A Spanish noun, ‘carrera’ can mean road, track or race and since the 1970s ‘Carrera’ has been a model name synonymous with Porsche. In fact, and as the author explains, Porsche had been using the name ‘Carrera’ since 1954 to commemorate its success in the Carrera Panamericana road race, one of a gruelling and dangerous series of point-to-point competitions in central America whose heyday was during the 1950s.
Glen Smale is a seasoned Porsche writer: in The Carrera Dynasty he explains how Porsche sought to make its name through racing with vivid descriptions of Porsche’s early racing history, especially its less familiar Pan-American campaigns. From its very beginnings when the first open Porsches built in Austria were sold to Swiss hillclimbers, the company was competition-led, and its sure eye for its market made the use of the name Carrera an obvious move.
The first production Carrera was the twin cam 356, but it was the Carrera RS 2.7 of 1972 which really brought the name into the automotive lexicon. Since 1982, the name has usually been attributed to the 911 coupé, usually to distinguish it from the Targa and Cabriolet versions. Porsche departed from this only twice (with the 924 Carrera GT and twenty years later with the 2003 Carrera GT, a V10-engined spyder) and each Carrera is described and its significance in the Porsche story clarified.
Compiled in the days before the internet was significant and when research involved going out into the field, The Carrera Dynasty exudes the authenticity of a work where the author has spoken first hand to many of the key individuals. He quotes for example the versatile Rolf Sprenger who started Porsche Exclusive, and works driver and tester Herbert Linge whose career at Porsche spanned a half century, both typical of the kinds of men who made Porsche and who appear in this book.
The Carrera Dynasty is comprehensively illustrated with archive pictures from Porsche, as well as the author’s own contemporary photography, and the book provides the Porsche newcomer especially with an informative background to an endlessly fascinating company.
This book sets out to explore the path that the name ‘Carrera’ has taken for the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer, Porsche. It traces the origins of the name ‘Carrera’, where and how it was first used within the company, and what car/model it first referred to. In uncovering this interesting history, interviews were conducted with Porsche’s first official test driver and accomplished racing driver, Herbert Linge, and later well-known personalities including Dr. Heinz Rabe, Jürgen Barth, Rolf Sprenger, Klaus Bischof, Anatole Lapine, Michael Hölscher and others.
The name ‘Carrera’ disappeared from the model line-up at times in the early days, but that was because this name was to be applied only to the top performing Porsche of the day. When in the 1980s the company was in a sticky financial position, the name ‘Carrera’ was given to all 911s with the exception of the 911 Turbo, and the background to this decision is explored within the pages of this book.
This book was the first to uncover in some detail this evocative model name and its origins, and to follow its path through the decades. The Carrera Dynasty is essential reading for both the newcomer to the Porsche brand, as well as those who are looking for some extra, deeper knowledge on this great brand. The book is now out of print, but new autographed copies can still be obtained directly from the author (see below) – Glen Smale.
|Title||Porsche: The Carrera Dynasty|
|Page count||216 pages|
|Format||215 x 278 mm portrait, jacketed hardback|
|Images||200+ images including colour|
|Price||£20.00 plus P&P|
Written by: Kieron Fennelly