If you got caught out the last time that the esteemed automotive journalist Karl Ludvigsen updated his landmark work of history, Porsche: Excellence Was Expected, try not too feel too bad. That’s because thanks to Bentley Publishers of Cambridge, Massachusetts, this seminal work on one of the world’s greatest automobiles is close to being re-released in fully updated fashion. The tentative publication date for the four-volume set is September 3, and Karl, who is now officially retired, has nonetheless done yeoman work in bringing his most famous title up to the current moment.
What’s new? First of all, Ludvigsen’s magnum opus on Porsche will now span four volumes, intimately covering every single Porsche model, production and racing, from the fist Gmund coupes to present day, including the 2020 Taycan. This incredibly detailed account runs to a combined total of more than 2,800 pages, more than 1,000 of them new and added for this edition. The text is augmented by nearly 3,000 photos and illustrations from Ludvigsen’s vast archives. The story of the original 911 and all its descendants covers 12 full chapters. Another 23 new Focus chapters are dedicated to unique individuals and vehicles that helped make up the Porsche saga. There is also a full accounting of Porsche’s long and spectacular racing history. I’ll say this right now: This is the finest, most authoritative marque history that I’ve ever read on any make of car, and from any author. I challenge anyone to dispute that. Retail on the four-volume set is $524.95. I know that’s not cheap. Think of it as an investment in your field of automotive knowledge. It will be money well spent.