Printed in the
United States of America
SAHB Times - Winter 2014
Karl Ludvigsen's biography was recently published in The Automobile where it is revealed that over a period of five decades he has had published some 48 books on a wide variety of subjects to include Porsche, Ferrari and Mercedes to name but a few in addition to several biographies of racing drivers. His knowledge and enthusiasm for the Corvette and indeed the American motorcar should be sufficient to place a five-star rating against this truly massive work. It is, of course, and the book with the author's depth of research, which is indicative of his vast erudition when it comes to automotive history, makes this one of those special titles that becomes a bible to other historians. The work benefits from the fact that Karl was closely associated with the Corvette whilst serving with GM as well as his tenure as editor of Car and Driver before another term working with GM, in this instance with styling Vice President Bill Mitchell.
What is so entertaining and informative about the book is the author's journey into the history of the American sports car and how it was partly influenced by those vehicles from outside the USA, such as Jaguar's XK-120. Anyone who is inspired by speed, and obsessive styling cannot but be enthralled by the images sought out by Karl and his easy way of setting out the complex narrative to his chosen subject. So wide is the spectrum of the book that in addition to cars it is the small and highly manoeuvrable ships, i.e. Corvettes that come under the microscope in addition to the production Corvettes that were raced at Le Mans. Stingrays and the coachbuilt cars are also examined as are all the personalities involved in producing and engineering the cars over three decades. To tell you that the book contains 52 chapters and a substantial number of appendices merely illustrates what a superb volume this is.
Review from and courtesy of SAHB Times, the magazine of the Society of Automotive Historians in Britain - Winter 2014