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Porsche: Excellence Was Expected

Book 3: Comeback (1982-2008)

by Karl Ludvigsen

Hardcover, 9 in. x 10.5 in.
710 pages
658 photos & illusrations
Price: Only available as part of set

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Book 3: Comback

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Porsche witnessed significant swings in its fortunes during the final two decades of the 20th Century. In Book 3 of Porsche: Excellence Was Expected author Karl Ludvigsen brings his industry experience and insider knowledge to bear in describing Porsche's pitfalls and its pivotal comeback.

In the mid-1980s, the company's exploration of the FIA's Group B resulted in the fabulous all-wheel-drive 959 of 1985. It was fast, sophisticated and beautiful. It was also a money loser for the company. In this same period, Porsche conquered the highest levels of Formula One with the McLaren-TAG team. In contrast, Porsche lost its way with the CART program and experienced a disappointing return to Formula One in 1991 with the Footwork Arrows team.

The 924 evolved into the 944, with its muscular flanks and its torquey inline-four. Well-received, the 944 earned the respect of even the toughest journalists. Ludvigsen's account shows how this model proliferation and the rise of the dollar took its toll on Porsche. With the return of manufacturing specialist Wendelin Wiedeking in 1992 came massive changes that led to new efficiencies within the company. By the mid-1990s, the 911 - as the Type 993 - was Porsche's only product. Variations of the 911 also performed with distinction on the track, by way of the GT1, GT2 and GT3 racers available from the Porsche factory.

In addition, the company made a stock offering and reached into reserves to provide development funds for a pair of new automobiles. The resulting Boxster and Type 996 version of the 911 brought about a gradual resurgence for the little firm. Ludvigsenʼs Porsche history follows the carmaker into the first decade of the 21st century when the Cayenne SUV and the Carrera GT supercar expanded the Porsche product offering dramatically.

click to enlarge, and for longer caption if available
click to enlarge, and for longer caption if available
From 1990 Carreras both 2 and 4 were vailable with all body styles including this Targa, a 1993 model."
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A water-cooled flat six engine was designed for the new 986 Boxster launched in 1996. The same water-cooled engine would power the 996 911 that debuted the following year.
Highlights in Book 3:
944 proves a winner
Porsche's 959 supercar
Formula I engine supplier
Last of the air-cooled 911s (993)
Boxster success (986)
A new 911 (996)
Cayenne SUV
Carrera GT
Porsche model timeline
Models in Book 3:
911 (964)
911 (993)
Boxster (986)
911 (996)
Cayenne (E1)
Carrera GT
959 & 961
McLaren-TAG F1
Footwork-Arrows FA12
2708 Indycar
911 Turbo 2
911 GT2
911S LM GT
Carrera RS 3.8
911 GT1
911 GT3 Cup
911 GT3 RS

For a closer look at the 2019 edition:

the full Set
Book 1
Book 2
Book 4

Porsche: Excellence Was Expected
Porsche: Excellence Was Expected
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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.

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