If you’re a race fan that likes to read then Christmas of 2019 is a smorgasbord of words and pictures.
No less than 10 new books on Indy cars, Formula 1, sprints, motorcycles, safety and stars from days gone by are available, and can still be delivered before December 25.
When he was a contract shooter for Goodyear in the ’60s and ’70s, Pete Biro got access to Formula 1 drivers, cars and tracks that nobody else did – then or since. Standing two feet from Dan Gurney sweeping through a corner or catching a pensive moment between Jim Clark and Colin Chapman, Biro was right on top of things, and his F1 Mavericks captures the era that revolutionized the sport. George Levy put the words with Pete’s photos and the result is a collector’s item available at Amazon.
Tim Considine earned a living in television as a child star for Walt Disney in The Hardy Boys before moving on to My Three Sons, but his true calling may be reporting and writing. T.C. spent the better part of a decade assembling interviews, rare photos, stats and stories about the Americans who challenged Le Mans and Yanks at Le Mans: Twice Around The Clock in the most comprehensive and fascinating racing book of its time. It comes in there volumes available at Amazon and it’s a little pricey, but worth every penny.
Dave Argabright has made a living and created a following by writing about some of the great racers and characters of the past 50 years and his latest, Life with Luke, follows suit as he revisits the career of Jimmy Sills. You need to buy the book to understand the title, but it’s a cool story that makes you appreciate someone’s passion to drive a sprinter. It’s available at Coastal181.com.
Greg Littleton’s Race to Make The Race is an insider’s look at qualifying at Indianapolis from 1955-1963. Full of tidbits and stories few people knew about, the book chronicles the pressure, surprises and disappointments when 50 cars went for 33 starting spots and spent a month in Gasoline Alley. Whether it was Bill Cheesburg trying out five different cars in one afternoon or Chuck Weyant making the show in his street clothes with zero practice laps, it’s a treasure for Indy diehards and can be purchased by emailing email@example.com.
Jonathan Ingram is a veteran motorsports writer who has covered IndyCar, NASCAR, IMSA and just about everything with four wheels and his latest effort, CRASH, is a written documentary of the trials, tribulations and ultimate triumph of the HANS Device. He spent countless hours with its designers, Jim Downing and Dr. Bob Hubbard, as they chronicled the resistance they encountered before finally proving their product was the second-greatest safety advancement next to the safer wall. It can purchased at Jingrambooks.com.
We all like to think of old F1, Indy and sprint drivers as the bravest men to ever risk their lives, but after you read The Speed Kings by Don Emde you’ll realize the daredevils from the early 1920s that raced motorcycles on high-banked motordrome were certifiably crazy. A former Daytona champion, Emde researched all the tracks, triumphs and tragedies that followed these brave souls across the country. It’s available at EMDEbooks.com.
Bob Kehoe is a race fan from the Pacific Northwest who decided he wanted to tell stories about a couple of IndyCar drivers that have long since vanished from the public eye, but left a mark in open wheel. Billy Foster was cut down in his prime after getting off to a fast start in Indy cars, while Art Pollard got a late start but a fast one to big-time auto racing before losing his life at Indy in 1973. Both books are history lessons told by former drivers and mechanics that raced with Foster and Pollard, and they can be purchased at Coastal181.com.
Stan Sutton is a Hall of Fame sportswriter that covered college sports for the Louisville Courier Journal for 25 years and majored in basketball, but was convinced he needed to branch out and write something on the Indianapolis 500. The Curse of the Indy 500 examines the star-crossed careers of the drivers who competed in the 1958 Indy 500 and the tragedies that befell them. It’s also available at Amazon.
And finally, many of today’s IndyCar fans may have heard of Bobby Marshman, but since he was killed in 1964 his career has all but been forgotten and never documented until Joe Freeman published An American Racer. Written by the late Michael Argetsinger, its a detailed look at the driver Colin Chapman called ‘the American Jimmy Clark’. It’s also on sale at Coastal181.com.