The Volkswagen was the showpiece of the achievements of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. Backed by the Führer himself, it struck fear into the hearts of all who owned and managed Europe's car industry. Designed to "out-Ford Ford", the Beetle would dwarf their efforts with its low price and high production. After World War II what was to be the fate of this odd bug-shaped car and its colossal bomb-battered factory? View picture detail Legend has it that the victors underestimated the potential of the car that would become the automotive icon of several generations, indeed the world's most-famous and most-produced automobile. Karl Ludvigsen's interviews and researches in British, German, American, Australian and Belgian archives prove the contrary. His hitherto-untold story of why and how they didn't get the factory makes revealing and engrossing reading. History buffs and followers of World War II and its aftermath will relish the way Ludvigsen depicts afresh the creation of the VW by renowned and "untouchable" engineer Ferdinand Porsche, the building of its factory by Hitler crony Robert Ley, "a notorious womanizer who drank too much," and the wartime career of the huge Wolfsburg plant as the prime contractor for the jet-powered V-1 flying bomb, the world's first successful cruise missile. Car enthusiasts who consider themselves well-read will be absorbed by Ludvigsen's disclosures of the national and company mindsets that affected their respective attitudes toward the radical Volkswagen. Most astonishing are his revelations of the deep interest of Ford in the VW factory. Far from rejecting the VW plant, Ford proposed that it be merged with its existing German operations. But the executive charged with the mission (Ludvigsen reveals his identity) failed to follow through. Ludvigsen traces the Beetle's impact on the world of autos, from the Chevrolet Corvair and Hino Contessa to rear-engined Fiats, Skodas and Hillmans. We learn why the most startling decision made by VW chief Heinz Nordhoff was not to change his car's design. And we are brought right up to the 1998 launch of VW's New Beetle. For those who wish to comprehend its amazing impact on the auto market, Battle for the Beetle is the essential source.
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Karl Ludvigsen has served as technical editor of Auto Age and Sports Cars Illustrated magazines, as East Coast Editor of Motor Trend and as editor of Car and Driver. He is the author, co-author or editor of several dozen books and reports about cars and the motor industry and the winner of numerous awards for his work as a writer and author. Ludvigsen has been a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers since 1960. He is currently a member of the SAE's Vehicle Configuration and Historical Committees. He is chairman of London's Ludvigsen Associates, a motor industry management consulting firm, and managing director of Euromotor Reports, publishers of specialized automotive studies and reports.Review:
...Covering so much of the automotive development of the 20th century, ...one of the important books of the 21st. -- Road & Track, September 2000
...a scholarly and engrossing book...useful to all students of the period, especially those interested in automotive history... -- Sports Car Market, July 2000
Book of the Month. -- Classic & Sports Car Magazine, June 2000
If you love auto industry history, this book is a must have. -- Automotive Industries, August 2000
Ludvigsen's view spans the entire history of the automobile... For any enthusiast who aspires to a similar perspective, ...required reading -- Autoweek, February 26, 2001
Unlike most VW Beetle books, Ludvigsen has searched through previously unused archival material and interviewed many of the key people. -- Please enter a source for this review.Car News (Australia), October 27-November 9, 2000
Well researched and well written...and well worth the money -- Thoroughbred & Classic Cars, June 2000
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Descrizione libro Bentley Publishers, 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110837600715
Descrizione libro Bentley Publishers, 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M0837600715
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Descrizione libro Bentley Publishers, 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 1. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0837600715