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Reviews: Works Porsche 956 - The Definitive History

Porsche 956 book

Please click on the above link to view full length reviews by a selection of leading motosport publications. See below for additional review snippets.

 

000 Magazine, USA, April 2020

'Serge Vanbockryck’s book is the first large-scale effort to give the 956 proper respect. The man is well versed in the history of sports-car racing and, as a former sports journalist, he attended many of the major events.'

 

Sport Auto, Germany, March 2020

'The definitive history of the Porsche 956? The title seems almost understated after reading the book. Serge Vanbockryck, both as a fan and as a journalistically accomplished historian, has written a standard work that will hardly ever be topped.'

 

PUUR Porsche Magazine, The Netherlands, March 2020

'This book is the best we’ve ever seen in the field of Porsche racing books.'

  

Motor Sport, March 2020

'...'definitive' is a word bandied about all too often in our world, but it's hard to argue in this case. Volume one offers context with an overview of Porsche's racing history up to the 956's 1982 debut, and it's in-depth enough to be a strong standalone book in its own right. 

'...The photography is fantastic, many previously unseen, and the production qualities are top notch - just as you'd demand. And pleasingly, Serge's signature brand of droll humour translates nicely to make the narrative easy and engaging.

'The level of research, conducted over 30 years, is profound and the detail surrounding the conception of the 956 is particularly diverting.'

 

4legends.com

'...voici un ensemble d’ouvrages à se procurer d’urgence...Je ne peux que vous conseiller de l’acquérir ou de vous le faire offrir pour Noël, de nombreux passionnés et propriétaires de Porsche 956 l’ayant déjà commandé.'

 

RS Porsche Magazine

'In our opinion, the best Porsche motorsport book that we have seen so far!'

 

AutoModélisme, Issue 262

'Un travail exceptionnel mis en valeur par une iconographie qui l'est tout autant'

 

RS Porsche Magazine (NL), February 2020

'Where books contain the terms "definitive" or "complete" in the title, one often needs to proceed with caution. We are too often disappointed in this category with disconnected, loose selections of free, random photographs with often untidy captions, cheap printing and bad binding. However, there are also publications that exceed expectations, and it certainly is the case with Works Porsche 956 - The Definitive History by the Belgium author Serge Vanbockryck.'

'Two substantial books, larger than A4 format, beautifully bound in linen and leather, in a slipcase, with silver embossed print: that promises everything! And this is just the beginning, after this title on the factory 956's, a similar work on the factory 962’s is in the pipeline and to be followed by an extensive publication dedicated to the cars of private teams. We already reserved extra space in the bookcase! After observing the work of 956’s, we will definitely want to acquire these too. We have never seen such a detailed description of a racing car.'

 

Racecar Engineering, February 2020

'This is actually the first stage of the process of documenting the career of one of motor racing's most iconic, prolific and longest serving racing cars.

'...Anything with the name Porsche on the cover has to be smart and the presentation of this hefty offering does not disappoint.'

 

Historic Racing & Technology, February 2020

'In this day and age, when the print world is meant to be dying on its feet, it is gratifying to see publishing houses bringing out books the likes of which we have never seen before. Porter Press International, for example, has just published a 2-volume heavyweight tome called the Ultimate Works Porsche 956: The Definitive History. It is an extraordinary work of art.'

 

Liebhaverboligen (DK), January 2020

'The history about a winning car Ultimate Works Porsche 956 - The Definitive History by Serge Vanbockryck is the ultimate book for all Porsche and motorsport fans. In 1982, the Porsche 956 took the place as the most successful race car in history. The car won simply everything that could be won, including seven Le Mans, six Daytona and twelve Sebring Championships. But it is not only the car itself that is remarkable.'

'There are "of course" only 956 copies of this impressive work, all resulted in a completely unique and impressive collector's item.'

 

Autohebdo, December 2019

'Ultimately this is a simply incredible work, accompanied by an exceptional collection of images, hence an equally impressive price!'

 

Classic & Sports Car, December 2019

'The author's diligent research is evident on each page, Serge Vanbockryck having seemingly spoken to everyone involved including engineers Norbert Singer and Roland Kussmaul, plus drivers such as Derek Bell and Jacky Ickx. Of perhaps greater interest are the sections dedicated to each individual chassis. Untangling the narratives must have been a pig, but all the relevant details are here, plus a mass of technical stuff down to what gear ratios were used and where.'

 

Historic Racing News (web), November 2019

'This book is so much more than its title. Ultimate Works Porsche 956 undersells this tome hugely.

'...This part of Vanbockryck's book on Group C in general is well researched and actually fascinating even to the most hardened aficionado of Group C. Even I, as a dyed in the wool fan, learnt quite a few things.

