Porsche - Origin of the Species
The New York Times - December 9, 2012
A Time to Turn Pages Instead of Corners
Already respected for his many automotive books, Karl Ludvigsen reaches higher yet with his new work, "Porsche - Origin of the Species." While one of his previous Porsche epics, "Excellence Was Expected," was considered the definitive history of the marque, his latest volume is crammed with new material, including first-time accounts of missing links in Porsche's evolution.
Mr. Ludvigsen details Ferdinand Porsche's work for Cisitalia, where the successful use of Fiat parts very likely played a role in the decision to base his own sports car on the lowly Volkswagen Beetle. And the book reveals a little-known Porsche rendering for the stillborn Type 370 Cisitalia coupe, obviously a warm-up act for the Type 356 to come.
Mr. Ludvigsen's precise writing style often reveals his engineering background, but he also brings to life the Porsche and Piëch families as well as the talented staff and the entrepreneurs, racers and politicos who contributed to the company's unlikely success.
In addition to a foreword by Jerry Seinfeld, each chapter includes at least one sidebar, often by another luminary. Miles Collier addresses automotive preservation, Robert Cumberford critiques the first 356, and two Porsche designers, Grant Larson and Tony Hatter, discuss the styling of the early cars and their roles in developing later models.
"Porsche - Origin of the Species" is an impressive 11-by-11-inch package, yet it is much more than just a coffee-table decoration. Even at $119.95, it's definitely a keeper for Porschephiles and all car enthusiasts.
Review from and courtesy of The New York Times