Home Porsche History Porsche - Origin of the Species

Press Reviews for Ferdinand Porsche-Genesis of Genius

"The recognized expert on all things Porsche is Karl Ludvigsen. His writings on things Porsche-related are well-researched, informative, and illuminating."

Rainy Day Magazine
December 17, 2014

"[Porsche - Origin of the Species] covers every conceivable aspect from how the company was formed, the influences on the personnel involved with the company at its birth and how the original Porsche, the 356 came to be and how it evolved. Supporting the text is a magnificent set of images of Jerry Seinfeld's 356/2-040."

GT Porsche
January 2014

"INTERVIEW Karl Ludvigsen: From zero to 356 in only 20 years: America's foremost expert on the history of Porsche looks back to the very beginning of the effort to build a real sports car"

December 2013

"Mit schlichten Beiträgen zu herkömmlichen Serien-Porsche gibt sich Karl Ludvigsen nicht mehr ab, der Grande der Porsche-Historie bohrt tiefer, schaut schärfer, schreibt umfassender. Wenn alles passt, kommen Bücher wie "Origin of the Species", die Herkunft einer Art, heraus."

Porsche Fahrer
January 2014

"[Porsche - Origin of the Species] covers the 356's undeniable influence on the 911 and all of Porsche design for decades, as well as the inspiration for its unique design that has stood the test of time above and beyond any automobile in history. In fact, just about the only thing it doesn't cover is why we're jealous of comedians with garages full of the world's greatest automobiles."

Gear Patrol
October 14, 2013

"What a fascinating book...One cannot love Porsches without diving into this superb effort, both current and rare photos making for a handsome delivery."

Vintage Motorsport
July/August 2013

"A Venn diagram of designers and Porsche fans reveals a major overlap. Sober, businesslike design academics or executives turn into positive Bieber buffs when the subject of the quintessential German sports car comes up. As respectably modern as a Braun coffee mill or Vitsoe shelving system, a Porsche 356 or 911 possesses the additional advantage of being speedy and sensual. These are the people who will enjoy Karl Ludvigsen's latest Porsche book..."

Phil Patton, Designers & Books
December 2012

"Thumbing through stunning photos of a Porsche 356 can be just as stimulating as sitting behind its wheel - as Jerry Seinfeld might know."

Black Ink
Spring/Summer 2013

"If we HAD to sit quietly AND enjoy ourselves, this is what we would do: we would get Karl Ludvigsen's latest book Porsche: Origin of The Species, take a week off, and flip through it at a leisurely pace. We guarantee that no Porsche-philes will have a better time doing anything else...For anyone who is interested in how Porsche evolved to it present form, Porsche: Origin of the Species is a must-read."

Rainy Day Magazine
June 3, 2013

"Karl Ludvigsen: An Interview"

May 13, 2013

"There is no doubt that anyone interested in the early years of Porsche would consider this to be excellent value for money."

April 24, 2013

"There is likely nobody more knowledgeable in regard to the historically relevant moments of Porsche than Mr. Karl Ludvigsen."

April 22, 2013

"Already respected for his many automotive books, Karl Ludvigsen reaches higher yet with his new work, "Porsche - Origin of the Species." While one of his previous Porsche epics, "Excellence Was Expected," was considered the definitive history of the marque, his latest volume is crammed with new material, including first-time accounts of missing links in Porsche's evolution...much more than just a coffee-table decoration...definitely a keeper for Porschephiles and all car enthusiasts."

The New York Times
December 9, 2012

"An impressive book that illustrates the early days of the Porsche company through exclusive photographs."

#359 - December 2012 / January 2013

"Der exquisite Text wird von prächtigen historischen und aktuellen Bildern begleitet und die (Druck)-Qualität des Buches rechtfertigt den stolzen Preise. Briefe, Tagebuchauszüge, Werkszeichnungen und eine komplette Reproduktion des Handbuchs des Gmünd-356 sorgen für die nötigen "Stimmung" - ein Buch, das nicht in Regale von Porsche- Enthusiasten gehört."

