Home
Karl Ludvigsen

Karl Ludvigsen Biography

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.

Since 1997 Ludvigsen has been drawing on the photographic resources of the Ludvigsen Library to write and illustrate books on the great racing drivers. His first title in this series was Stirling Moss - Racing with the Maestro. He followed this with Jackie Stewart - Triple-Crowned King of Speed and Juan Manuel Fangio - Motor Racing's Grand Master. Fourth in this series for Haynes Publishing was Dan Gurney - The Ultimate Racer and fifth was Alberto Ascari - Ferrari's First Double Champion. Next came Bruce McLaren - Life and Legacy of Excellence and Emerson Fittipaldi - Heart of a Racer.

Also in the field of motor sports Karl Ludvigsen has written about road racing in America, the cars of the Can-Am series, the AAR Eagle racing cars, the GT40 Fords and Prime Movers, the story of Britain's Ilmor Engineering. His introduction to At Speed, a book of Jesse Alexander's racing photography, won the Ken W. Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism. Other motors-sports titles include Classic Grand Prix Cars, a history of the front-engined G.P. racer, and Classic Racing Engines, Karl's personal selection of 50 notable power units.

Four of Karl Ludvigsen's books concern the Chevrolet Corvette, one of them an industry best-seller. He has written three times about Mercedes-Benz, twice about its racing cars. His books on the latter subject have won the Mercedes-Benz Montagu Trophy (twice) and the Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award (twice), both recognizing outstanding automotive historical writing. In 2001 he again received the Cugnot award from the Society of Automotive Historians for his book about the early years of the Volkswagen, Battle for the Beetle, a Bentley Publishers publication. In 2002 the Society gave him its highest accolade, Friend of Automotive History.

Karl Ludvigsen is also the author of the definitive histories of Porsche and Opel. His Porsche history, Porsche: Excellence Was Expected, is considered by many to be a model of the researching and writing of the history of an auto company. He has updated it in three volumes for Bentley Publishers for the new Millennium. He is the author of a series of monographs on great Maserati cars.

In 1997 Ludvigsen researched and wrote the catalogue for a special exhibition of Ferrari technological innovations on the occasion of the company's 50th anniversary and contributed a major section to the company's official 50-year history. His understanding of the Ferrari world combined with his Library's holding of the Rodolfo Mailander photo archive to produce Ferrari by Mailander in 2005, a Dalton Watson publication. Its launch was accompanied by major exhibitions in Turin and Pebble Beach of selected photos from the book.

In co-operation with publisher Iconografix, Ludvigsen has established the Ludvigsen Library Series of 128-page books drawing on the holdings of the Ludvigsen Library. The series now numbers 16 titles, including books on Indy racing cars of 1911 to 1939, the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the Indy Novis, Chevrolet's Corvair and Corvette, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL of 1952 and 1954-1964, the 300SLR of 1961, Porsche Spyders, the Ferrari factory and American sports-racers: the Cunninghams, Chaparrals and Can-Am racing cars. More titles are in preparation.

The Ludvigsen Library is also active in the provision of photographs and research material for authors, publishers of books and periodicals, and collectors and enthusiasts. It holds extensive original negatives and transparencies from the 1950s forward with special strengths in motor sports, American cars and sports cars. As well it holds original photos and glass negatives from the dawn of the automotive era.

On motor-industry topics Karl Ludvigsen has written books about high-performance engines, the Wankel rotary engine and the histories of American auto makers. His latest book on power units is The V12 Engine, published by Haynes in 2005. He was editor of The Future of the Automobile, the report of the 1981-1984 study of the world auto industry by M.I.T. This was named one of the best business books of the year by Business Week. In 1996 publishers in Britain and the United States launched Karl Ludvigsen's book on motor industry management, Creating the Customer-Driven Car Company. It draws on his industry experience and in-depth research to advise industry personnel on customer-pleasing best practice.

Since 1989 Karl Ludvigsen has edited and contributed to numerous studies published by Euromotor Reports Limited, a leading researcher of special reports and studies about the European motor industry and market. Resident in England since 1980, Mr Ludvigsen is respected as a close and knowledgeable observer of, and participant in, the world motor industry.

