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Porsche: Excellence Was Expected

Book 2: Hitting the Apex (1967-1989)

by Karl Ludvigsen

Hardcover, 9 in. x 10.5 in.
654 pages
647 photos & illustrations
Price: Only available as part of set

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Book 2: Hitting the Apex
1967-1989

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As author Karl Ludvigsen reveals in Book 2 of Porsche: Excellence Was Expected, the 1970s and 1980s were years of intense innovation for the Porsche factory. In fact, 1970 was to see the tiny automaker fulfill a major goal: its first overall victory at Le Mans. The company became a force in every arena of motorsports it entered, including Can Am, where Mark Donohue, George Follmer and the mighty Penske Racing 917s literally decimated the competition. Ludvigsen discusses in depth the development and campaigning of Porsche's thoroughbred racers from this seminal era.

Porsche had long known the benefits of placing an engine amidships for its racing cars. However, in the late 1960s, Porsche and Volkswagen collaborated on a mid-engined sports car for the road. The author describes the development of this vehicle as well as its fortunes in the market place and its ventures onto racing circuits. He even discusses the sole pair of potent 914-based sportscars powered by the company's eight-cylinder racing motor.

In the late 1970s, the company adopted front-mounted engines and water-cooling in a move that was expected to spell the end for the venerable 911. The 924 and the impressive V-8 928 were both extremely successful in the American market, their primary target. Just as importantly, the Porsche engineers saw them as cars that could be more easily made to comply with ever-tightening Federal noise and emissions standards than the 911.

While detailing the company's models and its competition activities during this dynamic era for Porsche, Ludvigsen also explores the company's maturation process, the challenges facing the small automaker, and how it was to prepare for the future.

click to enlarge, and for longer caption if available
click to enlarge, and for longer caption if available
The cockpit of the 917/30 was designed around Donohue, who called it "the perfect race car."
click to enlarge, and for longer caption if available
Tucking away the hard top in the trunk was still a feature of the 914 in its final model year, 1975.
Highlights in Book 2:
The mid-engined 914
917 and victory at LeMans
Return of the Carrera
Turbo 911s
The front-engined Porsches
Porsche builds a V-8
Racing in Group C
Porsche model timeline
Models in Book 2:
Production
914
914.6
911
911 Turbo Carrera
912E
930 Turbo
924
928
911 SC
Competition
917
Carrera RSR
IROC Carrera
934
935

924 Carrera
953
956
962

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Porsche: Excellence Was Expected
Porsche: Excellence Was Expected
BSIN: GPX2
Permalink: http://www.bentleypublishers.com/c/GPX2
Karl Ludvigsen
Karl Ludvigsen

In addition to his motor industry activities as an executive (with GM, Fiat and Ford) and head of a consulting company, Karl Ludvigsen has been active for over 50 years as an author and historian. As an author, co-author or editor he has some four dozen books to his credit. Needless to say, they are all about cars and the motor industry, Karl's life-long passion.

More about Karl Ludvigsen

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