Some brands of cars have rather skimpy biographies available. Like Rodney Dangerfield, they don’t get no respect. Take the Iso Grifo for instance, there is no book I'm aware of that shows every variation, every color, every nut and bolt, every serial number, yadda yadda. Yet, fortunately, because of their small numbers, they have multiplied greatly in value.
Now other marques are getting plenty of ink, like Porsches, but this latest book by Ryan Snodgrass sets the bar higher than ever on covering one Porsche model from A to Z and back again. That particular model is also the book's title the Carrera 2.7. The Soul of Porsche’s Legendary Carrera 2.7 RS Lives on Within the Carrera 2.7 MFI.
As there is already at least one fine book on the RS, Snodgrass decided to do one solely on the Carrera 2.7 and cover it from every conceivable angle inlcuding development, styling, engineering, standard and optional equipment, colors (even including color charts) and my favorite area, special models for VIPs.
This is a hefty book! I know, I carried it around a few days while reviewing it. It tips the scales at 7.5 lbs, it boasts 406 pages and has no less than 830 beautifully reproduced high-resolution photos, more than half of which have never been in other Porsche books.
Covers the Euro Model
For those to whom “Euro model” is a magic phrase, sort of a kicker in their coffee, it also covers the ‘74-76 G-series Euro Carrera 2.7, some of which may have made their way to America.
The Euro version of the 1976 Carrera 2.7 was similar in spec to the ‘73 Carrera 2.7 RS. The difference is the ‘74-76 Carrera 2.7 was built on an impact bumper body and interior, instead of the earlier long hood form (thence earning the name the “short hood” version”).
The weight and horsepower output of the later Carreras 2.7 is virtually identical to the ’73 Carrera 2.7 RS, and both used the Typ 911/83 2.7-liter RS-spec MFI engine.
IT’S ALL IN THE NUMBERS
There are a number of Porsche models that could have been the subject of a book, but one reason (aside from the no doubt great drivability) he picked this 911 series is that the production numbers are small enough to wrap your mind around, only 1,635 coupes and 630 Targas made.
I consider the number “1000” as a magic number as far as car appreciation potential. If you can get a car where the total output of a particular model was close to 1,000, you have something rare, like for example there are under 1,300 Ferrari Daytonas, under 1,500 Mercedes Gullwings, etc. The Carrera 2.7 is not quite as rare as its predecessor, the 1973 Carrera RS, which had production total of 1,590 units, but it is rare enough to be nominated as a new “gotta have it” car for those building a collection of the greatest Porsches.
But Porsche being a sports car company you could special order this and that and that’s where Snodgrass shines, tracking down those models that were exceptional.
Precision is Key
Now as an author myself I am more into writing the conversational type book, but there’s something about Porsche people that makes them want to be precise, and readers will be happy that Snodgrass is of like mind, listing upholstery colors, showing actual factory colors with color charts, listing chassis numbers and engine numbers, so that if you were restoring one of these cars you could not be without this book. This is The Bible for these Porsches.
Snodgrass used Georg Konradsheim’s Carrera RS book as the design basis for his version. After contacting that author he was introduced to the RS book’s designer Christoph Mäder, who ended up designing Ryan’s book.
By the way he uses five color printing which is that one extra pass through the press to make blacks blacker, etc. a sign of the highest quality printing.
What Else is Covered
A lot of car books only cover the car itself. Unfortunately, that doesn’t recognize that some readers are collectors not of just the car but the memorabilia, too: showroom brochures, ads, posters, etc. Fortunately, Snodgrass recognizes that and shows some of the best.
In my opinion, any author, of any book, on another marque will be hard pressed to match the amount of scholarship evident in this one Porsche book.
It would be interesting to chart Carrera 2.7 values from this point on because, with this book providing such a dossier on the model, I predict they will go up in value because now everyone will know what is “correct.”
About the Reviewer: Wallace Wyss is the author of "The Story Behind Janis Joplin's Psychedelic Porsche 356" and 49 other Highly Entertaining Tales From the World of Rare and Exotic Car Collecting available from Enthusiast Books (715) 381 9755