Leading periodicals also publish Karl Ludvigsen's writings. He is a former technical editor of Sports Cars Illustrated (1956-57), editor of Car and Driver (1960-1962) and east coast editor of Motor Trend (1970s). His articles about cars, companies and motoring personalities are published in America by Road & Track and Automobile Quarterly, among others, while in Europe he writes frequently for The Automobile. He is a columnist for Hemmings Sports & Exotic Cars and Just-Auto.com and a senior writer for Autosport-Atlas.com, a leading motor-racing website.

go to top

Other Books by Karl Ludvigsen Available at BentleyPublishers.com

  Title ISBN Price
Alberto Ascari: Ferrari's First Double Champion
Ferrari’s First Double Champion
978-1-85960-680-3 $49.95
BMW Racing Cars 978-1583882016 $59.95
CAN-AM Racing Cars: Secrets of the Sensational Sixties Sports-Racers
Secrets of the Sensational Sixties Sports-Racers
978-1-58388-134-7 $29.95
Chaparral: CAN-AM Racing Cars from Texas
CAN-AM Racing Cars from Texas
978-1-58388-066-1 $24.95
Classic Grand Prix Cars 978-1844253180 $74.95
Classic Racing Engines 978-1859606490 $79.95
Colin Chapman: Inside the Innovator 978-1844254132 $89.95
Corvair By Chevrolet: Experimental & Production Cars 1957 - 1969
Corvair By Chevrolet
Experimental & Production Cars 1957–1969
978-1-58388-058-6 -
Corvette: The Exotic Experimental Cars
The Exotic Experimental Cars
978-1-58388-017-3 $19.95
Cunningham Sports Cars: American Racing Legends 1951 - 1955
American Racing Legends 1951–1955
978-1-58388-109-5 $24.95
Juan Manuel Fangio: Motor Racing's Grand Master
Motor Racing’s Grand Master
978-1-85960-625-4 $49.95
Bruce McLaren: Life and Legacy of Excellence
Life and Legacy of Excellence
978-1-85960-824-1 $39.95
Dan Gurney 978-1859606551 $79.95
Ferrari By Mailander
Ferrari By Mailander
978-1-85443-213-1 -
Ferrari The Factory: Maranello's Secrets 1950 - 1975
Maranello’s Secrets 1950–1975
978-1-58388-085-2 $24.95
Emerson Fittipaldi:  Heart of a Racer
Heart of a Racer
978-1-85960-837-1 $39.95
Ford's Feisty Capri 978-1583882511 $59.95
German Racing Silver 978-0711033689 $69.95
Gurney's Eagles: The Exciting Story of the AAR Racing Cars
The Exciting Story of the AAR Racing Cars
978-0-7603-1219-3 $27.95
The Incredible Blitzen Benz 978-1854432230 $99.00
Indy Cars 1911-1939 978-1583881514 $64.95
Indy Cars of the 1940s 978-1-58388-117-0 $24.95
Indy Cars of the 1950s 978-1-58388-018-0 $19.95
Indy Cars of the 1960s 978-1-58388-052-4 $24.95
Indy Cars of the 1970s 978-1-58388-098-2 $24.95
The Inside Story of the Fastest Fords: The Design and Development of the Ford GT Racing Cars
The Design and Development of the Ford GT Racing Cars
978-1-903088-12-8 $52.95
Italian Racing Red 978-0711033313 $76.95
Jaguar XK120 978-1583881507 $59.95
Land Rover 978-1583881798 $44.95
Mercedes-Benz 300SL: Gullwings and Roadsters 1954 - 1964
Gullwings and Roadsters 1954–1964
978-1-58388-137-8 $29.95
Mercedes-Benz 300SL: Racing Cars 1952 - 1953
Racing Cars 1952–1953
978-1-58388-067-8 $24.95
Mercedes-Benz 300SLR: The Fabulous 1955 World-Championship Sports-Racer
The Fabulous 1955 World-Championship Sports-Racer
978-1-58388-122-4 $29.95
Mercedes Benz Grand Prix W196 978-1583882504 $59.95
Novi V-8 Indy Cars 1941-1965 978-1-58388-037-1 $21.95
Porsche 917 978-1583881804 $59.95
Porsche 956 and 962 978-1583882696 $62.95
Porsche by Mailander 978-1854432445 $299.95
Porsche Spyders: Type 550 1953 - 1956
Type 550 1953–1956
978-1-58388-092-0 $24.95
Porsche Spyders 1956-1964 978-1583882009 $59.95
Red Hot Rivals 978-1844254125 $84.95
Jackie Stewart: Triple-Crowned King of Speed
Triple-Crowned King of Speed
978-1-85960-436-6 $49.95
Tribute to the Turbo Carrera
Tribute to the Turbo Carrera
978-1-903088-13-5 -
The V12 Engine 978-1-844250-042 $69.95
White Racers from Zuffenhausen 978-1583882184 $59.95
go to top

