March 09, 2016

Octane Book of the Month Review – April 2016

Glen Waddington's Book of the Month review in Octane April 2016:

IF YOU'RE THE SORT of person who loves to read books about Porsche this one is guaranteed to have you craving a very particular version of it. Snodgrass has dedicated this beautiful 406-page book (hardcover plus slipcase) to the impact-bumper 911 2.7 Carrera with mechanical fuel injection, built from 1974 to ‘76.

Why is it special? A crucial question. Rightly. Snodgrass has identified the car that came after the legendary (there really is no more appropriate adjective) and increasingly valuable I973 Carrera RS 2.7. The 2.7 MFI hasn't been on the collector radar in anything like the same way. though it performs just like the RS. Admittedly it's rare, yet it's still a 911 that the merely wealthy (rather than mega-rich) can afford. That situation may change once collectors looking for The Next Big Thing have read this.

Within you will find 684 colour photos and a further 146 in black-and-white, of which more than 530 have never previously been published. There are also 50 illustrations. including technical diagrams. As for the story, well, that would be the wrong word. Instead, this is a treatise borne of painstaking research into the production of the car and all its technical aspects.

Sounds a bit dry, but it's not. Take, for example the section devoted to dampers. The 2.7 MFI was available as standard on Boges or optionally on Konis or Bilsteins. They were colour-coded so that the workers building the car (and there are lots of photos taken on the prediction line, courtesy of the Porsche archives) could easily tell them apart — and so could any subsequent owners who were keen to find out whether their car was on the correct set-up. We can proudly report that all UK-market cars were supplied with the sportiest Bilsteins fitted as standard.

There are specification tables, reprints of old magazine road tests. some gorgeous spreads devoted to all the colours available for each model year - illustrated in each case with a huge grid of small profile photos — plus period ads and explanations of how various technical aspects work; not least that Bosch fuel injection. There's also a section devoted to wheels, both the Fuchs and ATS cookie-cutter type, plus the development at aerodynamics from duck-tail to whaletail — which all happened with the MFI.

Many will think £195 is a lot to pay for a book, but the production values alone make this one look like it should cost a lot of money. On that basis, paying an extra fiver tor a signed version seems like a comparative bargain.