Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The Racing 914s – A Review

Just in this month is this review from Doug Lloyd of Porsche Panorama, Roy Smith's limited edition book, Porsche – The Racing 914s. Here's the review in full.

"Dense, detailed, and comprehensively illustrated with 452 colour and black-and-white images, Roy Smith's Porsche – The Racing 914s is a rich history of the Porsche 914, in particular the 914/6 GT that raced in Europe and the US in the 1970s.

"With an introductory chapter that discusses the advantages of mid-engine racing cars as being more balanced and better handling that their front-engine brethren, the book continues to a history of the gestation of the 914. Originally a VW-Porsche joint project, the 914 was conceived as a 'people's Porsche' that should not diminish 911 sales but would also be suitable for racing. Succeeding chapters delve into 914/6 GT development and racing, including the 1970 and '71 seasons in Europe and privateer team efforts through the early '70s.

"As racing in Europe at the time was so much more than simple road course competition, there are also sections on hill climbs and rallying. A particularly interesting chapter is devoted to Herbert Linge's efforts to promote safety in auto racing, and blessing from Porsche for his team to develop a 914 into essentially the very first race-speed safety car, including emergency equipment, fire extinguishers, and other safety gear. Prior to that time, tracks had little interest in safety and its attendant costs, with some at best having an on-site retired fire truck. 

"Later chapters discuss 914 competition in the United States, and later private and vintage efforts leading up to modern times. 

"It is clear that Smith is very well-versed in his subject, as the detailed information in the book is meticulously researched, including numerous interviews with the racers, mechanics, and team owners. The last chapter is simply race records from the period. He also covers marketing and promotional challenges, and shares his thoughts about what could have been if perhaps the 914 had been better developed and made more powerful. 

"Porsche – The Racing 914s, is beautifully illustrated, but it is not really a coffee table book: Rather, it is a comprehensive historical look at the 914 and its place in Porsche's racing history."

Sound like a good book to you? You can purchase your copy here; hurry, they are limited editions!


For more on Roy Smith and his Racing 914s book, check out our full interview we did with him ack in December of last year, over on our YouTube page.