By Karl Ludvigsen. Among the many holdings of the Ludvigsen Library are the
works of Rodolfo Mailander, who photographed races, motor shows, new-car
introduction and other events in Europe from 1950 through 1955. This
handsome portrait-format book presents Mailander’s photography, selected and
with commentary by Karl Ludvigsen, of Porsche cars and people through these
In a scant six years from 1950 through 1955 Porsche
transformed itself from a back-woods builder of Beetle-based specials to a
giant-killing racing powerhouse on the world’s great circuits and an esteemed
manufacturer of fine sports cars. One man, Rodolfo Mailander, was on the scene
with his Leica, capturing for all time the men, machinery and moments of this
astonishing ascent to fame and success. For this sumptuous book Dalton Watson
asked Mailander’s life-long friend, Karl Ludvigsen, to choose and comment on
the most illustrative and evocative images from the photojournalist’s oeuvre.
Prize-winning author Ludvigsen, one of the world’s great Porsche experts, also
limns Porsche’s decade-by-decade progress toward eminence. In Simon Loxley’s
superb design the images, reproduced in a rich four-colour process, depict
Porsche people and products at the circuits of Le Mans, Monte Carlo, Monza,
Bern, Reims and the salons of Paris, Geneva, Turin and Frankfurt en route to
immortality. Immensely satisfying as a work of art as well as an unique record
of the genesis of an iconic marque, this volume will be prized by all admirers
of automotive excellence.
Over 250 pages, this book presents some 300 images of the
world of Porsche in the first half of the Fifties as seen through the lenses of
a man who was intimately involved with this world. By far the majority of
these photographs have never before been published. Karl Ludvigsen
provides a knowledgeable and entertaining commentary on each, together with a
year-by-year overview of the activities of Porsche during these dramatic early
The early Fifties were the dramatic formative years of
Porsche, which was founded as a sports-car producer in 1948. The
first-ever Porsche car scored a race victory that same year. Porsche’s first
effort at Le Mans in 1951 brought a class victory, and Le Mans was destined to
remain a major target for Porsche’s racers in the future. With the arrival of
the fabled 550 Spyders in 1953 Porsche scored class victories on all continents
with such drivers as Stirling Moss, Hans Herrmann and Richard von
Frankenberg. As well, during these years Porsche developed and expanded
its range of exciting sports cars for the road.
Included in the book are:
- Exciting and evocative scenes from the great sports-car
races, rallies, road races and hillclimbs: Monza, Berne, the Nürburgring, the
Mille Miglia, Monte Carlo, Reims and others.
- Behind-the-scenes views of the Porsche factory and the
building of these great cars.
- The Porsche road cars in their environment and at the great
Salons of Paris, Turin and Geneva.
- Porsche people, including Ferry Porsche, his engineers and