Gear: These 5 Books Belong On Every Porsche Enthusiast’s Shelf

These 5 Books Belong On Every Porsche Enthusiast’s Shelf

By Benjamin Shahrabani
November 17, 2015

Besides perhaps Ferrari, no other marque seems to attract as much attention from writers, photographers, and enthusiasts as Porsche does. So it’s no surprise new titles are being released through the year, and it seems as though the company archives open a little wider with each passing month.

Here are some of our favorites among recent releases. 

The book: Porsche Sounds 
Author: Dieter Landenberger
Publisher: Earbooks (April, 2016) 
Pages: 250

Written in both English and German, with the full cooperation from Porsche’s Historical Archives (author Dieter Landenberger is a director there) this well-produced coffee table book takes us through the company’s storied history for both its road cars and motorsport, complete from the earliest 356 to the latest 919 Hybrid.

Landenberger writes a well-conceived and informative text, and saw fit to include a plethora of wonderfully-reproduced photographs, illustrations, and posters as perhaps only someone so intertwined with the company could. Books on Porsche are not a rarity, but what makes this book unique is the inclusion of a CD that contains the stereophonic reproductions of thirty of Porsche’s engines, starting with the first Porsche, the “No. 1”, and continuing through to the latest Panamera Turbo, with plenty of standouts in between.

As the title may suggest, Porsche Sounds is an audio and visual treat for Porschefiles. Just like the company tagline, there is no substitute…for the unique sound of a Porsche.

The book: Porsche Turbo: The Inside Story of Stuttgart’s Turbocharged Road and Race Cars 
Author: Randy Leffingwell
Publisher: Motorbooks
Pages: 256

For those looking for a book focused on Porsche’s turbocharged racing, and street cars, veteran motoring author Randy Leffingwell has put together a fascinating tome in Porsche Turbo: The Inside Story of Stuttgart’s Turbocharged Road and Race Cars that covers everything the company ever put a turbine on, from the sports cars to the Panamera sedan, Cayenne, and Macan sport utility vehicles. Leffingwell backs up his well-written text with a plethora of photographs, factory archive material, technical, and conceptual drawings. This book is a recommended addition to any Porschephile’s library.

The book: Champion Racing: A Little Bit of Magic
Author: David Tremayne
Publisher: David Bull Publishing
Pages: 472

With modest beginnings as an offshoot of a Pompano Beach, Florida, car dealership, Champion Porsche and Champion Audi, have since become some of the most feared privateer racing teams. David Tremayne’s book chronicles how Dave Maraj guided his team from humble origins to winning five American Le Mans Series championships between 2004 and 2008, including six consecutive wins at Petit Le Mans. Champion Racing also won three Speedvision Championships and appeared five times at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, scoring a class win in 2003 and an overall victory in 2005—the first for an American team in 38 years, and later became the de facto Audi “Works” team in the United States.

If you’re passionate about motorsport, Porsche, Audi, and racing in the U.S., this book will help fill in your collection.

The book: Porsche 917: Archive and Works Catalogue 1968 – 1975
Author: Walter Naher
Publisher: Delius Klasing Verlag
Pages: 576

The iconic Porsche 917 was an extremely important race car for the company as the one that enabled it to take its first overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970. And then again, a year later. While there are other books about the subject, Walter Naher’s extensively researched Porsche 917: Archive and Works Catalogue 1968-1975 is the product of copious research, and contains never-before published information on the cars.

The author, a former Porsche test and racing engineer, takes you through the beginnings of the 917 program, up on through to when the car was no longer competitive—just seven years later, an eternity in top-level motorsports. The author leaves no stone unturned: there are memos, factory blueprints, documents, notes, hundreds of photographs of the cars developed, built, and raced. Pretty pictures would be nothing without the words to back them up, and Naher reminisces with designers, mechanics, and drivers to round out the story. Also included is an extensive appendix about each particular chassis, its history, and what happened to it.

This is a beautiful assembled, but heavy book. If you’re into the 917, however, you surely can’t do better.

The book: Professor Porsche’s Wars: The Secret Life of Legendary Engineer Ferdinand Porsche Who Armed Two Belligerents Through Four Decades
Author: Karl Ludvigsen
Publisher: Pen and Sward
Pages: 296

Many know Professor Ferdinand Porsche as a brilliant automotive engineer and the founder of sports car company that continues to bear his name. Without him and his talents, it’s unlikely Volkswagen or Porsche would exist today. While most know that he was also the primary architect of the Beetle and Auto Union Grand Prix cars, far fewer know that Porsche was an influential contributor to the war efforts of Austria and Germany during the World Wars.

From aircraft engines to amphibious cars and the V-1 “flying bomb”, on the surface these morbid accomplishment might be damning. But according to scholarly author and Porsche expert Karl Ludvigsen, the man whom the Nazi’s called, “Great German Engineer” was a much more complicated man. Porsche saw himself as an inventor first, one only interested in fathering his designs. In his mind, who he worked for was as unimportant to him as the question of whether the projects were of a civilian or military nature. Who paid was not part of the equation—Porsche might have even worked for Stalin had it not been for the language barrier.

In Professor Porsche’s Wars, Ludvigsen paints a picture of a talented man who often found himself engineering for the wrong side during a very interesting time in history, from an engineering perspective. From a human perspective, the results were horrific. Recommended for both history and Porsche fans.

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Rudolf Wesseln
Rudolf Wesseln
8 years ago

And how about “Sporterfolge” by Publisher CorsaResearch and Tony Adriaensens?

[i]Titled ‘SportErfolge’, this magnificent photo-essay covers a part of the rich racing and rallying history of the Porsches from as early as 1951 when the Austrian-built Gmünd 356 challenged the early post-war racing scene. From there it goes all the way up to 1963 when the rare flat-eights showed great potential at the Targa Florio, Nürburgring and Le Mans. In between are many events, national and international, that slowly but surely put Porsche on pole position among the world’s finest competition cars.[/i]

Francois Bozonnet
Francois Bozonnet
8 years ago

you can also read the biography of Hans Mezger, “Porsche and me”. it’s a great history from the inside of the motorsport department with a lot of information, and also because Mezger is one of the genius of the Porsche factory…(maybe “the Genius”)..

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

Add to the above ;

” Porsche ; The Rally Story ” Laurence Meredith – [ Veloce ]

The only book devoted to Porsche’s official and ‘ unofficial ‘ rally efforts from the beginnings of the company and right up to the early days of the R-GT era and including Paris – Dakar .


” Porsche ; Origin of the Species ” Karl Ludvigsen – [ Bentley Publishing ]

One of the best books ever written on Porsche’s origins and evolution during the early years of its development … all beautifully and intelligently wrapped around the history and mild restoration/renovation of one specific and very prominent 356 .. now owned by Porschephile/Collector/ Comedian Jerry Seinfeld . Written by THE premier Porsche historian Karl Ludvigsen . A Must Have for anyone genuinely interested in the history [ rather than the myth ] and origins of Porsche and what it took to get Porsche off the ground and where it is today (as well as being the best automotive book I’ve purchased over the last two decades .. period ! )


” Porsche by Mailander ” Karl Ludvigsen – [ Dalton/Watson ]

If you love 50’s era racing / driving / touring , Porsches specifically and fantastic B&W photography [ by one of the era’s best known automotive photographers ] this is an absolute must have . With insightful and intelligent commentary by Mr Ludvigsen . Buy it [ if you can still find it ] Nuff said .

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