Roy Smith is a renowned author of automotive books. One of the brands he likes to write about is Porsche. And we have to admit he does that in a splendid way. But with his recent outstanding work ‘Porsche Silver Steeds’ published by Palawan Press, he literally goes next level.
In “Porsche Silver Steeds” Roy Smith tells us about Porsche’s racing history from 1948 to 1965. A racing history that is extremely fascinating as the little silver cars that came out of the Porsche workshops in Zuffenhausen were very successful from the very beginning. Even though the subtitle suggests it all started in 1948, the first chapter goes deeper in history. The author explains the historic background and legacy of Porsche. He tells us about the Lohner Porsche, the Sacha Porsche, Auto-Union, and of course the Berlin-Rome Typ 64 and the Porsche 356 Number 1.
The first successes
And all these creations and designs turned out to be the seeds that grew and evolved into a few generations of sportscars that came, saw, and won in a variety of race disciplines. In its first entry in the 1951, Le Mans 24H Porsche took class victory in a Porsche 356 Gmünd SL. That is just one of the many successes achieved by the Porsche Racing department.
The 4-cam and Spyder era
And obviously, Roy Smiths spends several chapters of “Porsche Silver Steeds” on the iconic Spyders, powered by the legendary 4-cam engines, designed by Ernst Fuhrmann. The different generations of the Porsche 550 Spyder and its successor the Porsche 718 and later the Porsche 904 created a reputation in race circles. All opponents had to take into account these little ‘Silver Steeds’, and all of them knew these Porsches had the skills to beat them no matter where or when.
“Porsche Silver Steeds” by Roy Smith is nothing but a true masterpiece. The book counts 420 pages, and is richly illustrated. Over 650 images, many of them previously unpublished, accompany and clarify the clearly written race history of Porsche. As Jürgen Barth, ex Le Mans 24H winner and former Porsche factory driver, engineer and mechanic, writes in the preface, “The silver cars that came from the period of the 1950s were the first and it’s sure many mistakes were to be made, but each one only once! I think it is one of the reasons Porsche is so successful today.”
And we can only add to this that “Porsche Silver Steeds” is a book that, even though it is an expensive one, is truly worth the money. The book is available in 2 hand-bound versions, a Standard Edition and a Luxury Leather Edition. The standard edition comprises 500 copies, numbered 1 – 500. The Luxury Leather edition comprises just 50 copies, numbered 1 – 50, and contains a replica 1954-1955 Porsche Spyder Type 550/1500 RS Handbook.
You can order the book at the website of publisher Palawan Press.