Porsche Silver Steeds, Porsche racing, a dedication 1948-1965

by Roy Smith

The book is a lavishly illustrated monograph by prize-winning author Roy Smith, covering the most fascinating period of Porsche’s racing history. It spans 460 pages and includes over 660 images, many of which are rare and previously unpublished from the Porsche archives. Presented in two hand-bound versions, a Standard Edition and a Luxury Leather Edition.

Many top drivers started their careers in the little silver cars that came out of the Porsche workshops in Zuffenhausen, where ingenuity, creativity, and above all excellence was always the target. This was a workshop where exceptional engineers and technicians designed and built world beaters – ‘Silver Steeds’.

This book pays homage to the Porsche racing cars of the early years that set the standard of what was to follow, establishing a racing department reputation that was to become the envy of the sports car world. It brings together the ‘Spyder’ 550s, 718s and the first 904s in one work, including a foray into Formula 2 and Formula 1.

This is a tribute to the engineering gems that were the starting point for over 70 years of Porsche racing – a record of the life and times of the men and machines during an evocative period of motoring history.

As Jurgen Barth, one of the most successful drivers in sports car racing, who also worked at Zuffenhausen, 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. In these pages we see how it all began.”

About the Author

After retiring in 2003, Roy Smith wrote several highly acclaimed works on the Alpine marque, such as Alpine & Renault – The Development of the First Turbo Formula 1 Car as well as two books covering the complete history of the Alpine Renault sports prototypes, for which he was awarded the Guild of Motoring Writers Mercedes Benz Prize and the Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy in 2010.

He then turned to another marque that has long been one of his major interests: Porsche. Not just any Porsche, of course; he continued his theme of originality with a unique study of the Porsche 924 Carrera, followed by an equally exceptional work entitled Porsche – The Racing 914s.

However, Roy felt that there was still one subject he wanted to write about: the early race cars of Porsche, that were all mostly silver in appearance, and the men who made and drove those cars.




Porsche Silver Steeds has been selected by Classic & Sports Car Magazine as their March 2022 ‘Book of the Month’


It’s great to see engines, interiors, show shots and factory scenes being used large, as well as the more obvious racing images, which should please detail obsessives. The way those images are handled throughout is worth a special mention, Julian Balme has done a beautiful job with the design, balancing the black-and-whites and rich kodachrome colour with his own flourishes of pastel shades to elegantly theme the chapters without distracting from the subject matter. No doubt it feels a lot of love has gone into this publication
C&SC, March 2022


The photo’s are the star of this show, there are 650 plus of them (most Porsche archive, including wonderful Kodachrome’s) in the books 460 pages, all treated with the reverence, and given the space they deserve by designer Julian Balme, who has done a superb job.
Octane, April 2022


Porsche Silver Steeds by Roy Smith is nothing but a true masterpiece. The book counts 460 pages and is richly illustrated with over 650 images, many of them previously unpublished, accompany and clarify the clearly written race history of Porsche. March 2022


Roy Smith’s latest book made this reviewer think of Roy’s career as a driver/writer/historian. It is more than impressive; we’ve been working with Roy since 2010 or before and as I looked back I was amazed at what he has achieved and what I forgot! Silver Steeds, Roy’s 10th book in 12 years, was published by the strictly upper echelon Palawawn Press, and already has been selected by Classic & Sports Car Magazine as their March 2022 ‘Book of the Month.’
Veloce Today,  April 2022


Smith meticulously details not only the development of the cars themselves, but also reminisces about those who were there and drove them as well as the complete race results. Packed with photographic assets, Porsche Silver Steeds includes 660 period mostly black-and-white pictures, with many never seen in print previously. Chassis numbers and specifications for each car are concisely noted, but only when complete accuracy could be assured. Comprising 460-pages and sumptuously produced, Porsche Silver Steeds is made available by well-regarded UK-based publisher Palawan Press in a numbered standard edition of 500 copies and an even more limited-edition leather edition comprising of a mere 50 copies that also includes a reproduction of the original 1954-1955 Porsche Spyder Type 550/1500 RS driver’s handbook. While neither is an inexpensive investment by any means, consider it a small price to pay for the wealth of knowledge contained inside.
Porsche Club Of America,  April 2022


Early factory scenes, atmospheric colour shots from Carrera Panamericana and Pikes Peak, 904 body moulds in production, F1 cars wallowing in a muddy Hockenheim paddock, all get generous space to breathe in a typically top-line Palawan production offered in slipcase in several levels of luxury. It’s beautiful, but if you want it you need to act quickly. A recent twist in this market is EasyJet-style scarcity pricing, it seems that like supercars, superbooks have an insatiable customer base.
Motor Sport,  April 2022