Columns by Karl Ludvigsen

Title Publication Date
Motor Memories Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jun 2011
Ferry Stories 911 & Porsche World Jun 2011
Soft Spot for Saab Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car May 2011
The Unasked Question 911 & Porsche World May 2011
A Wave to Dave Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Apr 2011
Porschefying History - Part 4 911 & Porsche World Apr 2011
New Renaults in the Camargue Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Mar 2011
The Private Life of 356-001 911 & Porsche World Mar 2011
Enjoying an Insider's View Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Feb 2011
Porsche and the Vees 911 & Porsche World Feb 2011
Charmed Career of the Chrome Cobra Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jan 2011
How a Tail-Dragger Saved the 911 911 & Porsche World Jan 2011
Those Electric-Car Competitions Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Dec 2010
Meet Mister Mundy Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Dec 2010
Europe's Tremendous Twins Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Dec 2010
Those Pesky Porsche-Abarths 911 & Porsche World Dec 2010
Rallying on All Fours Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Nov 2010
The Agnellis Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Nov 2010
Porsche's F.1 Formulae 911 & Porsche World Nov 2010
All Gone Ghia Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Oct 2010
The Auto Union Connection 911 & Porsche World Oct 2010
The Voice of Spen King Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Sept 2010
Noble Success For a Newcomer 911 & Porsche World Sept 2010
Steaming with Bill Lear Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Aug 2010
Porschefying History - Part 3 911 & Porsche World Aug 2010
Tiny Tornadoes from Turin Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jul 2010
Porsche and the English Patient 911 & Porsche World Jul 2010
That Taiwanese Feeling Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jun 2010
Rebel with a Cause 911 & Porsche World Jun 2010
Two Liters and Loving It Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car May 2010
The 917 Test Mystery 911 & Porsche World May 2010
Continental Bites the Dust Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Apr 2010
Porsche Junior 911 & Porsche World Apr 2010
Little Wheel at Fuller Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Mar 2010
Porsche's Tinkertoy PEP 911 & Porsche World Mar 2010
The Renault that Rumbled Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Feb 2010
Why Porsche? 911 & Porsche World Feb 2010
Denny Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jan 2010
Setright Versus Porsche 911 & Porsche World Jan 2010
Windows on Volvo's World Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Dec 2009
Emerson Who? Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Nov 2009
Citibank and Cars Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Oct 2009
Heavy Metal II Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Sept 2009
Heavy Metal I Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Sept 2009
Getting to Know Corvair Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Aug 2009
Celebrating the Rennmezger 911 & Porsche World Aug 2009
Riley and his Volvos Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jul 2009
Karmann Contributions 911 & Porsche World Jul 2009
Roads Not Taken IV Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jun 2009
The Electrification of Porsche 911 & Porsche World Jun 2009
Issigonis and the Mini Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car May 2009
The Concept-Car Contribution 911 & Porsche World May 2009
Roads Not Taken III Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Apr 2009
Bittersweet End Game 911 & Porsche World Apr 2009
Roads Not Taken II Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Mar 2009
Didn't Porsche Design the Corvair? 911 & Porsche World Mar 2009
Roads Not Taken I Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Feb 2009
Porschefying History - Part 2 911 & Porsche World Feb 2009
Starting with Sting Ray Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jan 2009
Porschefying History - Part 1 911 & Porsche World Jan 2009
Farewell Phil Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Dec 2008
How Junior Grew and Grew Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Nov 2008
Tatra Tales Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Oct 2008
The Hubris Hazard Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Sept 2008
Travels in the Land of Nod Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Aug 2008
Motor Sport's Mister Inside WindingRoad.com Jul 2008
Picturing Rudy Mailander Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jul 2008
