Book Review: 111 Porsche Stories That You Should Know
By Tom Martin
January 24, 2017
This is a very engaging book about the people and cars of Porsche written by New Zealander Wilfried Muller. There are hundreds of Porsche books, but this one is distinguished by an easy-to-read, easy-to-look-at format. Each spread of two pages presents a short history of about 400 words along with an historic photograph of a car (usually accompanied by some historically important people). The stories are organized thematically ("Key Figures", "Milestones", "Extremists", etc.) so you get a sense of Porsche history if you want to read page to page, but you can also just crack the book open anywhere and get a hit of Porsche for the day. The photographs are lovely and the writing is breezy while chock full of facts.
Like a lot of Porsche books, this one may mostly appeal to those who have already drunk the Kool-Aid. However, if you're not a die-hard Porsche book person, we actually think this is an ideal starting point. Because 111 Porsche Stories You Should Know doesn't adhere to a rigid chronological or obsessively detailed approach, we actually think it is better for many who would like to understand the "thing" that is Porsche. And, we should say, we really think that in the world of racing and sports cars, that Porsche has a "thing" worth knowing about if any brand does (Ferrari should be included in this category too). So, if you're not a die-hard Porsche person, you would come away from this book with a better appreciation that your Porsche friends aren't crazy (or they aren't crazy because of their Porsche obsession).
Photos: Porsche Archive
Even better, you'll get to know a marque with perhaps the most interesting history in all of motoring. Just one example illustrates the amazingness that accompanies Porsche: Ferdinand Porsche (the original) in 1900 developed his second car. The drivetrain? A hybrid gas-electric with steerable hub motors on each front wheel and a range of 125 miles. Not too far from the Le Mans-winning 919 that came 115 years later. Which, appropriately, is the stuff of legends.
Photo: Porsche Cars North America, Inc.