“Corvette” by Karl Ludvigsen. 324 pp. 8 1/4 in. 9 1/2 in. (Automobile Quarterly Publications, Princetaten, New Jersey, USA. 20.95 dollars.)
Here is the full story of what the sub-title to this beautifully-produced landscape-style book terms “America’s Star-Spangled Sports Car”. This is the second edition, updated to include the 1976 Corvette. The author’s status and industry ensures that there is nothing, but practically nothing, missed out of the account. There are copious illustrations, many of them in excellent colour, pictures of all the many Corvette variants, pictures and diagrams of Corvette engines, chassis and components. The chapters range over America’s rediscovery of sports cars to rotary Corvettes, from Harley Earl’s styling to the Mako Shark II, from the advent of the V8 Corvette to the Sting Ray and beyond. Ludvigsen has not neglected the matter of making a Corvette stop as well as go, and when Americans universally get better brakes they will be formidable competitors of European cars, as is already happening. The Sting Ray and Sting Ray racer get chapters to themselves, the Grand Sport and mid-engine XP activities are fully covered and the wealth of detail in this Corvette book is indicated by the appendices, which cover matters such as a pictorial chart of Corvette evolution, a colour portfolio of Corvette racing activities, and charts of engine variants, production and sales figures, equipment-buying trends, a record of racing results, even a chart of Corvette colours down the years. And what one-make history includes full-page, four-dimension colour pictures of significant models ?
Ludvigsen is honest and includes a bibliography. His Corvette story is another book that very effectively fills a gap in the one-make picture, so that other writers have less and less to do in this field. For American and World-students of car history and form, the Corvette book is an important addition to one-make one-model works.—W.B.