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Porsche - Origin of the Species: Foreword by Jerry Seinfeld [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Karl Ludvigsen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 83.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

22 Aug 2012
Bentley Publishers is proud to announce the latest Porsche heritage book by renowned automotive historian Karl Ludvigsen. Within Jerry Seinfeld's renowned Porsche collection resides an unassuming yet extraordinary piece of Porsche history: Porsche Gmünd coupe 356/2-040. Captured exclusively for this book in a series of evocative portraits by acclaimed automotive photographer Michael Furman, 040s unsullied originality conveys with startling immediacy the combination of artistry, innovation and determination that went into its improbable creation. This cornerstone of the Seinfeld collection serves as the inspiration for Porsche-Origin of the Species, an in-depth exploration by the eminent automotive historian Karl Ludvigsen into the specific influences and circumstances that brought forth the first Porsche-badged sports cars. How and when did the people of the Porsche firm find themselves in a sawmill in Gmünd? What was the influence on the 356 of the cars and engines built by Porsche before and during the war? How and why was the first 356 shaped as it was? What was the real relationship between the tube-framed Type 356 roadster and the first 356/2 coupes? Questions like these deserve answers because the resulting DNA is so powerful, so robust, that it still influences the shape and style of Porsches well into the twenty-first century. Karl Ludvigsen, author of the award-winning Porsche: Excellence Was Expected and Ferdinand Porsche ? Genesis of Genius, tackles these questions and more in Porsche-Origin of the Species. The saga that emerges encompasses mechanical revelations, human drama and the turmoil of world war. Porsche-Origin of the Species will appeal to all car enthusiasts who are eager to know what events really ignited the spark from which all other Porsches evolved.

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Porsche - Origin of the Species: Foreword by Jerry Seinfeld + Porsche 356: made by Reutter + 356 Porsche: A Restorer's Guide to Authenticity
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Bentley Publishers; First Edition edition (22 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0837613310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0837613314
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 27.4 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 441,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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 nearly 50 books to his credit. Needless to say, they are all about cars and the motor industry, Karl's life-long passion.

Since 1997 Ludvigsen has been drawing on the photographic resources of the Ludvigsen Library to write and illustrate books on the great racing drivers. His first title in this series was Stirling Moss - Racing with the Maestro. He followed this with Jackie Stewart - Triple-Crowned King of Speed and Juan Manuel Fangio - Motor Racing's Grand Master. Fourth in this series for Haynes Publishing was Dan Gurney - The Ultimate Racer and fifth was Alberto Ascari - Ferrari's First Double Champion. Next came Bruce McLaren - Life and Legend of Excellence and Emerson Fittipaldi -- Heart of a Racer.

Also in the field of motor sports Karl Ludvigsen has written about road racing in America, the cars of the Can-Am series, the AAR Eagle racing cars, the GT40 Fords and Prime Movers, the story of Britain's Ilmor Engineering. His introduction to At Speed, a book of Jesse Alexander's racing photography, won the Ken W. Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism.

Other motors-sports titles include Classic Grand Prix Cars, a history of the front-engined G.P. racer, and Classic Racing Engines, Karl's personal selection of 50 notable power units. Ludvigsen has written the story of BRM's ill-fated Formula 1 V16 and the saga of the great 200 horsepower Benz racers, two of which were nicknamed "Blitzen Benz".

Four of Karl Ludvigsen's books concern the Chevrolet Corvette, one of them an industry best-seller. He has written three times about Mercedes-Benz, twice about its racing cars. His books on the latter subject have won the Montagu Trophy (once) and the Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot Award (twice), both recognising outstanding automotive historical writing.

In 2001 Karl again received the Cugnot award from the Society of Automotive Historians for his book about the early years of the Volkswagen and its controversial factory, Battle for the Beetle, a Robert Bentley publication. In 2002 the Society gave him its highest accolade, Friend of Automotive History.

Karl Ludvigsen is also the author of the definitive histories of Porsche and Opel. His Porsche history, Excellence was Expected, is considered by many to be a model of the researching and writing of the history of an auto company. He has updated it in three volumes for Bentley Publishers for the new Millennium. A further update was published in 2009, bringing its content to one million words.

At the request of Ernst Piëch, a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, Ludvigsen has researched the early life and work of that great engineer. The result, a book titled Porsche -- Genesis of Genius, is published by Bentley in 2008. It has won both the Montagu Trophy and the Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot Award. An accompanying book, titled Sublime Creations, describes cars in Mr. Piëch's personal collection.

