Sports Car Market's review – March 2016
Sports Car Market's review from the March 2016:
One hot topic in the auction world is the astounding growth of values of the Porsche 911. And of the 911 production cars, the RS is considered by many to be the quintessential 911. All of which led to a ’74 911 Carrera 2.7 RS MFI hammering at RM Sotheby’s Monterey this year for $374,000.
For those of you unfamiliar with the intricacies of the 911 world, you now have a source as detailed and informative as you can imagine in Ryan Snodgrass’ deep dive into the history of one of the rarer examples: the Carrera 2.7 MFI.
The Carrera 2.7 RS was introduced in 1973, as Porsche focused more energy on racing production cars (the RS is for Rennsport, or racesport).
Many of the original RS orders were part of a sleight-of-hand trick the factory used to get to the 500 cars needed for Group 4 homologation, with buyers lining out an order form for the race version, then amending it at the dealer for a con- version to the touring setup.
By 1970, the end of the “long-hood” era for the 911 was at hand, with the body redesigned to incorporate safety bumpers, and bringing in the famous whale tail spoilers on some models (not allowed in Germany thanks to the safety bureaucrats).
The Bosch mechanical-injected 1974 MFI was not sold in the U.S., with 2.7s coming here using CIS (Continuous Injection System) to meet federal smog laws and mileage standards, thanks to the first Arab oil embargo.
Bravely, Porsche continued to make high-performance cars in a world mad for economy.
Not being a domestic offering, the Carrera 911 RS 2.7 MFI has been a quiet outlier, though the auction world is catching up. For Snodgrass, the MFI was the perfect story, a way to tell the entire RS tale using a deep focus on one particular model.
It’s a massively researched and illustrated history — and as good as the car.
Provenance: There is amazing detail that can only come from factory records, and Snodgrass had great access to them, as well as to Porsche fanatics from around the world.
Fit and finish: Beautifully printed, with more than 700 color photos, all packed into a quality slipcover; the book is hefty, smart and well designed.
Drivability: There is no shortage of superficial motoring books, collections of images with the odd fact or two. These are the kinds of books that give you 10 minutes of pleasure and are never considered again. At the other extreme, there are the arcane, detailed single-marque or model collections of obscure facts and serial numbers — of little value except to the other guy with the car. But in Carrera 2.7, Snodgrass has created the middle ground, a readable look at a special time at Porsche, built around one special model. There is plenty of detail for the potential owner or restorer as well, but first and foremost, it’s a good read.
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Review of the Turbo 3.0 book in Octane magazine's October 2019 issue:
We'll come clean: this book was released last year but our review copy was mislaid during Octane's hastily carried-out office relocation form Bedfordshite to London. It's author, Ryan Snodgrass, very kindly offered to send us another one—and we're so glad he did, because this is a truly exceptional work.
A companion volume to Snodgrass' previous magnum opus, Carrera 2.7, this mammoth 536-page tribute to the Porsche 911 Turbo is printed on creamy archival paper and presented in a stout slipcase. Pay extra for the 300-off Publisher's Edition and you get an even stouter clamshell box that additionally houses convincing reproductions of Porsche ephemera such as press releases and photos, and actual 35mm colour slides, plus a 20-page supplement on how the book was put together.
Is either version worth the money? Emphatically yes, because the level of detail and the production values are stunning. To give just two examples: expert financial book-keepers were hired to check the production data for all 2819 Turbos built; and because no detailed cutaway drawing was ever made of the Turbo, noted cutaway artist Makoto Ouchi was commissioned to draw on. The print specification—which apparently involved '15-micron stochastic hybrid screens' and 'special wide-gamut inks'—will have any bibliophile salivating over their silkscreened linen slipcase.
Every possible aspect of the 1975–77 Turbo is covered in depth: development, build, mechanical, design, one-offs and special editions, racing versions... There's even a spread devoted to specific tyre inflators, jacks and plastic gloves supplied by Porsche for the Turbo's space-save tyre.
As you'll have gathered, we're impressed. It's taken a while for Turbo 3.0 to make it into these pages, but it was well worth the wait.
"Ryan Snodgrass's book on early Porsche Turbos is probably the greatest single model book that I've ever seen in my life. I have not been able to put it down since getting it. It is just full of every bit of geeky goodness about those cars. It is phenomenal."
Of course, when asked at 0:28:07 by Mark Green if manifested into a car, what kind of car would Robb Sass be, his affinity for the Turbo was clear. Sass answered he'd like to be a 1975 or 1976 Turbo Carrera, the first generation Turbo: "I think that they are kind of a little bit edgy. It was the height of the malaise era. A car I really respect as when everything else was slow and crappy, you had this car that would go 0 to 60 in about 5 seconds. Performance on par with a muscle car from ten years before at a time when people were building the Mustang II. If I could aspire to be any car...I'm not a 75-76 Turbo Carrera, but if I could that is probably what it would be as it was so shocking and so surprising and a little bit unpredictable." "Porsche never got the memo that the malaise era was going on."
The Turbo 3.0 book wins first place in the coveted MOTORWORLD BUCHPREIS for the Markenbuch category (best book for a single brand), which honors the best car books of the year. The award ceremony took place on Thursday, May 23, 2019 inside the Arthur Bechtel Classic Motors showroom at the Motorworld Stuttgart V8 Hotel in Böblingen, Germany.
For almost 20 years, noted automotive historian and journalist Jürgen Lewandowski has presided over the Autobuchpreis which honors the best works produced each year on automotive and motorsports topics. For 2018, MOTORWORLD Group became the primary sponsor for the Autobuchpreis, hosting the event and judging team of Jürgen Lewandowksi (chairman of the jury), Andreas Dünkel (Motorworld Group Chairman), Mark N. Backé (Grand Basel Chairman), Vittorio Strosek (Strosek Design), Michael Stoschek (Brose Chairman), Christian Steiger (Classic Cars Editor-in-Chief), Dr. Andreas Kaufmann (Leica Camera Chairman) and Robertino Wild (Capricorn Chairman).