It’s a heavyweight book, landscape in shape, with a cover picture to (almost) beat all other cover shots. Randy Leffingwell needs little introduction to Porsche enthusiasts, and with a publisher such as Quarto Publishing, you know you can expect a quality product. Another book covering the Porsche 70 Years anniversary I hear you say, well there is no substitute as the book’s sub-title suggests, as the author has compiled a superb book.
Choosing to highlight the angle of the design of some of the company’s most iconic models, the author has followed a different path to that taken by most others covering the anniversary year. The author’s strength of knowledge combined with his wide acceptance within the walls of the Stuttgart manufacturer, has placed him in the enviable position of knowing who to ask for what information.
Leffingwell has selected a combination of both contemporary and modern imagery with which to illustrate his text. Here his knowledge of what to look for, covering early original photography and design drawings is complemented by the excellent photographic work by Michael Furman. From the brilliant 1967 Porsche 911 on the front cover to the engineering drawings on the back cover, the selection of images combines to offer the reader a rich and rewarding experience.
The book covers, for instance, the design of models such as the: 356, 904, 917, 911, 928, 935, 959, 962, as well as current models such as the Panamera, 918, Boxster, Cayman and the Macan. But there is so much more, such as the 906, 910, 907, 908 and 909, to name but just a few of the race cars covered. There is also space given over to the 914 and the Formula 1 cars of the mid-80s, and the awesome 911 GT1 racers. The author has split his coverage of road and race cars to give the reader a rewarding insight into both of these worlds within the history-steeped walls of Porsche.
Throughout its 256 pages, the presentation and style of the book is exemplary yet simple and uncluttered, as the placement of text and images allows the reader to enjoy his/her 70-year journey through Porsche’s rich history. The list of interviewees used by the author reads like a list of who is who at Porsche.
Later chapters cover the Cayenne, the Carrera GT and the RS Spyder LMP2 racer. Each model, throughout the book, is addressed in just the right amount of detail without getting bogged down in detailed descriptions of the frictional workings of a big end bearing for instance, but the author also does not gloss over important details.
In conclusion, this publication offers the reader a condensed history of the Porsche company and model line-up, from the earliest 356 to the latest Mission E all-electric drive sedan. It is a valuable and entertaining compilation of 70 years of Porsche, and worth every penny of its modest asking price. Do yourself a favour and add this one to your list of books to buy!
Porsche 70 Years – There Is No Substitute
200 colour & 50 B/W photos
Landscape, 255 x 315 mm, hardcover with dust jacket
Written by: Glen Smale
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