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Holiday Book Ideas

by | Dec,2017

Holiday Book Ideas

By Randy Leffingwell


 While we list only three books, there are many others to consider this holiday season and into 2018. These are three that caught our eyes.



Porsche 911 The Ultimate Sports Car as Cultural Icon; Ulf Poschardt. Gestalten, Berlin, 2017 240 pages. ISBN: 978-3-89955-687-2. (Translation by Colin Shepherd.)


This is a wonderful end-of-the-day read, a book that you’ll be glad to find each night on your bedside table. Poschardt’s slightly irreverent cultural history with seemingly good translation by Colin Shepherd will sometimes have you chuckling, sometimes clucking, and sometimes laughing out loud. Illustrations for this book come, in large part, from Porsche Archiv and as such many are familiar. But nearly half the photos are from outside sources and sometimes they accompany fascinating stories. One such appears in a chapter called The Revolutionary’s Car and involves legendary motorsports photographer Rainer Schlegelmilch’s encounters with the equally legendary Baader-Meinhof gang of terrorists and groups of German security police aiming automatic weapons at Schlegelmilch and his girlfriend, thinking they might be Andreas Baader and his girlfriend Ulrike Meinhof.


In a spread from the book, we even recognize friends in the U.S., as Jeff Zwart here in this Porsche Archiv photo charges up a mountain road.





Peter Falk 33 Years of Porsche Rennsport and Development. People, Cars, Stories. Peter Falk with Wilfried Müller. McKlein Publishing / Edition Porsche Museum. First edition 2016. ISBN: 978-3-927458-87-1. Porsche part number: MAP09029217. Translation by Kay Müller.


Most of us recognize Peter Falk’s name – not the American actor who died in 2011 but the Porsche engineer – as one of Porsche’s most important motorsports directors. Soft spoken, and very economical with words, Falk meticulously ran and managed Porsche’s racing, rallying, and hill climbing entries for years. But Falk was much more than that. As an excellent test driver and chassis engineer, he was responsible for the driving traits – the agility – of the Typ 993 series. But his days at Porsche with the 911 began at its earliest development in the early 1960s. And Falk is an excellent story-teller with literally hundreds and hundreds of photos in this book that are unfamiliar even to seasoned Porsche book hounds. If there is a single shortcoming it is that this book lacks an index so finding a particular adventure is an investment in reading. Which, in this book, is a complete delight in itself.


On this spread, Huschke von Hanstein’s secretary Evi Butz poses next to the Porsche time clock used at tracks to record laps accurately while on the facing page Falk in headphones records the lapping times of his team’s race cars in this 1965 photo.




 Porsche Insight – Die Technischen Illustrationen Seit 1975. Lars Döhmann and Norbert Schäfer. 2011 GeraMond Verlag. ISBN: 978-3-86245-601-7. Translation? Do-it-yourself via Google Translate?


The book’s title gives away its premise even if you don’t understand a word of German. And if you cannot read it, this still is a book worth including in your library for its amazing see-through or “ghost” technical drawings. Porsche life begins for this book with 1975 so you will find no 356s or 550s or even 917s. The book is not entirely these transparent views; there are establishing images that remind you how the car appears fully clothed.


Where Peter Falk’s book is one for your home office coffee table to read and savor, this is one for its visual pleasures. Text is modest and technical and even is treated as a design element on the pages.



Each of these three books is available through www.amazon.com.


Issue: December 2017

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