When Brian Long’s latest 911 tome arrived, I could see the postman physically relieved to be handing over the package. But, in all seriousness, this is one very impressive piece of work. Brian Long has written many books, but he is best known for his writing on the Porsche marque, which to be honest, is prolific. But therein lies his strength, as this makes him all the more qualified to comment on the subject.
The Ultimate Book of the Air-Cooled Porsche 911, to give it its full title, is a ‘fully overhauled’ version on the author’s previous five-volume set on the subject. Covering just the air-cooled cars between 1963-1998, as the title suggests, this immense volume is limited to just 911 copies which will in time make this a very sought after work.
As can be expected, the book covers all the roadgoing models in great depth, but Long also delves into the 911’s motorsport achievements for each model. For the road cars, details are provided of the differences between the models, improvements, engine developments, interior, production and marketing. A good deal of space is given to the colour schemes, which through the 1960s and 1970s, was particularly colourful and memorable.
At Porsche, much attention was given to improving each subsequent model, and here the author has been careful to list such upgrades as changing the angle of the damper. Buying a Porsche wasn’t just about the car though, it was the way of life that went with it, and here one can see the vast array of accessories that were available to make your driving experience a more enjoyable and personable one.
The author points out that he is a firm believer in contemporary images with which to illustrate his books. With this in mind, he has made excellent use of the company’s archives, but he has clearly gone out of his way to carefully select those images which best support his text. With so many books having been written on the Porsche brand, it is sometimes difficult not to use images that have been used before, but somehow the author has managed to present even those familiar images in an imaginative way. The book uses a mix of black & white images as well as colour, and the author has also made good use of company brochures and marketing material. Other illustrations include letters and assorted company promotional items.
The final chapter in the book is entitled – The End of Another Porsche Era – wraps up the final years of the air-cooled era. This chapter includes the mighty GT1, and of course it’s victory at Le Mans in 1998.
Thereafter follows three appendices, the first of which covers the Year-By-Year Range Details. This section lists, in chronological model order, all the major changes for each market. Appendix 2 gives details of all the different engines used in both the 911 and 912 models. The third, and final appendix, provides all the chassis numbers and production figures. Up until the end of the 1971 model year, the 911 bodies were manufactured by either Reutter or Karmann, and these details are also provided.
All in all, this is one very useful reference book, and will provide the 911 enthusiast and/or researcher with a convenient tool within the covers of a single volume. The author’s style is easy to follow, the book is well designed and presented, and it will prove an indispensable source of information.
This book is available in two editions, either as a leather-bound edition of which only 101 copies are available at £295.00 each; or as a cloth-bound edition of which there are 810 copies retailing at £175.00 each. Both editions come with a sturdy slip case, and all 911 copies are individually numbered. The book is only available from a bespoke website created especially for this purpose, and copies can be reserved or purchased from: www.ultimate911.veloce.co.uk, and will be available as from mid-December 2016 for the cloth-edition, and as from mid-February 2017 for the leather-bound edition.
The publication of this grand volume coincides with the 25th anniversary of Veloce Publishing. If you want to own a slice of this history, there is no time to lose, you won’t regret it, this volume is a keeper!
Author: Brian Long
Publisher: Veloce Publishing Ltd
First published: December 2016
ISBN (Standard Edition): 978-1-845849-07-8
ISBN (Leather Edition): 978-1-845849-06-1
592 artpaper pages, hardcover with slipcase
More than 1250 photographs and illustrations
9.84 x 9.84 inches (25cm x 25cm)
Price (Standard Edition): £175.00
Price (Leather Edition): £295.00
Written by: Glen Smale