As their race director and one of the leading figures in their experimental department, Peter Falk contributed significantly to the character of the sports cars from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen – both on the race track and on the road.
From the first 901 right through to the very last air-cooled Type 993, every Porsche 911 bears the signature of Peter Falk. He joined the company in 1959 and quickly rose through the ranks to head various testing departments. In the mid-sixties, Falk also took over the tactical and technical leadership of the factory’s Rennsport team. In 1981, he was appointed as race director and led Porsche throughout its most successful era of competition. “His” team won at Le Mans, became World Sports Car Champion, conquered the Paris-Dakar Rally, and was victorious in Formula 1 with the TAG Turbo engine.
In this book, Peter Falk tells of his years with Porsche. A highly-respected person in the world of engineering, he relates how it all began at Porsche – when race drivers and engineers huddled together in a shepherd’s hut at Weissach to discuss suspensions, what the Porsche crew experienced during endless testing adventures in both the Arctic Circle and the Sahara, how the race cars at Le Mans roared to the start over country roads, and how a test drive with a Porsche 908 almost cost him his life. He shares his views on every Porsche race car, from the 904 Carrera GTS to the 962C, and describes the race drivers who competed during his reign: Herrmann, Ickx, Elford, Bell, Stuck and Mass to name just a few. Thumbing through the pages, one is left in no doubt about the commitment that Peter Falk and his fellow engineers and colleagues endured personally, in carrying out their responsibilities. In this way, he provides a good, long look into the inner workings of Porsche.
Peter Falk shared his personal Porsche stories and fascinating insights with the author Wilfried Müller. On the photographic side, the images in this book come from Peter Falk’s private collection, the Porsche Historical Archive in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, and from the vast collection in the publisher’s possession. Along with the contributions from former colleagues and race drivers, these images and stories give an in-depth portrayal of Peter Falk’s 33 years with Porsche. Scanning through the images selected for the book, the reader can quickly ascertain that the author has gone to impressive lengths to source images seldom seen in other publications. In this area, both Falk and the author have excelled, as the book benefits from many previously unseen photos, and careful selection in other areas have revealed images that skilfully support the text.
It is a measure of an engineer’s skill, creativeness and commitment to the task, when he has excelled in a number of different areas of work. Not only did Peter Falk successfully achieve this, but he did so while giving others the opportunity to grow along with him. The author, Wilfried Müller, has done an excellent job of painting Peter Falk in both his serious work environment, while also showing the light-hearted side of his work.
This is an excellent account of one of Porsche’s great engineers of a by-gone era, and this book comes highly recommended.
Peter Falk – 33 Years of Porsche
Rennsport and Development. People, Cars, Stories