Austro Classic
#359 - 6/2012 - Dezember / Jänner

"Karl Ludvigsen is famous not only for his reference works in the world of the Porsche. It comes from being a true automotive historian who researches his subjects with scientific rigor."

Novembre - Decembre 2012

"With help from Heinz Rabe, Ernst Piëch and the factory archive, the detail is fastidious, and underpins both the authority and the immersive nature of this definitive account. And like all good books on old cars, it's visually sumptuous...truly excellent."

The Automobile
December 2012

"BOOK OF THE MONTH ... Ludvigsen's writing style is a captivating joy to read, plus the main text is accompanied by fascinating panels including Robert Cumberford on styling, Miles Collier on preservation and Alex Finigan on ownership."

Classic & Sports Car
December 2012

"If you're interested in Porsche and their early days of production than this book is for you. In typical Ludvigsen style the book delivers facts, photos and details in a well thought out manner. There's a forward from Jerry Seinfeld and many wonderful little sidebars with those most familiar with the Porsche marque. Really a must have for your Porsche library."

November 18, 2012

"Such an immense and varied body of research is presented in as clear and concise a body of writing as I have lately encountered. Factor in the truly fine reproduction of photos, quality of paper and binding, great choice of type faces - and what we have is ample proof that books are in fact not a dying media. A splendid read by any calculation!"

Porsche 356 Registry Magazine
November / December 2012

"Even if you have no specific interest in the "bathtub Porsche," this book is desirable because it casts a wide net, connects new dots, represents a superlative research and writing accomplishment, and is a properly beautiful book."

October 31, 2012

"The author has done a fantastic job of bringing much new information together and presenting it in an informative and entertaining way that makes this a most enjoyable book to read. That, together with detailed research that has clearly gone into its production make this a most important work and, once again, Karl Ludvigsen has produced a book that must be in the running for another Cugnot award and will certainly become one of the 'standard' works on Porsche. Bentley Publishers also deserve credit for the high quality of production, a book to give pleasure for many a year. Highly recommended."

VSCC Bulletin
No. 278, Winter 2012

"THE BOOK OF THE YEAR!...This book is quite possibly the best book published this year and we are certain it will appeal to all enthusiasts who are eager to know what events really ignited the spark from which all other Porsches evolved."

Classic Porsche Magazine
October 2012

"...it will appeal to all car enthusiasts who are eager to know what really happened at the turning points of Porsche's history"

Mesh New England Magazine
Fall 2012

"It is a fascinating read and one that we would put in the Top 10 of Porsche books. At 356 pages, with a great deal of unseen archive material, and some genuine revelations, its asking price seems a genuine bargain."

911 & Porsche World
October 2012

"Mit "Origin of the Species" wird Ludvigsen den eigenen sehr hohen Maßstäben nicht nur gerecht, er hat mit diesem Band wiederum ein wahres Meisterwerk geschaffen. Das Erstaunliche an seinen Recherchen sind die Tiefe im Detail und die Breite des Themenkreises, den er durchdringt. Wer dieses Buch liest, muss sich sehr viel Zeit und Muße nehmen; man kann nicht so nebenher nur darin blättern, man sollte mit ordentlichen Englischkenntnissen Stunden und Tage darin studieren. Natürlich wird die Porsche-Geschichte als Ganzes nicht neu geschrieben, aber Ludvigsen wartet mit so vielen Einzelheiten, Ursprüngen und Entwicklungen auf, dass auch der profundeste Porsche-Kenner teilweise neue Erkenntnisse gewinnen dürfte.

Dieses Buch ist für den wahren Porsche-Kenner und -Fan nicht nur eine Empfehlung, es ist fast schon eine Verpflichtung."

September 21, 2012

"The book covers (in Karl's unique style) an amazing and interesting spectrum of early Porsche evolution ... Buy this wonderful book."

Porsche Archive - PurelyPorsche.com
October 3, 2012
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