DEFINITIVE TURBO 3.0 HISTORY
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.parabolicapress.com