You could fill an entire room with books about Porsche, and over half of those titles would be about the iconic 911. If shelf space was at a premium, you could take virtually all of those books and donate them to a needy cause. You would need to keep only one 911 book for your personal library—that would be this book.
automotive engineer, successful race car driver (he won Le Mans in 1960) and close personal friend of the Porsche family, Paul Frere was the perfect person to delve into the world of 911s and their multiple permutations.
Frere wrote the first version of this book back in 1976 when the 911 was
already 12 years old. A schooled engineer, he approached the book from an
engineering perspective. Because the writer was also to the Porsche family, he was routinely given the earliest opportunities to test drive each new Porsche road and race car. These early tests afforded Paul Frere additional insight into the direction of Porsche products and technology. He used this knowledge in his writing of the 911 book.
In the book itself, he dissected the car into its various prime components: engine, transmission, body structure, suspension, brakes,
etc., and wrote in-depth about the evolution of each key piece. He did not delve too deeply into the actual engineering aspects but did provide enough analysis so that even the layperson reading the book would come away with a greater understanding of why the factory made certain changes during the evolution of the car.
As the 911 continued to be produced—a situation that amazed many car enthusiasts—Frere realized that updates would be required to keep the book current. A second edition came out in 1980, which was ultimately followed by an eighth edition in 2006. That was the last time the book had actually been updated, and though the updates were well-written, they were simply tacked onto the existing edition. No attempt was made at a rewrite, and when the updated information was added, it even appeared in a different font face.
When Frere died in 2008, it seemed the book had come to its final edition.
But a ninth edition has been published, and this new revision has a much greater sense of integration and utilizes a new and larger format, which allows for an easier read.
Working to fill the sizable racing shoes left by Paul Frere, Tony Dron has done a fine job of bringing the 911 story forward to the present day. Tony Dron was an esteemed automotive writer and race car driver in his own right, so he was the
best man to take up the 911 story mantle.
If you love 911s—and if you’re a car person you either love them or you hate them—then you want to buy this book.