“Cars & Curves: A Tribute to 70 Years of Porsche” is a coffee-table book that makes you want to put down the coffee and get out and drive
by Glenn Oyoung
I’m the resident Porschephile on the LA Car staff. When the invitation was extended to us to review a hard copy of “Cars & Curves: A Tribute to 70 Years of Porsche,” I received no less than three emails from the team. The last book I reviewed from German specialty publisher Delius Klasig was “959” and it was an absolute gem, so I frantically emailed their publicists that I would love to review this book. I was lucky enough to receive the weighty (bad for Porsches, great for Porsche books) hardbound book days later.
In “Cars & Curves,” photographer Stefan Bogner and writer Ben Winter have done an admirable job of capturing the most important manifestation of the essence of Porsche – driving pleasure. The duo are self-proclaimed Porsche lovers and it shows in their work.
It would have been a Herculean task to tell the full story of the last 70 years of Porsche history, and in “Cars & Curves” we do get a bit of that history lesson. However, the emphasis in the glossy photos and accompanying text is squarely on Porsche’s performance DNA and how Porsche design has evolved over the decades.
Bogner and Winter brilliantly juxtapose Porsches old and new on bucket-list roads that range from the snowbound passes of Northern Italy to the coasts of Scotland.
The photos are breathtaking, enough to make you want to trade in some cars and head to your local Porsche dealership (thank God they are closed at this hour). With 250 photos on tap, prepare to feel a little light-headed. I believe the term is called “giddy,” come to think of it.
Some of my favorite spreads include the original (1967) 911R and the 2016 911R tearing it up in Switzerland’s frosty Susten Pass, a Skijoring exposition featuring a 911 GT2 RS and a 911 ST Repsol pulling a pair of Alpine skiers into perfect drifts, and a tribute to one of Porsche’s most famous paint codes – 82N/LM3B Ruby Star – starring a 964 RS and a 2016 911R.
“Cars & Curves” features many more of Porsche’s “greatest hits” from historic race cars like the 906 to modern-day supercars like the 918 (19 of them to be exact). Even the future of the marquee gets a nod with Porsche’s awesome Mission E prototype hauling you-know-what against a 911 GT2 RS.
Bogner’s photos are so good you can almost imagine your breath fogging up in the chilly air as the cacophony of Porsche engines from the 60s and today compete for your attention. Winter’s prose is approachable and yet artistic enough to merit re-reading over and over, preferably with a nice scotch and a warm fire to comfort you while you’re waiting for the winning lotto ticket to come in so you can replicate these drives.
You don’t have to be a member of the PCA to love this book, you just have to love driving. I’d happily pay for a larger format version of this book, which I think would highlight the pictures even more.
- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Delius Klasing Verlag Gmbh; Bilingual edition (June 29, 2018)
- Language: English, German
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.7 x 11.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds