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Porsche: Excellence Was Expected (Currently Unavailable)

Porsche: Excellence Was Expected (Currently Unavailable)


 
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Porsche: Excellence Was Expected:
The Comprehensive History of the Company, its Cars and its Racing Heritage

by Karl Ludvigsen

Hardcover, 9 1/2 in. x 10 1/2 in.
1566 pages
1480 b&w and 144 color photos and illustrations
Three volume set - LIMITED AVAILABILITY

Now Ludvigsen manages to surpass these achievements with this fully updated edition of Porsche: Excellence Was Expected. This new edition includes augmented and edited versions of the 32 chapters from the 1977 book, as well as an additional 29 chapters that cover Porsche’s history through 2002. This three-volume, 1,500-page set contains all the photos and artwork from the original version, enhanced by over 700 new black and white photos and 50 new color drawings of Porsche production and racing cars which were commissioned specifically for this updated edition. Author Ludvigsen has outdone himself in presenting the inner workings, masterpieces and failures of an independent automaker that has exerted a disproportionately powerful influence on the automotive industry. If the first edition of Excellence Was Expected was “the definitive archetypal marque history,” (Michael Scarlett, Autocar) this revision and update is much more so. Ludvigsen’s readers are sure to agree that the author’s masterwork, like Porsche, is fighting fit for the Twenty-first Century.

Volume 1

Although Porsche was long an important force in the design of German automobiles, its first efforts at building its own vehicles only matured in the early years after World War II in the unlikely location of a sawmill in Gmünd, Austria, and survived the internment of both Professor Ferdinand Porsche and Ferry Porsche. From those modest beginnings, author Ludvigsen takes the reader through Porsche’s move back to Stuttgart and its first forays into racing with its road cars.

Models in Volume 1:
Road
356
American
Roadster
356A
356B
356C
Carrera 2
911
912
911S
Competition
550
550A
RSK
RS60
RS61
904
906
907
910
Soon, in the tradition of Prof. Porsche, the company defined itself as one that found its own unique engineering solutions to any challenge. For its own cars that meant exploiting the Volkswagen formula of a rear-mounted air-cooled engine driving the rear wheels. Those challenges also included competition, first at the local level and soon on the international stage. Class wins by 356 coupes and 550 Spyders at Le Mans soon yielded to overall victory in the 1956 Targa Florio.

Gradually the 356 evolved and matured. After a long and fruitful life it was superseded by the brilliant 911 in 1965. In the same way some of the old guard,such as Huschke von Hanstein who ran public relations and competitions, gave way to young Turks like Ferdinand Piëch. Meanwhile the company continued its march towards the highest levels of motorsports contests, scoring victories in endurance racing, Formula 1, rallying and on many different national venues across the globe.

Highlights in Volume 1:
· Designs for others
· Porsche becomes an
automaker
· The 356 on the road
· Four-cam Porsches
· Porsche Formula I
· Birth of the 911
· Contesting the big races

This first period of Porsche history was the most pivotal. Under Ferry Porsche the young car company confirmed its impeccable engineering credentials, became known globally through competition and continued its cautious expansion while remaining privately held and proudly independent of bankers. Just as this era of the company created the foundation for all of its future accomplishments, this first volume of Karl Ludvigsen’s masterwork provides the building blocks for the fascinating history and developments to follow.

Volume 2

The 1970s and 1980s were years of intense innovation for the Porsche factory. In fact, 1970 was to see the tiny automaker fulfill a major goal: its first overall victory at LeMans. As the decade progressed, the company became a force in every arena of motorsports it entered, including Can Am, where Mark Donohue, George Follmer and the mighty Penske Racing 917s literally decimated the competition. Ludvigsen discusses in depth the development and campaigning of Porsche’s thoroughbred racers from this seminal era.

Models in Volume 2:
Road
911 2.4
914
914\6
356B
912E
924
924 Turbo
928
911SC
Carrera
930 Turbo
944
Competition
917
Carrera RSR
934
935
936
924 Carrera
GTP
TAG/Mclaren
953 - Paris
Dakar
956
962

Porsche had long known the benefits of placing an engine amidships for its racing cars. However, in the late 1960s, Porsche and Volkswagen collaborated on a mid-engined sports car for the road. The author describes the development of this vehicle as well as its fortunes in the market place and its ventures onto racing circuits. He even discusses the sole pair of potent 914-based sportscars powered by the company’s eight-cylinder racing motor.

In the late 1970s, the company adopted front-mounted engines and water-cooling in a move that was expected to spell the end for the venerable 911. The 924 and the impressive V-8 928 were both extremely successful in the American market, their primary target.

Highlights in Volume 2:
· The mid-engined 914
· 917 and the victory at
LeMans
· Return of the Carrera
· Turbo 911s
· The front-engined Porsches
· Porsche builds a V-8
· Racing in Group C
Just as importantly, the Porsche engineers saw them as cars that could be more easily made to comply with ever-tightening Federal noise and emissions standards than the 911. Yet the evergreen 911 refused to be displaced and continued to be developed and improved along side the newer front-engined cars. While detailing the company’s models and its competition activities, Ludvigsen also explores the company’s maturation process, the challenges facing the small automaker, and how it was to prepare for the future.

Volume 3

Although a successful and profitable sports-car and SUV manufacturer in 2003, the 1990s witnessed significant swings in Porsche’s fortunes. In the mid-1980s, the company’s exploration of the FIAs Group B resulted in the fabulous all-wheel-drive 959 of 1988. It was fast, sophisticated and beautiful. It was also a money loser for the company. In this same period, Porsche won the Paris-Dakar Rally and conquered the highest levels of Formula 1 with the McLaren-TAG team. In contrast, Porsche lost its way with the CART program and experienced a disappointing return to Formula 1 in 1991 with the Footwork Arrows team.

Porsche continued to extract greater performance and sophistication from its 928 and the many variations of the 944. But this model proliferation and the rise of the dollar took its toll on Porsche.

Models in Volume 3:
Road
959
928GT
944 Turbo
944S
968
911 (964)
911 (993)
Boxter
911 (996)
Cayenne
Carrera GT
Competition
961
Footwork
Arrows
911 GT2 (993)
911S LM
Carrera RS 3.8
GT1/96
911 GT3 Cup
GT1/98
911 GT3R
911 GT3RS
911 GT2 (996)

With the departure of chief Peter Schutz, emphasis gradually retuned to the 911, with the introduction of the vastly revised 911 (964) in Carrera 2 and Carrera 4 versions. By the mid-1990s, the 911 - as the Type 993 - was Porsche’s only product, although it was available in coupe, Targa, Cabriolet and Turbo forms, with both two- and four-wheel-drive configurations. 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

With the return of manufacturing specialist Wendelin Wiedeking in 1992 came massive changes that led to new efficiencies within the company. In addition, the company made a stock offering and reached into reserves to provide development funds for a pair of new automobiles which brought about a gradual resurgence for the little firm. The resulting Boxster and Type 996 version of the 911 breathed new life into Porsche

Highlights in Volume 3:
· Porsche’s 959 supercar
· Formula I engine supplier
· A new 911
· Boxster success
· 993 and 996
· Cayenne SUV
· Carrera GT

As Ludvigsen explains, in the early days of the Twenty-First Century Porsche’s Boxster and 911 lines remain strong and healthy. The advent of the Cayenne SUV and the Carrera GT supercar, as well as the overall victory of a 911 GT3RS at Sebring in 2003 should dispel any last doubts about Porsche’s engineering capabilities or its ability to survive as a small and independent automaker.


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