In 1997 Ludvigsen researched and wrote the catalogue for a special exhibition of Ferrari technological innovations on the occasion of the company's 50th anniversary and contributed a major section to the company's official 50-year history. For Ferrari's 60th anniversary he was commissioned by them to research and write a major over-arching history of Ferrari's technical innovations.

Ludvigsen's understanding of the Ferrari world combined with his Library's holding of the Rodolfo Mailander photo archive to produce Ferrari by Mailander in 2005, a Dalton Watson publication. Its launch was accompanied by major exhibitions in Turin and Pebble Beach of selected photos from the book. In 2010 Dalton Watson published Karl's book about the genesis and evolution of the great Rolls-Royce/Bentley V8 engine.

The year 2008 saw the publication by Haynes of a history of the battles between Ferrari and Maserati from the 1940s to the 1960s, titled Red-Hot Rivals. Ludvigsen is also the author of a series of monographs on great Maserati cars. In 2010 Haynes published his book about the life and work of famed Lotus creator Colin Chapman.

In co-operation with publisher Iconografix, Ludvigsen has established the Ludvigsen Library Series of 128-page books drawing on the holdings of the Ludvigsen Library. The series now numbers 19 titles, including books on Indy racing cars of 1911 to 1939, the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the Indy Novis, Chevrolet's Corvair and Corvette, Jaguar XK120, XK140 and XK150, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL of 1952 and 1954-1964, the 300SLR of 1955, two books on Porsche Spyders, the Porsche 917, the Ferrari factory and American sports-racers: the Cunninghams, Chaparrals and Can-Am racing cars. More titles are in preparation.

Karl's Ludvigsen Library is also active in the provision of photographs and research material for authors, publishers of books and periodicals, and collectors and enthusiasts. It holds extensive original negatives and transparencies from the 1950s forward with special strengths in motor sports, American cars and sports cars. As well it holds original photos and glass negatives from the dawn of the automotive era. The Library website is www.ludvigsen.com.

On motor-industry topics Karl Ludvigsen has written books about high-performance engines, the Wankel rotary engine and the histories of American auto makers. His latest book on power units is The V12 Engine, published by Haynes in 2005. He was editor of The Future of the Automobile, the report of the 1981-1984 study of the world auto industry by M.I.T. This was named one of the best business books of the year by Business Week.

In 1996 publishers in Britain and the United States launched Karl Ludvigsen's book on motor industry management, Creating the Customer-Driven Car Company. It draws on his industry experience and in-depth research to advise industry personnel on customer-pleasing best practice.

From 1989 to 1998 Karl Ludvigsen edited and contributed to numerous studies published by Euromotor Reports Limited, a leading researcher of special reports and studies about the European motor industry and market. Resident in England since 1980, Mr Ludvigsen is respected as a close and knowledgeable observer of, and participant in, the world motor industry.

Leading periodicals also publish Karl Ludvigsen's writings. He is a former technical editor of Sports Cars Illustrated (1956-57), editor of Car and Driver (1960-1962) and east coast editor of Motor Trend (1970s). His articles about cars, companies and motoring personalities are published in America by Automobile Quarterly, among others, while in Europe he writes frequently for The Automobile. He is a regular writer and columnist for Hemmings Sports & Exotic Cars, 911 & Porsche World and Just-Auto.com.

Karl Ludvigsen's personal website is www.karlludvigsen.com.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Reading 30 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover
I love my copy of this book, with its riveting history and a gorgeous selection of photographs of people, cars, machinery and locations. It will help you enjoy it (well, it helped me!) if you use Wikipedia to download a Porsche family tree (the people, not the cars).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 6 July 2014
Format:Hardcover
perfect!
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Porsche - Origin of the Species 13 Sep 2012
By bill block - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Carl Ludvigsen certainly has the lock on spectacular and spectacularly informative Porsche history book: first, in 1978, Excellence Was Expected, now out as a three volume edition 2.1 - unquestionably the best marquee history ever written, followed by Genesis of Genius, which took us from Professor Ferdinand Porsche's early years up to more or less the beginning of World War 2. Still awaited is a middle volume to filling this gap. Instead, we have Porsche Origin of the Species; which rather than be a standard chronological series draws together a series of sequential and parallel events, without any one of which there would be no Porsche.

Porsche father and son had always raced and been willing to spend un-booked company time designing cars. Sometimes this worked out, as with the design for Typ 22 Grand Prix car, which was purchased by Auto Union. Sometimes the designs appeared to be still born, as with the Typ 64 and Typ 114. Typ 64? I had taken it as an article of faith that the Typ 64 was the Porsche-side design number corresponding to the VW 60 10K - remember Typ 60 was Porsche's design number for the initial VW. Carl argues that the Typ 64 was not, even for the time, a particularly advanced design. Apparently Porsche developed the 60 10K as a purely VW effort - remembering of course that Porsche supplied the entire design and engineering staff to VW. The Typ 114 was the influential body design, on top of a VW-like pan. From there is not difficult to see the evolution; via the tube frame 356/1 and then the 356/2 bent sheet metal with attached aluminum body to the final monocoque.

