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You have to be care­ful us­ing the word ʻdefini­tiveʼ to de­scribe a book, for all too of­ten it proves to be an in­ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion when a ri­val vol­ume is pub­lished at some point in the fu­ture. Just look at how many ʻdefini­tiveʼ his­to­ries of the Porsche mar­que have been writ­ten for proof… How­ever, in this in­stance, it is hard to be­lieve there can ever be a bet­ter re­searched, bet­ter il­lus­trated, more in­for­ma­tive book about Porscheʼs gamechang­ing 3.0-litre 930 Turbo and its con­tem­po­raries.

Writ­ten by Ryan Sn­od­grass, au­thor of the well-re­ceived Car­rera 2.7 his­tory, also pub­lished by Parabol­ica Press, Turbo 3.0 is ʻmust-haveʼ work which no fol­lower of the faith will want to be with­out. It would be easy for such a tightly tar­geted work (in terms of its sub­ject mat­ter) to fall into the trap of be­ing an­other dry, fact-filled work which will only ever be dipped into to set­tle ar­gu­ments, or by jour­nal­ists writ­ing fea­tures on the sub­ject mat­ter. Such books end up gath­er­ing dust on book­shelves… This wonʼt.

The mo­ment the heavy­weight tome ar­rived on my desk (writes Keith Seume), I could­nʼt wait to look in­side, the Turbo 3.0 be­ing a par­tic­u­lar favourite of mine ever since first driv­ing one back in the mid-1970s. Its un­com­pro­mis­ing power de­liv­ery and on-street pres­ence made it a win­ner from the get-go. First im­pres­sions of the book were good – the slip-case for­mat gives it an air of qual­ity, as do the spot-var­nished ti­tle pages – and a quick flick through sug­gested a lot of time had been spent in the Porsche ar­chives, which bode well. How­ever, it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore the quick flick through be­came a lengthy read­ing ses­sion as chap­ter af­ter chap­ter grabbed my at­ten­tion. I was late for din­ner that night…

I thought I had a rea­son­able knowl­edge of the early Tur­bos but I was wrong – I had only ever scratched the sur­face of the sub­ject. The book takes you right back to the be­gin­ning of the Turbo story, de­tail­ing ev­ery as­pect of the car ʼs de­vel­op­ment: en­gine and driv­e­train, sus­pen­sion and brakes, styling, in­te­rior, colours…itʼs all there, cov­ered in minute de­tail yet writ­ten in a style which is easy to read – and full of en­thu­si­asm. But it goes fur­ther: the story of how tur­bocharg­ers came to be re­lied on as a way to in­crease power out­put is cov­ered in de­tail, a story which can be traced back to the early 20th Cen­tury. Thereʼs de­tailed cov­er­age of the de­vel­op­ment of the 917, too, show­ing how Porsche adopted this ʻnewʼ tech­nol­ogy to dom­i­nate Can-am and, ul­ti­mately, en­durance rac­ing as a whole. Fa­mil­iar ground, maybe, but vi­tal in telling the story of how the 930 came to be.

The paper trail lead­ing up to the launch of the Turbo makes for fas­ci­nat­ing read­ing, as do the many ex­am­ples of mar­ket­ing ma­te­rial and ad­ver­tis­ing copy from around the world. And then there are the sec­tions de­voted to in­di­vid­ual el­e­ments of the cars: in­stru­ments, for ex­am­ple, along with seats, seat belts, trim, up­hol­stery ma­te­ri­als, ac­ces­sories… If youʼre start­ing to get the idea this book puts the Turbo 3.0 un­der the mi­cro­scope, youʼre right. But it goes fur­ther still, de­vot­ing nu­mer­ous pages to the spe­cial mod­els, the mo­tor­show cars, the race cars de­rived from the pro­duc­tion Turbo.

It is as far re­moved from be­ing an over­view of a sin­gle model as you can imag­ine. Ryan Sn­od­grass has delved so deeply into the sub­ject mat­ter that he must have strug­gled to come up for air. I thought his pre­vi­ous work on the 2.7-litre Car­reras was un­beat­able, but I have been proved wrong and can­not wait to see what sub­ject he tack­les next.

Turbo 3.0 is lim­ited to just 2500 copies and is pre­sented in slip-case, hard­back for­mat, printed on high-qual­ity matt paper. The 536 pages in­clude 1508 pho­to­graphs, of which 745 have never been pre­vi­ously pub­lished. And we thought weʼd seen it all. Pub­lished by Parabol­ica Press, Turbo 3.0 costs $395 US or €399 and can be pur­chased from the web­site. ISBN: 978-0-9962682-4-0. A spe­cial ʻpub­lisher ʼs edi­tionʼ is also avail­able, lim­ited to just 300 copies, with ex­tra ar­chive ma­te­rial in­cluded and in a spe­cial clamshell case, for $595 US or €599. www.parabol­i­ca­

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