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on 16 October 2005
To call Mr Ludvigsen a prolific author on the subject of racing and high performance vehicles and their famous racing drivers for well over 30 years would certainly be no exageration. I have many of his books in my library but this latest volume is extraordinary both in the completenes of its content and in the lavishness of its production by Haynes. The incredible detail in which he deals with each engine design together with the numerous superb drawings and photographs is simply stunning, if he has missed any significant V12 engine I would be most surprised. For anyone with any serious interest in the past 100 years of the internal combustion piston engine, even though it is confined to the V12 of the species (the W12 and broad arrow layouts are also covered), this sumptuous publication is an absolute must.
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on 2 March 2009
This masterwork examines the history and features of every automotive engine of V12 configuration; beginning with the first such (built by the Putney Motor Works in 1904 for marine racing) it runs all the way to that which powered the 2004 Maserati MC12. Both road and racing V12s are covered. The technical discussion of each engine is considerable, yet is written in the same clear and consistent prose for which the author is so well known. Biographical detail of the engines' designers and backers is also included, rounding out the history and keeping the reader from becoming swamped by technical data. Ample photographs and drawings illuminate the text, though one always wishes for more colour plates. This reviewer would have preferred a slight shift of emphasis away from racing towards road engines but one supposes these would not have maintained the author's own interest. Not a book for the non-technically minded but simply wonderful for those who are.
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on 2 June 2013
Truly a labor of love, meticulously researched and all-encompassing, even to an appendix on firing orders, of which there are mathematically huge potential arrangements.

Karl has always been good with numbers, and if you ever want to know the exact diameter of this part, of the weight of that one, he has the answers... sometimes with manufacturing tolerances thrown in.

I've known Karl and his writings for more than fifty years, and find he gets better all the time.
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on 4 February 2015
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