The first quarter of the 20th century was a time of dramatic change in auto racing, marked by the move from the horseless carriage to the supercharged Grand Prix racer, from the gentleman driver to the well-publicized professional, and from the dusty road course to the autodrome. This history of the evolution of European and American auto racing from 1900 to 1925 examines transatlantic influences, early dirt track racing, and the birth of the twin-cam engine and the straight-eight. It also explores the origins of the Bennett and Vanderbilt races, the early career of “America’s Speed King” Barney Oldfield, the rise of the speedway specials from Marmon, Mercer, Stutz and Duesenberg, and developments from Peugeot, Delage, Ballot, Fiat, and Bugatti. This informative work provides welcome insight into a defining period in motorsports.
The heart-pounding story of an unlikely band of ragtags who took on Hitler's Grand Prix driver. In the years before World War II, Adolf Hitler wanted to prove the greatness of the Third Reich in everything from track and field to motorsports. The Nazis poured money into the development of new race cars, and Mercedes-Benz came out with a stable of supercharged automobiles called Silver Arrows. Their drivers dominated the sensational world of European Grand Prix racing and saluted Hitler on their many returns home with victory.As the Third Reich stripped Jews of their rights and began their march toward war, one driver, René Dreyfus, a 32-year-old Frenchman of Jewish heritage who had enjoyed some early successes on the racing circuit, was barred from driving on any German or Italian race teams, which fielded the best in class, due to the rise of Hitler and Benito Mussolini.So it was that in 1937, Lucy Schell, an American heiress and top Monte Carlo Rally driver, needed a racer for a new team she was creating to take on Germany's Silver Arrows. Sensing untapped potential in Dreyfus, she funded the development of a nimble tiger of a new car built by a little-known French manufacturer called Delahaye. As the nations of Europe marched ever closer to war, Schell and Dreyfus faced down Hitler's top drivers, and the world held its breath in anticipation, waiting to see who would triumph.
Two teen-agers back in early day France probably started it all by "borrowing" their Dad's "horseless carriages" and seeing which could go fastest. That was when highly respected doctors were certain that you would die if you moved faster than sixty miles an hour. The human body simply couldn't survive at that speed. Now, racers routinely go two hundred miles an hour, and drag racers go more than three hundred miles an hour in only a thousand feet. Auto racing is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is daring, dangerous, and exciting, and the winners often become millionaires. This book aimed at young adults is full of stories about racing as it describes the progress from the two kids to modern racing. The author has participated as a driver, photographer and journalist for many years, and has written a number of books on the subject.
On Labor Day weekend of 1972, journalist Jerry Bledsoe hooked up with the stock car racing circuit to begin research for his first book. The result of his efforts, first published in 1975, has been called the classic work on stock car racing. Bledsoe captures the beginnings of the modern NASCAR era, a time when legends like Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Allison, and the Wood brothers ruled. It was also a time when independent drivers like Wendell Scott (NASCAR’s first African American driver) and Larry Smith could build a car in their garages during the week and race on Sunday alongside King Richard. With levels of access impossible to achieve today, Bledsoe is not only in the pits and garages with the drivers, but also is alongside their family driving to the next race in a van piled high with ice chests filled with sandwiches and fried chicken. He digs into the sport’s rough and rowdy history and shines a light into its nooks and crannies, uncovering the forgotten role that women drivers played in creating this most macho of motorsports. And then there are the fans. There’s Red Robinson, the self-proclaimed “World’s Number One Stock Car Racing Fan," who collects racing beauty queens the way some people collects stamps. And the fans camped out in the infield at Darlington, the biggest, wildest, whoopingest, holleringest, drinkingest, gamblingest, carousingest, knock-down, fall-out blowout held in the South. More than a book about racing, this is a close-up look at a cultural phenomenon that illuminates America and the South. In 1965, Tom Wolfe called racer Junior Johnson “the last American hero.” “The World’s Number One, All-Time Great, Stock Car Racing Book” shows that a decade later there were still plenty of heroes circling the track with no signs of them disappearing anytime soon.
This book highlights sport as one of the key inspirations for an international range of modernist artists. Sport emerged as a corollary of the industrial revolution and developed into a prominent facet of modernity as it spread across Europe at the turn of the twentieth century. It was celebrated by modernists both for its spectacle and for the suggestive ways in which society could be remodelled on dynamic, active and rational lines. Artists included sport themes in a wide variety of media and frequently referenced it in their own writings. Sport was also political, most notably under fascist and Soviet regimes, but also in democratic countries, and the works produced by modernists engage with various ideologies. This book provides new readings of aspects of a number of avant-garde movements, including Italian futurism, cubism, German expressionism, Le Corbusier's architecture, Soviet constructivism, Italian rationalism and the Bauhaus.
