May 10, 2018
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.
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