Sports Car Market – Turbo 3.0 Book Review

August 06, 2018

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.

 

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