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Porsche: Excellence Was Expected

Karl Ludvigsen's definitive 3-volume work

We first learned about Bentley Publishers when we went to a talk in 2005 about Porsches. It has always been on our “to do” list to take a closer look at Porsche historian Karl Ludvigsen’s definitive 3-volume work, Porsche: Excellence Was Expected. Last week, we managed to put aside some time to do just that.

The amount of information in this 3-volume set was staggering. One could only guess at the amount of research necessary to create something like this. What is obvious is Karl Ludvigsen’s love for the topic. His interest in telling the story behind the brand and all of the events which help shaped Porsche was what really brought its history to life.

Leafing through this encyclopedic work was like having our very own Porsche history “time machine” spanning from the 1900 to 2008!  The latest Panamera info was not part of this set, but the origin and prototypes were discussed.  We were able to jump to any point in the Porsche timeline and see what was going on during that part of the company’s history. Sometimes it was to witness the emergence of a key piece of automotive technology. Other times it was to see the winning of a race against crazy odds. Having spent a week with these books, we have only managed to scratch the surface. However, it is great to know that whenever we need a better glimpse of Porsche history, we can open up a volume of Excellence Was Expected, and travel back in time to get an “almost first-hand” look for ourselves.

For readers interested in learning more about Ferdinand Porsche, the Genesis of Genius by Karl Ludvigsen is the recognized best of the lot. This book was originally published in 2008 as a collector’s item (limited run, hand-numbered) and sold out quickly. Bentley Publishers has since released a general edition for all of us who missed getting one the first time around. We’ll have a more detailed look at this book later in the month.

If you are a fan of things Porsche or if you have such a person on your Holiday gift list, then you need to check out Bentley Publisher’scollection of Porsche literature. You will find more than just great manuals, you will discover books which will give readers a unique look at an iconic sports car and the man who made it so.

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