the Turbo 3.0 book is nearly here. The individually numbered Turbo 3.0: Limited Edition and the very special Turbo 3.0: Publisher's Edition books will begin shipping from the United States in early March 2018 to those who pre-ordered the book prior to November 15, 2017. Pre-orders placed after November 15, 2017 will begin shipping 4+ weeks later in batches based on the original payment date for the order. If you haven't already, place your pre-order now before the pre-order reduced pricing ends February 2018.
|Payment Date||Estimated Ship Date from USA||
|Pre-orders before November 15, 2017||March 2018||$340 USD (15% discount)||$530 USD (10% discount)|
|Pre-orders Nov 16, 2017 — Jan 31, 2018||Late March 2018||$340 USD (15% discount)||$530 USD (10% discount)|
|Pre-orders Feb 1 — March 15||Mid April 2018||$395 USD||$595 USD|
|Orders March 16 onwards||Late April 2018||$395 USD||$595 USD|
See the FAQ for more info.
We still have copies of the award-winning Carrera 2.7: Limited Edition book available for shipping from both United States and, for European customers, our supply in Germany. The above photo highlights the size differences between each Carrera 2.7 and Turbo 3.0 editions, with each slightly taller than the next.
In mid-October, a huge milestone was accomplished for the Turbo 3.0 book: all 536 pages of the book were submitted to the printer so that pre-press work could begin, including carefully proofing every single page to ensure it is press ready. With the ball rolling forward, it is an approximate three month timeline to complete proofing, printing, binding and transport before an initial allotment of books are delivered back to Parabolica Press. Once we receive the initial copies of the Turbo 3.0 book here in the United States, we will begin direct shipping the first copies to those who were early supporters of our work that pre-ordered and paid for the book before November 15, 2017. Thanks for the patience as we had to delay the original ship data from late Fall 2017 to Winter. All book orders placed or paid for after November 15th will not ship until at least two weeks after the earlier paid pre-orders. If you want to be among the first to receive the Turbo 3.0 book buy it now!
As a thank you for the patience of those who pre-ordered the Turbo 3.0 book directly from Parabolica Press, we are pleased to share a digital online preview of the entire first chapter. This chapter explores the history of turbocharged engine development from the early 1900s, historical attempts of turbocharging production cars, and ends with Porsche's development of the turbocharger for the 917 and Turbo Carrera RSR. This special preview is only available to Parabolica Press customers who sign-in to the account that they used to pre-order the Turbo 3.0 book. If you do not have a password, use the "Forgot your password?" link to create an account.
For customers who have already purchased the Turbo 3.0 book as a holiday gift for another person, please contact us.
The mid-1970s were dark times for the automotive industry, especially for high-performance cars as manufacturers worldwide struggled to comply with new emissions and safety regulations, let alone deliver a satisfying driving experience. Then—out of nowhere—Porsche dropped a bombshell, announcing a turbocharged series production supercar: the 3.0-liter 930 Turbo was an instant sensation. From its inception Porsche's mission has been about competition, engineering excellence and pushing the boundaries of what is possible—leading never following. Porsche's Turbo became THE car of the 1970s and 80s, establishing Porsche as a top-tier manufacturer.
Parabolica Press's second book—Turbo 3.0—dives deep into the development, production and mystique behind the three years of Porsche's 3.0-liter Turbo produced from 1975 to 1977. The book continues the theme of being carefully researched using the Porsche factory archives, private collections, period documentation and intensive study. Available for pre-order now in two individually numbered editions, the Limited Edition and the Publisher's Edition, both contain significant never before published material including:
- comprehensive discussions of original options including close-up photos of key details
- previously unpublished photos showcasing factory production of the 3.0-liter Turbo
- exploration of special one-off models produced for executives, Porsche family members, special customers and motor show introductions
- privateer racing exploits of the 3.0-liter Turbo along with the development of the Martini Carrera RSR Turbo 2.14 and 934/934.5 race cars
- details from interviews with factory engineers, development drivers and racing pilots involved with making Porsche's original Turbo a success
- summarized assembly line changes for the entire 1975–1977 3.0-liter Turbo production
The Turbo 3.0 book will undoubtedly be the definitive book about the immortal 3.0-liter Turbo and is essential reading for owners, restorers, historians, enthusiasts or anyone who has ever owned, driven or simply lusted after Porsche's first turbocharged supercar.
Interested in contributing to the upcoming Turbo 3.0 book? It takes a generous community to produce comprehensive books on such a focused topic. Have a question you would love to see answered by the book? We can't promise it will be in there, but send it our way!
We are always looking for period photographs as well as photos of unusual original details on the 3.0-liter Turbos. If you have interesting material to contribute, lease send details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Some notable photos we are still looking for:
- period photos of Turbos displayed at the dealership
- period photos of Turbos being delivered at dealerships or with the new owner's on delivery day
- Porsche booth at motor shows (1974 London, 1975 Geneva, 1975 AutoRAI Amsterdam, 1975 Turin)
- period 1975–1980 photos of 3.0-liter Turbos racing or rallying
- photos of Turbos being painted at the factory
Additionally, looking for detail photos:
- English language interior decals on Japanese delivered 911/930s (e.g. "HORN", etc)
- rear parcel shelf speaker on 1975–76 models
- original underbody painting and overspray marks
- rocker panel texture close ups (1975 and 1976)
- Italian market white front reflectors
- body production number stamping
If your Turbo has any of the above details and you'd be interested in contributing a photo, please contact email@example.com and I can send example photos to use as a guide for photographing details. Thank you for your help!