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Karl Ludvigsen's Corvette - America's Star-Spangled Sports Car
The Complete History - 1953-1982
The Corvette community has long been asking for an update of Karl Ludvigsen's Corvette - America's Star-Spangled Sports Car, published in 1973 and last refreshed in 1978. Ludvigsen has taken that task to heart. Covered in no less than 52 chapters, the essential elements of the original Corvette bible are still here, but it has been fully revised, reorganized, and expanded, including the addition of hundreds of new photos and illustrations.
Click here to view an excerpt from this book discussing the roots of the legendary 1967 L88 Corvette Stingray:
The Corvette legend is full of larger-than-life personalities, corporate politics, and several attempts to cancel the Corvette program outright. Ludvigsen's complete history of the C1, C2 and C3 generations explores it all-from the tactical maneuvering of Harley Earl, Ed Cole and Maurice Olley to get the first Corvette Motorama cars built in the 1950s to the power struggles between John DeLorean, Ed Cole and Zora Arkus-Duntov over a mid-engined Corvette in the 1970s. GM's various marketing strategies for the Corvette are also outlined in detail.
The star player, of course, is the car itself. Ludvigsen painstakingly traces the evolution of its design, its structural engineering, and its power and performance-including extensive coverage of Corvette racing at both the amateur and professional levels. Technical drawings and colorful promotional photos of each production model are wonderfully balanced with superb shots of racing Corvettes and their drivers in action.
"...anyone with any interest at all in Corvettes should consider adding this book to their library."
Also new for this edition are the author's insights into competitors like the Bricklin and Pantera. Newly researched sidebars describe the influential LaSalle II concept cars, Bill Thomas's Cheetah, Zora Duntov's European years, custom bodies on Corvettes, the St. Louis plant, the author's impressions of CERV II and Bill Mitchell's personal views on the Corvette.
"...Ludvigsen fills every page with history - from the way things got to be the way they are, to all the blind alleys and missed opportunities, from the personalities to the business decisions."
When it was published in 1973, Star-Spangled Sports Car broke new ground as the first book devoted entirely to a single car model. It has since been credited with helping to kick-start the exciting Corvette hobby. Four decades after its original publication Classic and Sports Car declared, "Karl Ludvigsen's Corvette history remains the bible."
What makes Corvette - America's Star-Spangled Sports Car: The Complete History, 1953-1982 unique is the fact that Ludvigsen does not stop at recounting what happened or cataloging model-year changes, equipment options, etc. (though these facts are well covered). He has added depth to the Corvette story through his desire to understand why the Corvette evolved as it did. Drawing on his many years in the industry and his expertise as an automotive historian, Ludvigsen takes the reader behind the scenes to reveal an insider's view of the people and events that gave rise to America's favorite sports car.
Silver Medal winner for Book Writing-History: Single Marque at the 24th International Automotive Media Competition
Sample page spread from Corvette - America's Star-Spangled Sports Car.
Chapter 36: Racing Four by Four
The author and Zora consult during test drive of CERV II in 1970.
Chapter 19: Mitchell's Motors
Tony Lapine airbrushes a rendering of the XP-755 in 1961.
Chapter 50: Happy Anniversary!
1980 Production Corvette illustrated by Steven Cavalieri.
Karl Ludvigsen with Corvette creators Zora Arkus-Duntov and Bill Mitchell
Author Karl Ludvigsen at his home with a Z06
ISBN: 978-0-8376-1659-9 (ISBN-10)
ISBN: 978-0-8376-1659-9 (ISBN-13)