WAFT has been publishing high-quality automotive books for a few years now, and if you recognize the name you likely already know just how far-reaching the stories packed inside can be. They uncover and probe so many different facets of the automobile and its culture that a single turn of the page can transport you across oceans and decades. Regardless of where they’re aimed though, the stories are compelling, the photos phenomenal, and it’s all artistically packaged on the kind of thick-stock pages that makes the content literally shine. Every book they’ve released comes with enough pretty pictures for any coffee table, and enough storytelling and context to keep you invested long after you’ve flipped through those.
They cover a lot of ground then, but in their latest book, the focus has been, well, focused. In 911 LoveRS, WAFT has compiled a number of stories about not only the factory’s development and testing of the Porsche R/RS/RSR models, but the personal histories and memories of the owners of these cars too, who have been and continue to be their most dedicated fans. It’s been 50 years since the 911 R, and the in that time the mythology around it and its successors has only grown. With a compilation of stories from their owners and illuminating sections of historical background provided by esteemed writer and historian Jürgen Lewandowski, the book does justice to all aspects of these special cars.
Perhaps you’re thinking that mankind has already printed too many collective pages on Porsches, but this is of a different sort than the typical field guide. 911 LoveRS still presents the reader with myriad chassis codes and other arcana, but the meat of the content comes from the personal stories that spring from the humans who own these marvels of engineering and style, and it would be a mistake to think of this book as anything akin to dry reference material. It’s poetic, it’s personal, it’s full of anecdotes and family stories passed down and new ones gestating. It’s about people both famous and not, all bound by their personal connections with Porsche’s rawest road cars. There is some talk of motorsport – as is unavoidable when talking about 911s with an “R” on the deck lid – but the stories often revolve around people and roads far more often than racers and circuits.
The format is basically this: the book progresses chronologically from the 911R, with each new generation of Porsche R models marked by a few pages offering some historical perspective on the development of these cars. There are some great pieces of trivia in these sections, such as the fact (and the photo) of the 911 R’s wind-dented plastic bonnet as it charged around the banks of Monza chasing endurance records (it would break five world records at the end of the grueling four days). So after having some context on the model in question, the book then switches to a series of stories centered around the owners of said cars. These range from the famed orchestra conductor Herbert von Karajan and his wild 930/3.0 RS hybrid, former Formula 1 driver John Watson and his 43 years of owning the same black 2.7 RS, all the way to Tom Boonen, a just-retired bicycle racer who’s begun a new career with cars and is properly obsessed with his 997 GT3 RS 4.0.
To sum it up then, this is a book that honors the fastest and most honed Porsche road cars ever built through the telling of their origin stories and more so through the deep, personal connections that their owners have built with them. It begins in the 1960s and ends where we stand today, and the timeline so far is rendered with exceptional writing and photography. It’s a great addition to any motorhead’s shelf, and a necessary one for anyone who considers themselves a fan of Porsche.
911 LoveRS is now available in the Petrolicious Shop