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A Look Inside the Brilliant Mind of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche

By Beth Clark • September 03, 2018

Porsche, the Man

Any car lover of any age from anywhere in the world knows that Dr. Ferdinand Porsche is regarded as one of the most important automotive engineers of the twentieth century. He's primarily remembered for the Volkswagen Beetle, Auto Union Grand Prix car designs, including the P-Wagen project racing car, and the beautifully brilliant Porsche, whose designs continued to evolve at the hands of his son and grandson.

Incredibly, the innovator's extraordinary career had another, lesser-known side: designer of military vehicles and machinery. Dr. Porsche excelled in every challenge he took on, and the sheer inventiveness and versatility of his contributions to both fields is astonishing.

In honor of his accomplishments (and his birthday), Karl Ludvigsen's Professor Porsche's Wars, approaches the legend from a unique angle—the Professor's contributions to military ordnance, the design and production of which occupied him throughout his long career.

The prolifically talented engineer was a perfectionist who stubbornly battled against the often seemingly impossible constraints imposed upon him. Professor Porsche's stream of advanced designs included the Kübelwagen, Schwimmwagen, Type 100 Leopard tank, controversial Ferdinand tank destroyer, colossal Type 205 "Maus" tank, and his company's manufacture of the V-1 flying bomb, which he designed a special turbojet engine for. Interwoven is the story of Porsche's relations with the Third Reich, which is equally fascinating and complex.

Ludvigsen's first book, Ferdinand Porsche—Genesis of Genius: Road, Racing, and Aviation Innovation 1900 to 1933, tells the story of the brilliant and dynamic inventor's career in the first decades of the twentieth century, including the fact that in 1900, at the young age of 25, Ferdinand Porsche pioneered hybrid technology to power his automobile designs...WAY ahead of his time! As gasoline became the preferred fuel source though, Porsche became relentless in his goal to design the fastest and most durable automobiles in Europe. (#NailedIt)

Porsche, the Car

  • Porsche: Cars with Soul by Gui Bernardes
    A beautifully illustrated tribute to Porsche's commitment to reaching the highest level in motorsport and the passionate link between Porsche and its enthusiasts. It also applauds the Porsche family's ongoing commitment to making Porsche fans feel part of a big and extraordinary family by being present at races and other important events.
  • Derek Bell: All My Porsche Races by Derek Bell and Richard Heseltine
    Bell collaborates with renowned motorsport author Richard Heseltine to give readers 276 pages of personal insight into his Porsche 917, 956, 962, and 911 racing experiences and his most prestigious victories with Porsche - four of his five in the Le Mans 24 Hours, three in the Daytona 24 hours, and two in the World Sportscar Championship.
  • The Complete Book of Porsche 911: Every Model since 1964 by Randy Leffingwell
    911 purists, this one is all you: the full, year-by-year evolution of Porsche's world-fabled 911, which represents the ultimate expression of Ferdinand Porsche's original vision of the perfect sports car. Leffingwell provides a detailed overview of Stuttgart's most famous car, from the original 901 prototype to the technologically advanced GT2 and GT3 derivatives.
  • Porsche 911 Performance Handbook, 1963-1998 by Bruce Anderson
    The iconic Porsche 911 is a rare world-class performance car that can still be improved by anyone with the tools and a modicum of skill, as detailed in Porsche expert Anderson's performance-enhancing tricks and techniques, ranging from subtle to extreme. He also goes into questions about buying a 911, custom treatments, and maintenance, plus detailed appendices list tune-up specs, conversion charts and handy formulas, and resources.

The titles mentioned here are just a sampling of what's available on, so if these don't quite resonate or you want more, just type "Porsche" into the search field on the home page and shop to your heart's content. We can't get you a deal on the actual car, but we can satiate your reading desires!

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Nonfiction | History
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