The Porsche world is divided into multiple factions: old cars versus new
cars; air-cooled or water-cooled; and rear engine, mid-engine, or front
engine. Amongst those cliques, the majority of Porsche purists vote air-
cooled, and that subset is further divided between the 356 cars and the 911s.
The air-cooled 911 group--1965 through 1998--is historically the biggest
and most vocal. Within the air-cooled 911 world, there are further
sub-genres: short wheelbase and long wheelbase; long hood and short hood;
turbos; torsion bar cars; and later 964 or 993 cars.
Even with all of those vertically-aligned factions, one car
stands as the totem of all good things Porsche; the one car that melts the
warring factions; the car that defines the Porsche 911 as the sports car of
the ages. That car is the 1973 Carrera RS.
And if the 1973 RS is truly the king of all things air-cooled, then the one
book that is the titular head of all things written about that fabled car is
this book: the Porsche Carrera RS, Written and published by Thomas Gruber
and Dr. Georg Konradsheim, the original version was released in 1992.
It was to Porsche literature what the '73 RS was to the regular 911s. The
content of that first edition so eclipsed all other RS books being published
that it was similar to the performance gap between a RS and a 911S. They
were not playing the same game. That first edition was published in a
limited run of 3000. The book quickly sold out, and to this day they continue
to demand extreme valuations to get an owner to let one go.
But the air-cooled cavalry has arrived. Now that fabled tome from 1992 has
been republished and greatly enhanced. There are new details, facts,
developmental back stories, and unpublished pictures. At 434 total pages,
this new 2015 book adds 178 more pages to the previous edition. The
research for the new edition required three years of investigation and
collaboration with many of the factory insiders who were there. The 2015
edition is not a reprint but a thoroughly reworked and expanded version.
Porsche gave the authors full access to the factory photo archives. The new
version has multiple unreleased photographs. The first version of the RS
book set the bar for a book covering a single model, and the
newly released version evaporates that bar.
The book traces the history from the earliest Porsche racing forays to the
development of the 911 to the need to build enough street versions of the RS
to justify--in other words to homologate--the RS for racing, and the early
attempts at understanding and utilizing aerodynamics to make the car safer
The steps that the factory had to utilize to weigh each car built and then
rebuild the car to the customers' specs was incredible. The intense
engineering focus that only Porsche could bring to the development of
turning a production street car into the single most winning type of car in
history: the 911.
All of that remarkable history is here.
The book will once again be
published in two versions, English and German, with 3000 copies in each
language. The quality of this book, both in its content as well as its
construction, fully justifies the not inconsiderable cost. For anyone who
acknowledges the importance and impact of Porsche on the automotive
landscape, this book is a must-have. Put it on your birthday, Christmas,
anniversary, and Fathers and Mothers Day wish lists. No Porsche home library
is complete without this book on the shelf.