Challengers' Chances WindingRoad.com Jun 2008
Meeting Mister Mercedes Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jun 2008
Bravo Paul Frère Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car May 2008
Four-Leaf Clover Lucky this Time? WindingRoad.com May 2008
Morganantics Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Apr 2008
Those Cars of the Year WindingRoad.com Apr 2008
Destiny's Darling: the Diesel WindingRoad.com Mar 2008
How Big Are Wankel Engines? Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Mar 2008
Capturing a Leaping Cat in Metal WindingRoad.com Feb 2008
Connaught Capers - Part 3 Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Feb 2008
Connaught Capers - Part 2 Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jan 2008
Porsche Was Right - Twice WindingRoad.com Jan 2008
Connaught Capers - Part 1 Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Dec 2007
Setting Sun in Formula 1 WindingRoad.com Dec 2007
Abarth Back in Action WindingRoad.com Nov 2007
Burned by a Burney Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Nov 2007
Crown Wheels Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Oct 2007
Fearless Forecasting WindingRoad.com Oct 2007
Car Guys and Carpet-Baggers WindingRoad.com Sept 2007
Newton, Franciamore and BMW Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Sept 2007
Not Thinking about China WindingRoad.com Aug 2007
The Skid-Pad Saga Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Aug 2007
Washington's Dysfunctional Fuel-Economy Surge WindingRoad.com Jul 2007
Wheeling Yarns Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jul 2007
From Lebanon to Bad Tölz Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jun 2007
A Tale of Two Car Companies WindingRoad.com Jun 2007
I Go Yugo Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car May 2007
Xceptional Incentive for Car Creators WindingRoad.com May 2007
The Book of John (Z) WindingRoad.com Apr 2007
Porsche's Bad Idea Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Apr 2007
Mercury Rising? WindingRoad.com Mar 2007
The Gold-Diggers WindingRoad.com Feb 2007
Triumph Triumphs Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jan 2007
Delightful Dauphine Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jan 2007
A White-Knuckle Ride WindingRoad.com Jan 2007
A Count in the World of Cars Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Dec 2006
Stepping on the (Hydrogen) Gas WindingRoad.com Dec 2006
Ferrari: Formula 1 Forever Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Nov 2006
It's Chilly Up There WindingRoad.com Nov 2006
Volkswagen's Billion-Pound Bentley WindingRoad.com Autumn 2006
Ave atque Vale Michael Schumacher WindingRoad.com Autumn 2006
Cariocan Cars Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Oct 2006
Hailing a Homebuilt Hybrid WindingRoad.com Autumn 2006
The Tragedy of the Corvair Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Sept 2006
Three-Dimensional Chess WindingRoad.com Sept 2006
NSU Spider Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Sept 2006
Two Horsepower Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Aug 2006
My Escorted Life Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car July 2006
Smart — or Not? WindingRoad.com Jul 2006
The Dreaded Rattle Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car June 2006
Driving Lessons Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car May 2006
Fiat Follies Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Apr 2006
Bugatti and Auto Age Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Mar 2006
The Duckworth Way Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Feb 2006
Daytona Dramas Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jan 2006
Seasonal Goodbyes AtlasF1.com Oct 2005
Bye Bye Dubayy AtlasF1.com Sep 2005
Measuring My Mojo AtlasF1.com Aug 2005
The Real Culprit for the US Grand Prix Fiasco AtlasF1.com Jul 2005
Steve Wilder Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jul 2005
Expectation Fulfilled AtlasF1.com Jun 2005
Leo Goossen Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jun 2005
The Name Game Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car May 2005
Test Tracks: No Longer The Answer AtlasF1.com May 2005
Porsche Pushing Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Apr 2005
Mosley: Problem or Solution? AtlasF1.com Apr 2005
The 200 mph Road Car Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Mar 2005
One for the Good Guys AtlasF1.com Mar 2005
Anyone But Kimi AtlasF1.com Feb 2005
Tomorrow Came on November 23, 1959 Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Feb 2005
MG: Gone for Good This Time? Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Jan 2005
When the Flag Drops… AtlasF1.com Jan 2005
go to top