'...That this is a reference book is true, but it is much, much more than that. You can pick it up and put it down at will, always finding the odd nugget of information, but I would guarantee that this is a book which the reader will go back to time and time again. Sometimes it will be just to fulfil the curiosity of a little known fact but probably more often just for the joy of a good read; because this is a fascinating and beautifully produced work of art.'

 

Porsche Road and Race, October 2019

‘I met the author, Serge Vanbockryck, a good number of years back at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and since then I have known him to be the quiet, hardworking PR manager for the Chev Corvette GT team in Europe. As a fellow-Porsche author, we had often shared with each other some of the interesting processes of researching and writing books on matters relating to the Stuttgart manufacturer. I knew, back then, of his now three-decade long labour of love covering the Works Porsche 956 – The Definitive History, and I knew then that once this work surfaced, it was going to be something really special. Those lucky enough to buy one of these two-volume sets, will not be disappointed!'

'The story of the Porsche 956 has been told before, but never in so much detail and not so completely or in such an all-inclusive manner. With the author working full time in the motorsport industry over such a long time, he has been in the perfect position to seek out key people or hard to find bits of information, all of which has benefitted this impressive piece of work.'

'Having so much space for each race, the book has been generously populated with excellent period photography, but not at the expense of the story behind each race. Having spent three decades compiling this historical account of the 956s, the author has accumulated a substantial amount of history and background information to each race, including both the works 956s and their rivals. This provides a full picture for the reader to enjoy.'

'In the same way as the first volume, the second volume gives the same detailed account of the 1984 and 1985 seasons in its Part 5 and Part 6 sections. The photography and the photographic selection throughout both volumes is superb, and the great thing is that the author has used a good number of different photographers. In such a large two-volume set, this is not only a wise move, but also essential as not all photographers can cover all the races in one year, and this has allowed the author to use specialist photographers for certain circuits.'

'It is not necessary to repeat the same style and coverage details for the 1984 and 1985 seasons as we did above for 1982 and 1983, suffice it to say that the same quality of work is continued in Volume Two in this area. In addition to the two later seasons covered, the author has devoted a generous amount of space to the key personalities (Part 7) who made the works 956s the huge success that they were. This section includes the likes of Norbert Singer and Roland Kussmaul, and drivers Jacky Ickx, Derek Bell, Jochen Mass, Vern Schuppan, Stefan Bellof, Al Holbert, Jürgen Barth, Hurley Haywood, Hans Stuck, John Watson and Henri Toivonen.'

'Of course, this substantial piece of work would not be complete without a detailed look at the works cars that did duty during this four-year period. Part 8 is devoted to detailing working life of each of the works 956s, giving their individual histories, as well as the technical specs of each car. Each car's history is impressively comprehensive, as the account of 956003's racing life over ten pages will testify. These details also include when an original car was given a new chassis number due to an accident with the original chassis, and where the paperwork for a race had already been submitted.'

'The narrative style throughout is very easy to follow, the text is well spaced, and the font size makes for easy reading. There are no fancy stylistic extras given to the two volumes, the text is well presented, and the pages are laid out in a clear and uncluttered style.'

'These two volumes add up to 800 pages, which the publisher believes is the biggest book ever written on the subject. That may well be correct, but what is not in question, is the level of detail contained within its pages. This is truly an impressive piece of work, and it is clearly evident that the author has devoted a large portion of his life to its compilation, and his attention to detail is commendable. Without any doubt, this is the most complete record of the works Porsche 956 Group C cars.'

'The two-volume ‘Limited Edition' set of books is quarter bound in bonded leather and high-quality cloth and is housed in a handmade cloth slipcase, making it a substantial and hard-wearing publication. Should you invest in this impressive, substantial, and very complete piece of work? There is no doubt whatsoever, that this book, representing a period of Porsche's mightily impressive racing history, is one that you do not want to be without, and in the long term it will reward you handsomely. You had better hurry to get your copy though, as they are limited to just 956 copies. But be warned, this two-volume set is no lightweight, so reinforcement of your bookshelf may be necessary!'

 

Porsche Road and Race, October 2019

'This is without doubt, the most complete record of the works Porsche 956 Group C cars covering the 1982-1985 seasons.'

 

Loveforporsche.com, October 2019

'...Every once in a while we become ecstatic about a book. But we can hardly remember when we were as ecstatic about one as by reading "Works Porsche 956 - the definitive history" by Serge Vanbockryck. This is an absolute masterpiece that deserves a major place in the library of any motorsport enthusiast. At a retail price of £450.00 GBP, we could not call that cheap. But, it is worth every cent.'

Porsche 956 book