Sports Car Market – Turbo 3.0 Book Review
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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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).