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What people are saying about Corvette: America's Star-Spangled Sports Car

"Ludvigsen doesn't cut corners in his work. He spends his time and research finding out every last detail of a car or company's history and making sure it is included. He is nothing if not thorough. This is not a book to be taken lightly.

...Karl is eloquent and somewhat humorous. He has a knack for getting the reader to keep reading. He's spent decades perfecting the 'to be continued' form of writing. Getting to the end of a chapter at the end of the night, I just wanted to keep going. I never once found myself not wanting to read this book until it was done."

July 4, 2015

"If there was a college-level course on Corvette appreciation and history, the text book for the early years of the marque would be the new 3rd Edition of Karl Ludvigsen's classic, Corvette: America's Star-Spangled Sports Car 1953-1982...a thoroughly enjoyable, extremely informative and highly compelling book to read. Mr. Ludvigsen's style is always comfortable to read and does not get overly technical, making the book a pleasure for Corvette gearheads and nongearheads alike. No serious Corvette enthusiast should leave Corvette: America's Star-Spangled Sports Car out of their reading list."

Corvette Action Center
June 23, 2015

"Karl Ludvigsen has the rare skill combo (at least in the automotive book world) of being a dogged fact chaser and a wordsmith. So many Corvette books become collections of statistics, powertrains and final-drive lists, but 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."

Sports Car Market
May 2015

"Ludvigsen walks you through 30 model years with a technical review of each year, R&D backstories, plus stories of the legendary Corvette men that shaped what is arguably the most unlikely of all cars ever built by a major Detroit car manufacturer. And unlike the original that had a color plate section at the back of the book, the updated book is color throughout. Jam-packed with archival photos of prototypes, concept art, clay models, work-in-progress cars, experimentals, show cars, race cars, engines, production Corvettes, technical illustrations, statistics boxes, and more.

...To understand why the Corvette is the car it is today, you must understand its past. And it doesn't get any better than Karl Ludvigsen's expanded and updated, Corvette - America's Star-Spangled Sports Car: The Complete History, 1953-1982"

January 2015

"THE BEST BOOK about the Corvette is back in print."

February 2015

"Book of the month...[Corvette - America's Star-Spangled Sports Car] isn't merely an old book with a few extra photos included. Nothing of the sort...You feel as though you're peeking behind the curtain; that you're being given an insider's view on how the model evolved from a slow-selling, straight-six powered boulevardier that was almost axed into a global sports icon...

Any book that promises to be definitive is setting itself up for a fail, but here you really feel that it is exhaustive. A month rarely goes by without us being tasked with reviewing yet another Corvette history, most of which are potboilers, but we have no reservations about recommending this one. None whatsoever. A superb effort."

Octane Magazine
January 2015

"This is Corvette history from the original concept through the 1982 model year. It's a large book with 52 chapters. If you leisurely read one chapter each week, it will take you an entire year to read this book. That won't happen. It's more likely you'll read it much faster because the material is about your favorite car with lots of great photos.

Christmas is coming. Maybe your spouse will get it for you. Or, you can get yourself a Christmas present."

On Solid Ground, The Solid Axle Corvette Club Magazine
Winter 2014

"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."

SAHB (Society of Automotive Historians in Britain) Times
Winter 2014

"Ludvigsen's book puts this most American of American cars perfectly into context. The product of a decades-long love affair, guided by diligent research and historical accuracy and bolstered by glorious illustrations, there is little doubt that it will remain the definitive work on this subject."

The Automobile
November 2014

"...presents the reader with a complete chronicle of all things Corvette, beginning with a bit of prehistory as American tastes turned toward sporting vehicles with only two seats in the aftermath of World War II. It then looks at the development of fiberglass, the construction material that helped make the Corvette unique among mass-produced cars, before telling how GM styling chief Harley Earl put his design stamp on the car.

From there Ludvigsen goes on to provide just about every detail a Corvette lover could want as he traces the history of the car through the first 30 years of its life on both street and racetrack. Consequently, anyone with any interest at all in Corvettes should consider adding this book to their library."

Vintage Racecar
November 2014

"...even the most knowledgeable of Corvette enthusiasts will find so much new information to absorb that you'll either put the rest of your life on hold for a couple of weeks or however long it takes you to go from cover to cover or, like me, you'll work slowly but happily through the pages...if there's a Corvette enthusiast in your life and on your [holiday shopping] list, this is what they'll want."

October 9, 2014

"Definitely get a copy of the new edition of veteran auto writer Karl Ludvigsen's "Corvette--America's Star-Spangled Sports Car--The Complete History 1953-1982." It's much bigger in size and content than the original 1973 edition. It's got a whopping 784 pages, with full color throughout."

Road Tests and Classic Cars by Dan Jedlicka
October 7, 2014

"I thought I knew something about the history of the [Corvette] until I read [Corvette-America's Star Spangled Sports Car]. Quite an experience. I would be reading along, and all of a sudden it's, wait, what? What was that? I need to read that again. I found myself reading the book much more carefully than other Corvette book in my library. I didn't want to miss anything...

Corvette-America's Star Spangled Sports Car will hold your interest, not to mention becoming an important addition to your library."

