November 26, 2016

Porsche Road & Race Review – November 2016

November 24, 2016 review by Glen Smale on Porsche Road & Race:

Much has been written about the Porsche 911, in fact there are few manufacturers in the world, that could boast as having as many books written about one of their models. But as can be expected, many of these books cover selected top models, and those perceived as less salubrious models are usually relegated to books covering all models. 

Fresh attention though has been directed at the classic car market in recent years, with the result that prices have been rising steadily for the more sought after models. Those who are fortunate enough to be Porsche enthusiasts, will have seen the prices of the Carrera RS 2.7 skyrocket, although of late, prices of this sought-after model have settled somewhat. One model though that has until recently escaped much of the limelight, is the Carrera 2.7, but this humble model can claim as its predecessor the mighty Carrera RS 2.7. What a claim to be able to make, and yet the Carrera 2.7 is widely regarded as the lesser sibling and as such, has been largely overlooked. Ironically, the 1974 Carrera 2.7 produced the same output, had the same top speed and weighed the same as the celebrated RS.

The author of this book, Ryan Snodgrass, just happened to be looking for a classic car to buy for himself, and wanted to read up about this model. Not finding much to read on the model, what did Snodgrass do, he wrote what is without doubt, the most comprehensively researched book on the Carrera 2.7, thereby answering all the questions one could possibly have about the car. His book, Carrera 2.7: 1974-1976, covers all 2.7 MFI impact-bumper models between these two years, including the introduction of the 930 Turbo.

Snodgrass takes the reader on a journey through all aspects of the different models, including: Carrera Unveiled; Drivetrain; Rolling Chassis; Body; Interior; Special Models; Racing; Accessories; and, Literature. Each section is explained in the utmost of detail with truly impressive imagery, tables, graphs and illustrations showing in depth, the production and assembly steps. Detailed photographs show production and component differences, while extensive and clearly styled charts show gearbox numbering enabling one to identify a model and its options with accuracy. Sections are dedicated to body colours, exterior colours and aerodynamic developments.

A great deal of attention has been devoted to the selection of images in each chapter, and in this respect, the pictures really do paint a thousand words. Much work has been put into explaining, for instance, the large number of decals in the engine bay, the doorposts and in the luggage compartment, a useful detail largely overlooked by many authors. The chapter dealing with the interior shows the different upholstery styles that were offered in the 911, remembering of course that the mid-1970s was a period of great experimentation with colour, so there is in fact much ground to be covered here. The author has sought out production cards for various stages of the car’s assembly, showing in great detail how various options eventually found their way onto a particular car.

There is a section devoted to the development of the 911 Turbo, the prototype of which was a 2.7-litre car given to Louise Piëch on the occasion of her 70th birthday. This is an extremely interesting prototype, as I have covered this car myself in a feature for a well-known magazine not long ago. Porsche has long enjoyed a very good relationship with the various police forces in Germany and Belgium, and these special models have their own section too.

No book on the 911 would be complete without a chapter devoted to motorsport. This section of course covers those models that participated in both road and rally competition between 1974 and 1976.

A well-detailed section on 911 literature illustrates in splendid colour and detail, vehicle sales brochures (in different languages), price lists, colour options, spare parts catalogues, technical booklets and much more. What tools were issued with each model also gets a showing, and a useful section details the different options that were available to purchase with your 911.

This book is available in two different editions, the Limited Edition numbering 2500 copies, or the Publisher’s Edition which is limited to just 300 individually numbered and signed copies. Both of these come in a strong slip case, so there is no danger of your book getting scuffed.

The care with which the author has displayed and laid out the content is nothing short of exemplary – this book is truly a work of art. In fact, it was so highly thought of, that in 2016 it was shortlisted for the Publication of the Year, a prestigious international award. If you decide to dip into your savings to purchase a copy of Carrera 2.7: 1974-1976, you will not be sorry. This book goes beyond ‘coffee table’ as you wouldn’t want to mix it up with travel or gardening books and the like, this is one for the study bookshelf. You had better hurry to order your copy now.