Home Porsche History Porsche: Excellence Was Expected

Volume 2
View Table of Contents

The 1970s and 1980s were years of intense innovation for the Porsche factory. In fact, 1970 was to see the tiny automaker fulfill a major goal: its first overall victory at LeMans. As the decade progressed, the company became a force in every arena of motorsports it entered, including Can Am, where Mark Donohue, George Follmer and the mighty Penske Racing 917s literally decimated the competition. Ludvigsen discusses in depth the development and campaigning of Porsche"s thoroughbred racers from this seminal era.

Models in Volume 2:
911 2.4
924 Turbo
930 Turbo
Carrera RSR
924 Carrera
953 - Paris

Porsche had long known the benefits of placing an engine amidships for its racing cars. However, in the late 1960s, Porsche and Volkswagen collaborated on a mid-engined sports car for the road. The author describes the development of this vehicle as well as its fortunes in the market place and its ventures onto racing circuits. He even discusses the sole pair of potent 914-based sportscars powered by the company"s eight-cylinder racing motor.

In the late 1970s, the company adopted front-mounted engines and water-cooling in a move that was expected to spell the end for the venerable 911. The 924 and the impressive V-8 928 were both extremely successful in the American market, their primary target.

Highlights in Volume 2:
The mid-engined 914
917 and the victory at
Return of the Carrera
Turbo 911s
The front-engined Porsches
Porsche builds a V-8
Racing in Group C
Just as importantly, the Porsche engineers saw them as cars that could be more easily made to comply with ever-tightening Federal noise and emissions standards than the 911. Yet the evergreen 911 refused to be displaced and continued to be developed and improved along side the newer front-engined cars. While detailing the company"s models and its competition activities, Ludvigsen also explores the company"s maturation process, the challenges facing the small automaker, and how it was to prepare for the future.

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