On two levels the Cisitalia contract, which included several designs in addition to the nascent
Grand Prix car is just as important. First, is the well-known use of the Cisitalia payments to ransom/bail the Professor from his French prison. Not know to me at least is that the French government refunded the bail several years later. According to Piech, by the time the bail was returned, inflation was such that the funds were sufficient to buy several pair of shoes. Yet another necessary strand was the observation of the Cisitalia 202 - an expensive small sports car built from FIAT parts. This combined with the 60 10K was a necessary epiphany. Porsche would use VW parts to make a small but expensive sports car. Porsche also had a large, somewhat under employed, staff of around 150 in Gmünd; and Porsche was not loath to use them on an un-booked project. Perhaps most important: currency reform had come about and VW was paying royalties. Porsche had a money problem -- not too little but too much with its attendant tax liabilities. What better way to create a tax write-off than to build cars? There are perhaps half a dozen other threads woven into the story I haven't mentioned. It's not just the history, which is superb and has an amazing number of new facts, but the understanding of how they all interrelated and how they all had to happen and happen at the right time.

Finally we have the Mathé/Seinfeld Gmünd T 2222 ; Porsche 356/2-040, an Austrian Werkes engineering car until December of 1953, was purchased by Otto Mathé, who had previously purchased the Typ 60 10k in 1950. This is important since effectively Mathé was the car's only owner until his death fifty years later. Not clear is whether the car's rough condition is the way Porsche built it or patina acquired during Mathé's ownership. On one hand Carl relates the first Gmünd 356/2s shown in Switzerland had to be tarted-up to make them presentable and I was told while in Sweden Scania Vabis had to do the same with the last of Gmünd models. On the other hand, Otto Mathé was not one to baby his cars - while apparently never raced Porsche 356/2-040 was used as a tow car for his open wheel race car, and to this day wears a Werkes built roof rack for carrying tires. Unlike other high profie car T 2222 was not subjected to a restoration, but sympathetically gone through to make it safe to drive and close to original - for instance the reconversion to left had drive had been improperly executed. Now we get to the beauty of the book. The hstorical photographs come from the factory - one can't help wondering how many "previously unpublished" photographs still lurk in the Arkivs. The fly leaf and chapter heading photographs are beautifully shot by Michael Furman whle Klaus Schnitzler, Professor of Photography at Monclair State University, shot most of the contemporary photographs. Adding perspective and relating valued antidotes are Paul Russel on the restoration and Chuck Stoddard on the historical background and his own Gmünd coupe. And up front following Jerry Seinfeld's introduction is 356 Registry member, enthusiast and top flight automotive designer Freeman Thomas with "The Legacy of Erwin Komenda." I always learn something from Freeman- in this case the distinction between "floating" and connected shut lines.

As should be expected for $110.00, the reproduction and paper quality are superb. The book is large format - about a foot square, 343 pages. The only down side of a book this thick, is the tendency for its binding to separate - much like the original Excellence Was Expected - NEVER fold the covers flat, ALWAYS read on your lap or a Vee book stand.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highest Recommendation 4 Sep 2012
By ZellamSee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Whoa!! I just received this book and it is one of the best Porsche related books to be released in a while. The book covers Seinfeld's Gmuend coupe (on the cover), but the book is so much more than that. As the title suggests, the book provides the history and origin of the Porsche automobile and Ludvigsen does this beautifully, with lovely detail and exquisite photos of people, documents, cars, etc. Wow! The book is done to a very high standard, printed on high quality paper. There are wonderful sidebar pieces in the book by many who have been involved with the design of Porsches (e.g., Freeman Thomas and Tony Hatter, among others) as well as those involved in the restoration of Seinfeld's car. Highest recommendation!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it. 25 Feb 2013
By SAS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Beautifully printed and designed.
Great research that I didn't see anyplace else especially about 1st Porches.
Must for 356 lovers.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an awesome purchase for a Porsche lover!! 29 Mar 2013
By Colleen P. Leonard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We purchased this book for a customer. It sealed the deal! He loved it!! I will probably purchase one for my husband.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for the faithful. 19 Mar 2013
By Architect - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For those who love the DNA of Machine Art, this is a must read. A great story with a lot of smarts!
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