The words 'Porsche' and 'racing' go hand in hand. This book follows Porsche's year-by-year exploits in top flight motor racing, and looks in detail at the pure competition cars that brought the German marque such immense success in motorsport, and, with it, worldwide acclaim. This volume begins with the story of the giant-killing 550 Spyders of 1953 vintage and takes the reader through a series of racing models, including the glorious 917, up to 1975 via contemporary photography and deeply researched, extremely readable text from an acknowledged Porsche authority. A second volume covers 1976 onwards.
Australian Classic Cars, March 2009
This title is the first of two books Brian Long has written on Porsche racing cars. In this volume, Long concentrates on the exploits of Porsche's pure, early racers beginning with the 550 Spyders appearing in 1953 through the GT cars in the 1960s to the supercars of the mid-1970s. He identifies the cars falling in between as motorsport and design milestones that other manufacturers used as benchmarks for automotive development. The first chapter, named 'Setting the Scene', will help Porsche newcomers with detailed biographies of Professor Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferry, set in the context of their company's growth. This growth begins with the design of the Volkswagen and later motor sport projects with Cisitalia and Carlo Abarth after WWII, even before the 550 Spyders. Though Long's approach, focus and presentation throughout this book are undeniably technical, the contemporary photographs and other images, all thoroughly captioned, save the day for readers like me, more attuned to history and the human side of this story. He has written a chapter for each year from 1953 to 1975, and gives readers an important tip in the first of these chapters – the harshness of the war has influenced Porsche thinking, and the concept of 'evolution' is crucial at the factory. "Nothing ever goes to waste, and the gentle refinement of ideas takes precedence over making headlines with revolutionary concepts at odds with theories established by Ferry Porsche and his father." The philosophy is in evidence through the ensuing chapters. Each race that Porsche entered became a learning opportunity for improvement. Instead of adopting radical innovations, progressive changes kept Porsche at the cutting edge at Le Mans, Targa Florio, Mille Miglia and Monte Carlo, and Sebring and Daytona.
Speedscene, December 2008
The magazine of the Hillclimb and Sprint association
Porsche cars are among the most documented of all motoring icons and marque expert Brian Long has been responsible for a large percentage of the recognized works on the legendary German machines, many of them written for Veloce. But somehow this trained mechanical engineer and Porsche 911 owner, through his strong links with the factory or over a decade, never fails to come up with new facts, figures and, above all, photographs, with which this typically sumptuous offering from one of our leading automotive book publishers is particularly well endowed. After a brief outline of the well-known – at least to enthusiasts – Porsche family history the competition history of the cars themselves begins with the 1953 550 Spyders. Every subsequent racing model is covered, through the sports cars, the relatively short-lived 1.5-litre F1 cars and the highly successful hillclimbers, through to the charismatic 917s and the hugely powerful CanAm and lnterserie cars. Tabulated competition results are included, and while many readers may feel that the book is lacking to a certain extent in technical detail, it makes up for that in the sheer variety and quantity of its illustrations, many of which are published for the first time. In a companion volume, the author deals with Porsche racing cars from 1976 onwards. At $89.95 each these marque histories are by no means cheap, but most Porsche enthusiasts will regard them as essential additions to their bookshelves.
Classic & Sports Car, November 2008
Qualified mechanical engineer and 911 owner Long is the ideal person to get under the skin of what made Porsche the king of the track. It wasn't all brute force, after all, at least not in the beginning. After a brief intro and background notes, Long plunges into the subject and, given its year-by-year format – which normally results in long, dour lists – does remarkably well in making it an absorbing read. Plus, of course, there are drop-ins such as posters and ephemera, and tables for would-be statisticians. But best of all for me were the photographs, a remarkably comprehensive selection covering everything from 356 to 917. It is a shame that such laudable research is quite messily presented in the design, and one or two pictures seem to have been bizarrely altered, but don't let that put you off.
Review from Motor Sport, March 2009
Prolific marque specialist Brian Long is a suitable guide as Veloce brings us two volumes of glorious, if familiar, Porsche racing history. Photos take precedence over words, although Long's overviews and captions through each season, from 1953 to 2005, suffice for such a work. The pictures chosen are largely terrific and there are plenty of them, while the subjects include obscurities as well as the obvious. Even on first flick-through there are pictures that draw you in – always a good sign. As an introduction to Porsche's racing heritage this is excellent. For those more familiar with the history there is less to get excited about. But the two volumes are a worthy addition to our bulging shelf of Porsche books nonetheless.