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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 worlds 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 Mailanders life-long friend, Karl Ludvigsen, to choose and comment on the most illustrative and evocative images from the photojournalists oeuvre. Prize-winning author Ludvigsen, one of the worlds great Porsche experts, also limns Porsches decade-by-decade progress toward eminence. In Simon Loxleys 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 years.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. Porsches first effort at Le Mans in 1951 brought a class victory, and Le Mans was destined to remain a major target for Porsches 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 his drivers.