Dean's Garage
September 22, 2014

"[T]his new book is as competent a stand-alone guide to the Corvette as you could hope to find but the reader who will appreciate it most is the one who is already steeped in all things Corvette and will now still be surprised to be handed more bits and pieces. ...Buy it! "

September 17, 2014

"While it would be challenging enough for most authors to write about the complete history of a car or marque, Karl Ludvigsen takes this "challenge" to a new level. In order to have his readers fully appreciate the decisions that led GM to choosing "fiberglass" as the material for their new sports car in 1953, Karl take the time to delineate the American sports car heritage in the early postwar years which sets the stage for one of the Big Three to come forward with a car of their own made of this material."

"Where he excels and goes above and beyond those before him is explaining how this new material - "fiberglass" - was the "carbon fiber" of its day. The use of this material transformed - in fact actually created - the cottage industry of building your own sports car in America. Early sports car designers like Bill Tritt of Glasspar and Eric Irwin of Lancer had a profound impact on GM's understanding of how to successfully use this material in automobile bodies. "

For these reasons alone, this book is worthy of being on the shelf of any dedicated sports car guy or gal in America - and this is based on just the review of the first three chapters. The remaining 700+ pages are a testimony to the effort Karl put forth in making this update a reality. A "must have" for anyone who appreciates history and detail for such an important American sports car story."

Forgotten Fiberglass
September 15, 2014

"'Encyclopedic' is a good word for this one. For those who are seriously interested in the history, lore, and legend of the first three decades of a fiberglass-bodied two-seater that's named after a small fighting ship, this book can well-function as their Corvette (lower case) bible..."

"Chapter after chapter, author Ludvigsen not only gives us the full and complete details (both verbal and visual), he seasons each passage with deep insider details from the people who were there-as he was, early on as a GM staff person himself. The genealogy of the C1, C2 and C3 are all here, with all of the players top to bottom...truly one of the easiest to read, most interesting, and most seriously informative of any of the multitude of books on the Corvette."

September 4, 2014

"Every once in a while there will be a book which, while not on a subject absolutely central to a readers interests, attracts because of its quality and how reading a few lines draws the reader in to a story about which he knows little; for the vintagent Corvette will be just such a book...Once again, a book from Karl Ludvigsen achieves the status of being the standard work on the subject and it is hard to see how any book on the first thirty years of the Corvette could replace this work that is both a joy to read and incredibly detailed...Corvette can be enthusiastically recommended to our readers and, as the advertising blurb says, this is a book for anyone who ever drove a Corvette or wanted to! "

Vintage Sports Car-Club Bulletin
Autumn 2014

"Author Karl Ludvigsen has fully revised, reorganized and expanded his Corvette bible on the history of the C1, C2 and C3 Corvettes, first published in 1973. With all of this, it is like a brand-new book and in the world of Corvettes, that is saying something. The book's layout and production is first-class and its larger size makes the many new photos and illustrations all the better. There's many years' worth of reading enjoyment between these covers and if a Corvette enthusiast could only have one book, it should be this one."

Vintage Motorsport
September / October 2014

"A great gift idea for Corvette lovers...In addition to great pictures, a well thought-out layout, and an easy to follow style, this book is full of technical information which we found to be very informative...Corvette - America's Star-Spangled Sports Car is sure to have a wealth of interesting material for Corvette enthusiasts and for those looking to share the mystique of Corvettes with others."

Corvette Online
August 13, 2014

"What makes this volume unique is not just the meticulous attention paid by the author to narrating the facts, but the depth he goes into when describing the success of America's favourite sports car.

Karl Ludvigsen tells us the story of the Corvette's design, its structural engineering, strength and performance through fantastic colour shots of every racing model produced."

Auto & Design
July / August 2014

"...the ultimate Corvette history book in size, weight and coverage...Ludvigsen strikes a good balance between the engineering facts, and the design gestation of each era of the Corvette, the C1, C2, C3, etc...Overall, this book is a magnificent achievement. A book you can sit on your coffee table and enjoy reading many a winter's night."

Legendary Collector Cars
July 28, 2014

"BOOK OF THE MONTH...this thumping 750-page redesigned edition is packed with fresh research and new photographs. Ludvigsen was closely involved with Chevrolet during the Corvette's evolution, and knew many of the key players including Bill Mitchell, John Fitch and Zora Arkus-Duntov. No one was better placed to write the full story."

Classic & Sports Car
July 2014

"Ludvigsen's complete history of the C1, C2 and C3 generations explores it all"

The Foudre - US, Cars, Passion
July 15, 2014

"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...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."

Cars & Parts
June 19, 2014

"My early education and inspiration related to Corvette history came from my original 1973 copy of "Star Spangled Sports Car"..."

David Burroughs - Founder, Bloomington Gold
February 2014

"Karl's concentration on the first three generations of Corvette in Corvette - America's Star Spangled Sports Car is compelling because it was early in the first generation that the Corvette was successfully defined for its enthusiast customers. It certainly wasn't instantaneous. The first Corvettes quite missed the mark, so much so, that Chevrolet was planning to quit Corvette production with the '55 model. But that's not what happened. Karl tells this story in fascinating detail."

Dave McLellan - Corvette Chief Engineer from 1975-1992
April 2014

"Our favorite book on Chevrolet's most legendary product..."

Automobile Magazine
November 2010

"Karl Ludvigsen's Corvette history remains the bible."

Classic and Sports Car
Karl Ludvigsen
Karl Ludvigsen

In addition to his motor industry activities as an executive (with GM, Fiat and Ford) and head of a consulting company, Karl Ludvigsen has been active for over 50 years as an author and historian. As an author, co-author or editor he has some four dozen books to his credit. Needless to say, they are all about cars and the motor industry, Karl's life-long passion.

More about Karl Ludvigsen