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Porsche - Origin of the Species

Foreword by Jerry Seinfeld

by Karl Ludvigsen

Hardcover, 10 1/2 in. x 10 1/2 in.
356 pages
436 photos and illustrations
ISBN-13: 978-0-8376-1331-4
Price: $119.95

The highly-acclaimed, award-winning Porsche history book

"...much more than just a coffee-table decoration...definitely a keeper for Porschephiles and all car enthusiasts." - The New York Times

Within Jerry Seinfeld's renowned Porsche collection resides an unassuming yet extraordinary piece of Porsche history: Porsche Gmünd coupe 356/2-040. Captured exclusively for this book in a series of evocative portraits by acclaimed automotive photographer Michael Furman, 040's unsullied originality conveys with startling immediacy the combination of artistry, innovation and determination that went into its improbable creation. This cornerstone of the Seinfeld collection serves as the inspiration for Porsche-Origin of the Species, an in-depth exploration by the eminent automotive historian Karl Ludvigsen into the specific influences and circumstances that brought forth the first Porsche-badged sports cars.

Click here to view an excerpt from this book:
Chapter 8
Saga of a Gmünd Porsche

How and when did the people of the Porsche firm find themselves in a sawmill in Gmünd? What was the influence on the 356 of the cars and engines built by Porsche before and during the war? How and why was the first 356 shaped as it was? What was the real relationship between the tube-framed Type 356 roadster and the first 356/2 coupes? Questions like these deserve answers because the resulting DNA is so powerful, so robust, that it still influences the shape and style of Porsches well into the twenty-first century.

Karl Ludvigsen, author of the award-winning Porsche: Excellence Was Expected and Ferdinand Porsche - Genesis of Genius, tackles these questions and more in Porsche-Origin of the Species. The saga that emerges encompasses mechanical revelations, human drama and the turmoil of world war. Porsche-Origin of the Species will appeal to all car enthusiasts who are eager to know what events really ignited the spark from which all other Porsches evolved.

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After its careful preservation, Porsche 356/2/040 is back on the road and providing its lucky owner with the joy of driving in its purest form. Photograph by Klaus Schnitzer.

Want to learn more?

Ludvigsen's research into the origins of the Type 356 overturned many long-held beliefs about this crucial period in the creation of the car that established the classic fingerprint of the Porsche sports car for all time. Click here to read a sampling of some of what you might learn in this book.

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Watch a short interview with Karl Ludvigsen on this book.
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Jerry Seinfeld's thoughtfully preserved Gmünd coupe serves as a touchstone in the book for Ludvigsen's exploration of the Porsche 356, the car whose DNA continues to influence all Porsches into the 21st century. Photograph by Michael Furman.
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Otto Mathé in front of Zell am See's Grand Hotel with Porsche 356/2-040. Photo courtesy of Automuseum Prototyp.
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Gmünd coupe 356/2-040 still has its original factory engine, which was completely disassembled and subjected to a thorough cleaning and inspection while at Paul Russell and Company. Photograph by Michael Furman.
Porsche - Origin of the Species
Porsche - Origin of the Species
Wholesale Case Quantity: 5
BSIN: GPGC
ISBN: 0-8376-1331-0 (ISBN-10)
ISBN: 978-0-8376-1331-4 (ISBN-13)
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

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