Nov/Dec 2019 edition
Issue #8 AutoMobilia Resource Magazine
Rarely if ever will you read a review written by someone who freely admits to not having read the entire book, but this is the case here. Let me explain–I had only a brief time to write this review, and I’d read the three previous editions. So, a little book history:
Back in “the old daze”, in the mid-1970s, automotive historian Karl Ludvigsen wrote a huge and then-complete history of Porsche: the people, the cars, and the company. Porsche, Excellence Was Expected (PEWE, for short) was first published in 1976 by L. Scott Bailey’s Automobile Quarterly. Priced at a then-astronomical $59.95 (or a then-outrageous $79.95 for the leather-bound version), it quickly and justifiably succeeded, setting the standard for marque histories. Porsche enthusiasts devoured every word.
Updated three-volume editions came in 2003 and 2008, published by Robert Bentley, though the original chapters were not rewritten. Now, all that has changed. This new fourth edition, likely the last (after 50-plus years, Karl is slowing a bit), has been totally rewritten and dramatically expanded, incorporating a huge amount of fresh information and photographs. Karl has always enjoyed total access to Porsche’s archives, but his dedication and experience now mean more than ever. His experience working at GM, Fiat, and Ford broadened his views.
Our only complaint is that the printer’s color reproduction fails to meet the quality of previous editions. Still, those earlier editions won all of the most prestigious automotive book awards, and I expect this one will follow in their tracks. The massive, 30-lb, four-volume set (with 2,836 pages and 2,912 illustrations) retails for $524.95 and is available now. Truly, if you have only one Porsche book, this must be it.
OK, now I can take a month or so to finish reading the book!
To read more great columns like this one from expert Frank Barrett...
Frank Barrett has collected books since 1951 and in 1978 began selling Porsche titles and out-of-print books.