The Porsche Book
The Complete History of Types and Models
Author: Jürgen Barth and Gustav Büsing
Publisher: David Bull Publishing
Format: Hardcover, 3 vol/ slipcase, 9 1/2” x 7, 1504 pgs
Photos: 2012 black-and-white & colour photos and 99 illus.
The clue is in the sub-title, The Complete History of Types and Models, as this three-set volume will provide the reader with a convenient, in-depth coverage of all road-going and racing models. While that price may sound a bit steep, considering the scope and depth of content, you are likely to spend considerably more than that buying a collection of individual books to cover all there is in this set.
Book 1 covers the rear-engined Porsches and racing derivatives (356 and 911 models), while Book 2 caters for the mid- and front-engined models (914 and derivatives, transaxle 924/928/944/968, Cayenne, Cayman, and Carrera GT models). Book 3 covers all race cars from the Glöckler cars right up to the RS Spyder of 2005, including the Indy car, Kremer CK5, Formula 1 V12 engine, and everything else in between.
In addition to background histories on individual cars’ technical developments, there is also a fascinating history on the company itself, including Ferdinand Porsche’s early design work in the period leading up to his formation of the company.
The Porsche Book trilogy comprises more than 1500 pages and is presented in a slipcase that graphically depicts the cockpit of a 356. Many of the more than 2000 photographs are historic period images appearing in print for the first time. There are also scores of other illustrations (including design sketches and technical drawings), as well as comprehensive tables featuring chassis numbers, engine numbers, specifications, and performance figures.
Originally published in 1977, this updated series brings the reader details of the Porsche cars right up to 2009 and is the first fully updated English-language edition in a quarter of a century. Written by Jürgen Barth, an ex-factory racing driver and long time Porsche employee, and Gustav Büsing, they are both accomplished authors on the Porsche marque.
I have mentioned before in magazine features and Porsche books I have written, that in my opinion, one of the reasons Porsche did so well in their earlier motor sport years with relatively small-engined race cars, was because of their drivers. That may sound like a very obvious statement to make, but several of their works drivers were in fact factory employees. The importance of this was that a mechanic or engineer who worked on the factory race cars during the week, would race these cars in major international events on the weekend. On the Monday they would come back into the workshop and be able to convey to the race department management exactly what was needed to make their cars faster, lighter or better. This first hand experience was invaluable for the company, and one of these people was Jürgen Barth, an ideal position from which to author a book set such as this one.
Having interviewed many engineers, designers, racing drivers and others at Porsche over the years, you always know you’re going to get something special from Jürgen Barth, as his wealth of knowledge and experience is astounding. As a result, The Porsche Book provides as much info as you could reasonably want on the subject…all in a convenient three-part set, and is an absolute must for all Porsche enthusiasts.
Written by: Glen Smale