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The Kellner Affair:
Matters of Life and Death
Peter M. Larsen
and Ben Erickson

The Kellner Affair by Peter M. Larsen and Ben Erickson Cover
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The Kellner Affair: Matters of Life and Death
Hardbound Edition
by Peter M. Larsen and Ben Erickson


The Kellner Affair tells the fascinating story of some of the most influential people in the French luxury car business before the War and how they came together and fought bravely against the Nazi occupation force in Paris. It tells how they formed a resistance group and gathered intelligence ̶ how they were betrayed by double agents, and how they were executed in 1942.

These people included the famous coachbuilder Jacques Kellner, the designer Georges Paulin, and Walter Sleator, the director of Rolls-Royce France, who survived. The book goes deeply into their talent, their work, their lives, their cars, their loved ones and relies on newly discovered archive material as well as private documents that have never previously been published.

The Kellner Affair is the first factual account of these tragic and gripping events: what happened, how it happened, who was to blame, who was punished, and who was not.

Volumes I and II also include an in-depth discussion of aerodynamic cars, the famous streamlined designs of Georges Paulin, and the duplicitous way in which Walter Sleator assumed control of Rolls-Royce France after the Liberation. In addition, Volume III contains a large portfolio of period images of Kellner-bodied cars such as Hispano-Suiza, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Bugatti, Farman, and many more, along with period articles and a wealth of design drawings as well as facsimile reprints of Kellner brochures. The USB flashdrive in Volume III links to 401 pages of scanned source and reference material that document the book.

  • 3-volume fabric-bound with inlaid photo (includes bonus material on USB)
  • Fabric-bound slipcase
  • Page count: 1,056
  • Flash Drive: 401 pages (click here for USB drive/stick instructions)
  • Total images: 1,568
  • Flash Drive: 388 images
  • Limited to 1,000 numbered copies signed by the authors
  • Luxurious leatherbound edition
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Carculture.tv - Techno Classica 2018
Peter M. Larsen on his new book, "The Kellner Affair"
The truth about coachbuilder Kellner
Author Biography

Peter M. Larsen
Born in 1954, Peter Larsen has been a chronic gearhead all his life. Together with Ben Erickson, he is the author of Talbot-Lago Grand Sport: The Car from Paris and Jacques Saoutchik, Maître Carrossier. He is currently working on Joseph Figoni, Le Grand Couturier de la Carrosserie Automobile. Read more about Peter M. Larsen

Ben Erickson
Born in 1975, Ben Erickson was doodling cars long before he could read and write. In addition to being a connoisseur of the grand French classics, he is a Maseratisti having owned a number of Maserati and has a special interest in all things Iso as well as Swedish and American cars from the challenging years in the 1970s and 1980s when, as Ben says, “They did the best with what they had”. Read more about Ben Erickson

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Average Rating: Average Rating: 5 of 5 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 18 Write a review »

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 The Kellner Affair: Matters of Life and Death May 13, 2020
Reviewer: Leslie Pointer from Billings, MT United States  
This is the best book we have read on the Resistance in France, relative to the coachbuilders' involvement.  Perter Larsen has done a thorough presentation of the facts  along with fair-handed analysis, immersing the reader in the dark waters of those times and, perhaps most bone-chilling of all, illuminating the slippery slope beneath our feet today, as ignoring the past condemns us to walk into the same quicksand edge of the abyss of oblivion.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 The Kellner Affair May 13, 2020
Reviewer: Robert E Ryan from STRATHAM, NH, NH United States  
I am almost through the first volume and find it extremely interesting historically. Having own a Pourtout bodied Delahaye it has given me great appreciation of the evolution of it's aerodynamic styling and the relationship of all of the people associated with Kellner.  It is an excellent book. Thank you

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 April 17, 2020
Reviewer: Anonymous Person from McDonald, PA United States  

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 The Kellner Affair April 9, 2020
Reviewer: Dominic A. Lombardo from Latham, NY United States  
The current world health crisis has allowed me the time to delve into this remarkable book . Well written and of top quality , the book transports the reader to a dark and fascinating time , and celebrates the complexity of the human condition . A wonderful addition to my automotive library.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 A Different Angle on Automotive History January 9, 2020
Reviewer: David Soares from Santa Cruz, CA United States  
Dr Larson's father was a member of the Danish Resistance horribly mistreated by the Nazis.  When he uncovered the true stories of Jacques Kellner, who went from building frippery for the concours (illustrated in beautiful detail) to airframes for the defense of France, and Georges Paulin, designer of the streamlined "Embiricos" Bentley, he felt compelled to tell it in full and unflinching detail.  

Dr Larsen's research and documentation are impeccable, and his intimate and conversational storytelling style brings France's 1940 descent into Hell to life.  Some were brave, most were naive, more than a few were monsters, but Dr Larsen reminds us that it can happen again should we forget any of them.  

A warning: if you are a reader who is "triggered" by the Holocaust, this is not the book for you.

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