Awards received by Karl Ludvigsen for books and articles

2013
Porsche: Origin of the Species
Benjamin Franklin Gold Award
Independent Book Publishers Association

2012
Porsche: Origin of the Species
Best of Books
International Automotive Media Competition

2012
Porsche: Origin of the Species
Gold Medal
International Automotive Media Competition

2012
Porsche: Origin of the Species
Winner in General Trade Category
New England Book Show

2012
Porsche: Origin of the Species
11th Annual Dean Batchelor Award
Best Automotive Journalism of the Year
Motor Press Guild

2012
Porsche: Origin of the Species
Best Book of the Year
Motor Press Guild

2011
Reawakening Proud Traditions (article)
Gold Medal
International Automotive Media Competition

2010
When Mercedes Raced at Indy (article)
Gold Medal
International Automotive Media Competition

2009
Mercedes Under Pressure (article)
Silver Medal
International Automotive Media Awards

2009
Porsche: Genesis of Genius
Winner in Pictorial Category
New England Book Show

2009
Ferdinand Porsche: Genesis of Genius
Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award

Society of Automotive Historians

2008
Ferdinand Porsche: Genesis of Genius
The Mercedes-Benz Montagu Trophy
Guild of Motoring Writers

2008
Porsche 911 Engine Evolution (article)
Market Engineering Award
For Automotive Technology Journalism
Guild of Motoring Writers

2008
Max Mosley Biography (article)
Aston Martin International Trophy
Guild of Motoring Writers

2008
Ferdinand Porsche: Genesis of Genius
Best of 11 Divisions for 2008
International Automotive Media Awards

2008
Ferdinand Porsche: Genesis of Genius
Best of Books
International Automotive Media Awards

2007
Award for Lifetime Achievement
International Automotive Media Awards

2007
Abbey Road to Le Mans: The Lister Story (article)
Gold Medal
International Automotive Media Awards

2007
The Thinwall Ferraris (articles)
Aston Martin International Trophy
Guild of Motoring Writers

2005
The V12 Engine
Mercedes-Benz Montagu Trophy
Guild of Motoring Writers

2005
The V12 Engine
Gold Medal, History:General
International Automotive Media Awards

2005
The Re-Making of Marcos (Automobile Quarterly)
Gold Medal, History: Single Marque or Manufacturer
International Automotive Media Awards

2004
Porsche: Excellence Was Expected
Best of 11 Divisions for 2004
International Automotive Media Awards

2004
Porsche: Excellence Was Expected
Best of Books International Automotive Media Awards

2004
Porsche: Excellence Was Expected
Gold Medal: Best Single-Marque History
International Automotive Media Awards

2004
Mister Supernatural: Mighty Bill Milliken (article)
Silver Medal
International Automotive Media Awards

2004
Bugatti’s Four-Wheel Drive Foray (article)
Gold Medal
International Automotive Media Awards

2003
Emerson Fittipaldi - Heart of a Racer
Silver Medal for Photographic Illustration
International Automotive Media Awards

2002
Bruce McLaren - Life and Legacy of Excellence
Timo Mäkinen Trophy for Outstanding Motorsport Reportage Guild of Motoring Writers

2002
Friend of Automotive History
Society of Automotive Historians

2001
Classic Racing Engines
Gold Medal
International Automotive Media Awards

2001
Alberto Ascari - Ferrari’s First Double Champion
Silver Medal
International Automotive Media Awards

2001
Battle for the Beetle
Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award Society of Automotive Historians

2000
Battle for the Beetle
Silver Medal
International Automotive Media Awards

2000
Classic Grand Prix Cars
Excellence in Oral Presentation Society of Automotive Engineers

2000
Classic Grand Prix Cars
Bronze Medal
International Automotive Media Awards

2000
Dan Gurney - The Ultimate Racer
Silver Medal
International Automotive Media Awards

2000
Edmund Rumpler - An Engineer’s Life (series)
Benz Award of Distinction
Society of Automotive Historians

1999
Tom Tjaarda: An American in Turin (article)
Silver Medal
International Automotive Media Awards

1999
Lancia Stratos: The Mighty Maverick from Turin (article)
Moto Award
International Automotive Media Awards

1999
Jackie Stewart - Triple-Crowned King of Speed
Silver Medal
International Automotive Media Awards

1998
Porsche: The Essential Survivor (article)
Moto Award
International Automotive Media Awards

1998
Stirling Moss - Racing with the Maestro
Silver Medal
International Automotive Media Awards

1996
Mercedes-Benz - Quicksilver Century
Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award
Society of Automotive Historians

1973
Introduction to the book At Speed
First Place, STP Writing Contest
Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association

1973
The Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars
Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award
Society of Automotive Historians

1972
Introduction to the book At Speed
Ken W. Purdy Award
International Motor Press Association

1972
The Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars
Montagu Trophy
Guild of Motoring Writers

go to top