In the forty-year period between 1951 and 1991, Canadian sports car competition underwent a massive change, transforming itself from an amateur recreational pastime to a commercialized profession and from an individual sport to a spectacle for mass consumption. The Chequered Past is the story of the struggle over power and purpose within the Canadian auto sport that led to this transformation. The first comprehensive history of sports car racing and rallying in Canada, The Chequered Past traces the efforts of the national governing body - the Canadian Auto Sport Clubs (CASC) - to bring its sports car competition up to a 'world class' level, and to manage the consequences of those efforts in the second half of the twentieth century. David Charters traces the social origins of the sport and the major trends that shaped it: professionalism, technological change, rising costs, and the influence of commercial sponsors. Charters argues that while early enthusiasts set the sport on a course toward professionalism that would eventually produce world-class Canadian events and racers, that course would also ultimately change the purpose of the sport: from personal recreation to mass entertainment. As technological innovations drove up the costs of competing at the top ranks, racers were forced to rely on sponsors, who commercialized and ultimately gained control of the sport. The end result, Charters argues, was the marginalization of the amateur competitor and of the CASC itself. Based on extensive research into the CASC's records and dozens of interviews with former competitors and officials, The Chequered Past opens a window into the rich but virtually unknown history of the auto sport, and claims for it a place in Canadian sports history.
LA Sports brings together sixteen essays covering various aspects of the development and changing nature of sport in one of America’s most fascinating and famous cities. The writers cover a range of topics, including the history of car racing and ice skating, the development of sport venues, the power of the Mexican fan base in American soccer leagues, the intersecting life stories of Jackie and Mack Robinson, the importance of the Showtime Lakers, the origins of Muscle Beach and surfing, sport in Hollywood films, and more.
Robert Schleicher wrote the book on slot car racing—literally. In the three short years since Schleicher’s Slot Car Racing: Tips, Tricks & Track Plans was published, the hobby has been virtually transformed by new products and technologies. This new volume, a perfect complement to its predecessor, brings readers and racers up to date, offering a concise, comprehensive overview of slot car racing’s developments, along with expert, practical guidance for putting this information to good use. A primer on the latest digital and analog developments for both 1/32 and HO scales, Schleicher’s book delivers the lowdown on building cars from individual components on ready-to-race chassis, as well as popular tune-up tips to get even more speed and better handling out of today’s cars. Schleicher also provides track tests of 70 cars and a slot-car shootout featuring 23 more vehicles. Finally, Schleicher includes nearly 50 track plans: 14 tabletop-size plans for Scalextric, Classic, Carrera, Sport, SCX, and Ninco brand track; 14 plans modeled on real circuits like Watkins Glen, Monaco, Spa-Francorchamps, Sears Point, and the Bahrain and Shanghai F1 courses; and 17 4x8-foot HO scale plans. Illustrated throughout with color photography and track plan line art, this is the book that no serious slot car racer can afford to be without.
One of NASCAR’s pioneers, Bud Moore won countless races in the sport’s early rough and tumble days. In almost four decades as a car owner, he was victorious at the Daytona 500, the Southern 500—three times—and at dozens of other NASCAR events, and won three Grand National Division championships, a Grand American championship and the Sports Car Club of America Trans Am championship. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011, with 63 wins and 43 poles. The cars built by Bud Moore Engineering have been raced by some of America’s most talented drivers, including Buck Baker, Bobby Allison, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Tiny Lund, David Pearson, Buddy Baker, Fireball Roberts and many others. Moore continuously sought to improve his machines, making them not only faster but safer, and many of his innovations were quickly adopted throughout NASCAR and by the auto industry. This is Moore’s story in his own words, covering his early life in Depression–era Spartanburg, South Carolina, his combat experience during the Invasion of Normandy, his racing career, and his family life and retirement as a gentleman farmer. Many never before seen photos are included.
From 1915 through the early 1920s, American auto racing experienced rapid and exciting change. Competition by European vehicles forced American car manufacturers to incorporate new features, resulting in legendary engineering triumphs (and, essentially, works of art). Some of the greatest drivers in racing history were active during this time--Ralph DePalma, Dario Resta, Eddie Rickenbacker, the Chevrolet brothers, Jimmy Murphy. Presenting dozens of races in detail and a wealth of engineering specs, this history recalls the era's cigar-shaped speedway specials and monumental board tracks, the heavy-footed drivers, fearless mechanics, gifted engineers and enthusiastic backers.