Berlin Motor Books recently published its new limited edition ‘Porsche Speedster Legends 1954 – 2020’. In this book author, Andreas Gabriel pays homage to one of the most legendary Porsche models ever. It all started during a meeting between Ferdinand Porsche and Max Hoffman at the 1950 Paris Motor Show. The US Porsche importer insisted on building a low-budget open version of the Porsche 356. And even though only a limited number of Porsche 356 Speedsters were ever built, the model became one of the most significant in the history of Porsche.
Some years ago, Berlin Motor Books published ‘Porsche Speedster – the editors edition’ to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Porsche 911 Speedster. There was no way around but to compare both versions for this review. And yes, of course, there is a lot of similarities. Where the previous books dive deep into the history of the Porsche 911 Speedster, ‘Porsche Speedster Legends 1954 – 2020’ goes deeper in history of all the Speedster models. There is more focus on the Porsche 356 Speedster, the godfather of all Porsche Speedster models.
Herbert Linge tells us some interesting stories about the early days working at Porsche. It continues with the time he worked for Porsche in the USA and traveled the country to take care of the customer’s cars.
When ‘Porsche Speedster Legends 1954 -2020’ starts to describe the history of the Porsche 911 Speedster, the book becomes in different ways very similar to ‘Porsche Speedster: the editor’s edition’. The author reworked the interviews with Bernd Kahnau and Friedrich Bezner. The publisher changed the layout and dropped in some other pictures as well.
On the one hand, we regret this, as we have both versions in our library. But as ‘Porsche Speedster – the editor’s edition’ is long sold out, this new book learns you a lot of what was told in the other book. The editor’s edition has detailed information about chassis numbers. We missed that information in this new book.
Prototypes and one-off
The book also deals intensively with prototypes. Even the one-off Porsche 993 Speedster given to Jerry Seinfeld has its own chapter. Andreas Gabriel had close cooperation with the Porsche Archives. That made it possible to publish previously unreleased documents and photographs. Just as in previews books by the same author, Manfred Hering shows recent price trends and gives purchase recommendations.
Despite the obvious similarities between both ‘Speedster’ publications by Berlin Motor Books, this is definitely a book you want to have on your bookshelf. Do you need both books? All depends on what you need to know.
The lucky few that have the previous edition do have the detailed information about chassis numbers contained in the editor’s edition. And they can add some extra history, pictures, and stories to their knowledge. You can buy the book, limited to 1954 copies, directly from Berlin Motor Books. Recently Berlin Motor Books received a “Motorworld Book Award” in recognition of this excellent book.
Images courtesy Berlin Motor Books