Today, Wednesday 24 April, is Karl Ludvigsen’s 90th birthday. Hearty congratulations!

He must be enjoying well-deserved retirement, you may be thinking. Not a bit of it.

Karl continues to work full-time, writing about automotive history with all the polish and panache for which he is known, and his latest book, Power Unleashed, is in the early stages of production with us at Evro.

Presented in three volumes in a slipcase, Power Unleashed tells the story of supercharging and turbocharging from blowing’s beginnings to the latest turbos in competition cars and road cars.

Karl first manifested his interest in supercharging in the early 1950s when he redirected a ventilation tube to the carburettor of his mother’s 1949 Buick Super convertible. Supposed to deliver more oxygen by ram effect, this succeeded only in leaning out the mixture, to the dismay of the Kalamazoo Buick dealer’s service staff. Karl learned that boost needed to be fed to the float bowl as well.

Now he is realising the ambition of a lifetime with this work on the subject of forced induction. He first tackled the early years of the technology in a 1970 issue of Automobile Quarterly, the research for which brought him in personal contact with some of the pioneers of this exotic art. This served him well when he committed to research and write an overall history of supercharging and turbocharging.

The publication of Power Unleashed marks more than 70 years of his activity as a journalist, author and historian. As author, co-author or editor he has more than six dozen books to his credit. Five of his books have received the Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot Award from the Society of Automotive Historians, which in 2002 gave him its highest accolade, Friend of Automotive History. In all he has received more than 60 awards for his writing.

Full details about Power Unleashed, including price and publication date, will be announced on this website in the near future. Watch this space.

Photo by Jens Torner, Porsche-Archiv

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