If you want the ultimate book on the 911 Carrera RS 2.7, look no further than this excellent tome by Dr. Thomas Gruber and Dr. Georg Konradsheim. First published 24 years ago, Carrera RS has now been republished and by adding 178 pages to the original version, this work now totals a hefty 434 pages.
The Porsche 911 Carrera RS needs little introduction to most motoring enthusiasts, but a little background here is perhaps helpful. In 1967 Porsche introduced the 911 R, a racing version of the 2-litre 911 S of the day, and around 20 of these cars were produced by the factory. In 1969 the wheelbase of the 911 was extended to 2268mm and in 1970 the 2.2-litre engine was introduced. In 1972 the engine size was increased to 2.4-litre and the wheelbase grew to 2271mm, all of which provided better performance and handling. Porsche’s racing customers wanted more though, and so by increasing the bore from 84mm to 90mm, engine capacity was increased to 2.7-litre and power grew from 190bhp to 210bhp. The company’s marketing department was anxious about selling the initial batch which was limited to just 500 cars, but when they flew off the showroom floor, production of a further batch of 500 units was approved. Porsche would push through a further 500 cars before production was capped at 1580 units in 1973. The initial production of 500 cars was a requirement for homologation into the Group 4 class for GT cars. The Carrera RS went on to dominate GT racing in its day, and as a single model, was responsible more than any other, for lifting Porsche’s name from the middle of the pack onto the top step of the podium in its class.
And so it is most appropriate that Gruber and Konradsheim acknowledged that their first edition was in need of updating. The result of their work is that the history of this iconic sports car has been researched deeper and in more detail by these two authors, than by anyone else. This book really is the ultimate record on the history, engineering, production, models and equipment, sales and marketing, statistics and racing achievements of this highly sought after car.
Within the pages of this fine book you will find engineering drawings, colour charts for body as well as interior finishings, explanations for the 911’s aerodynamic development and the rationale for the car’s famous duck tail. The reader will find details of the Carrera’s brakes, transmission, engine, differential, wheels and tyres, and all manner of mechanical and technical details. The various internal options are explained and clearly illustrated, including the different upholstery coverings.
A separate section covers the press and marketing effort by Porsche, which was sufficiently robust so as to ensure that the company did not sit with a parking lot full of unsold Carreras. They needn’t have worried though, because sales exceeded their wildest expectations, but nevertheless the company went all out to give the car maximum exposure. Here, the authors provide numerous examples of this effort by Porsche, which includes period road tests from leading magazines. Towards the rear of the book is a section covering the servicing requirements of the Carrera RS, with examples of the car’s maintenance booklet.
No book on Porsche is ever complete without a section dedicated to motor sport, and here the authors cover the Carrera RS’s track and rally achievements, as well as the class domination by this model’s bigger brother, the RSR. Here, original homologation documents, timing sheets, race results and colourful programme covers and posters adequately illustrate the Carrera’s enviable sporting record.
The authors have provided the reader with a full list of all 1580 Carrera RSs produced. This list shows the chassis number, engine number, transmission, destination country, body colour, interior options and equipment list and date of production. There is very little, if anything, that the authors have overlooked in painting a complete picture of the Carrera RS.
This work is lavishly illustrated throughout with a combination of period documentation and images, as well as tasteful, current day photography. The quality of the text, the images, the captions and various listings is exceptional. The design of the book from a layout perspective is outstanding, and the presentation of the book right down to its hardy clothbound cover and slipcase, is exquisite.
If you manage to acquire one of the 3000 copies printed (3000 each in English and German language, total of 6000 copies), you will be the envy of your group of friends. Whether you own a 911 Carrera RS, or if you are simply a Porsche enthusiast, you cannot afford not to have this book on your bookshelf. At €438 (approx. £337) it is not cheap, but you will be buying into a piece of history that, like the sports car that it covers, is likely to appreciate handsomely over time.
Title: Carrera RS
Authors: Dr. Thomas Gruber/Dr. Georg Konradsheim
Publisher: T.A.G. Verlag GmbH
821 colour & 519 b/w photos and illustrations
Format: 270 x 310mm
Written by: Glen Smale