Karl Ludvigsen has been so active in so many aspects of the world of cars that a leading German newspaper dubbed him "The Man with Two Lifetimes". He is a fluent and fascinating speaker on a wide range of topics who is often asked to keynote major events, chair conferences and address executives and enthusiasts.
One of Karl's careers has been as an executive in the motor industry. For General Motors he headed international press relations and worked closely with famed designer Bill Mitchell. At Fiat in America he led all the company's external affairs and was in charge of both public relations and motor sports. Ludvigsen moved to Europe to take a top-level position with Ford, leading both governmental affairs and Ford's extensive motor-sports programs. His broad brief at Ford saw him in charge of several new-car development projects including a Group C racing Ford.
Another Ludvigsen career has been in management consulting. He established London-based Ludvigsen Associates in 1983 and saw it become established as a leading provider of advice and support services to major car and component producers throughout the world. Ludvigsen is a major contributor to his company's research and analysis in all aspects of vehicle making and selling from the first germ of a new idea to the reaction of the customer. Karl has written the authoritative work on the customer in the car industry and often speaks on customer-care topics.
Enthusiasts probably know Ludvigsen best as an author of books and articles on cars. At the precocious age of 22 he was the technical editor of Sports Cars Illustrated
and three years later he was its editor, transforming it into Car and Driver
. Karl later served Motor Trend
as its east coast editor. He is the author of more than two dozen books on cars. His histories of the Corvette, Porsche and the racing cars of Mercedes-Benz are considered the standard works on those subjects. Ludvigsen's acclaimed series on racing drivers now includes such immortals as Alberto Ascari, Dan Gurney, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, Bruce McLaren and the great Juan Manuel Fangio.
Karl has slipped a few other activities into a busy lifetime since his birth in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1934. He is called upon often to comment on business trends by publications and broadcasters who appreciate his independent perspective. He headed a company that developed the first practical Halon-gas fire extinguishers for racing cars and was the founder of the Motor Racing Safety Society. Ludvigsen still takes a strong interest in racing safety and comments on it in his columns for leading Formula 1 website AtlasF1.com
. He and his team manage the Ludvigsen Library in London, which holds hundreds of thousands of original images of cars and racing. Karl draws upon them often in his illustrated talks about racing cars and drivers.
Ludvigsen is most readily available for events in Europe and can also arrange to be present at events in North America, to which he travels several times a year. He regularly attends the March conference of the Society of Automotive Engineers, for which he serves on two committees.
Ludvigsen is available for speaking engagements and other functions. Contact Race Legends for details and schedules.