American Auto Racing

The Milestones and Personalities of a Century of Speed

$39.95

Available on backorder

SKU: 9780786412358 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

As soon as there were automobiles, there was racing. The first recorded race, an over road event from Paris to Rouen, France, was organized by the French newspaper Le Petit Journal in 1894. Seeing an opportunity for a similar event, Hermann H. Kohlsaat—publisher of the Chicago Times-Herald—sponsored what was hailed as the “Race of the Century,” a 54-mile race from Chicago’s Jackson Park to Evanston, Illinois, and back. Frank Duryea won in a time of 10 hours and 23 minutes, of which 7 hours and 53 minutes were actually spent on the road.
Race cars and competition have progressed continuously since that time, and today’s 200 mph races bear little resemblance to the event Duryea won. This work traces American auto racing through the 20th century, covering its significant milestones, developments and personalities. Subjects included are: Bill Elliott, dirt track racing, board track racing, Henry Ford, Grand Prix races, Dale Earnhardt, the Vanderbilt Cup, Bill France, Gordon Bennett, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Mercer, the Stutz, Duesenberg, Frank Lockhart, drag racing, the Trans Am, Paul Newman, vintage racing, land speed records, Al Unser, Wilbur Shaw, the Corvette, the Cobra, Richard Petty, NASCAR, Can Am, Mickey Thompson, Roger Penske, Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, and Formula One. Through interviews with participants and track records, this text shows where, when and how racing changed. It describes the growth of each different form of auto racing as well as the people and technologies that made it ever faster.

About the Author(s)

J.A. Martin has written features on motorsports for several newspapers and lives in Baltimore.
Thomas F. Saal is a former editor of the newsletter for the Automotive Historical Society and lives in Lakewood, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

J.A. Martin and Thomas F. Saal
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: 232 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1235-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8389-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgments     v

Preface     x

Introduction     1

1 Race of the Century     3

2 The Man Who Invented Racing     5

3 Uniquely American Tracks     6

4 The Great Race     9

5 The Race That Started an Empire     11

6 The Vanderbilt Cup     13

7 The First Superstars     16

8 A Full Day of Racing     20

9 Indianapolis Motor Speedway     22

10 Mercer: America’s First Great Race Car     26

11 Stutz: The Car That Made Good in a Day     27

12 United States Grand Prix     28

13 The Brothers Duesenberg     31

14 Duesenberg Wins at the French Grand Prix     33

15 Holy Trinity and the Miraculous Motors     35

16 Frank Lockhart     38

17 Land Speed Record     39

18 Sticks Instead of Bricks     40

19 The Vanderbilt Trophy, Roosevelt Raceway Revival     42

20 High Speeds in the High Desert     44

21 Bill France Builds NASCAR     46

22 Blue Crown Specials     49

23 Haulin’ Shine and Racin’ Hell     51

24 He Did It His Way     53

25 It Sure Sounded Like a Winner     56

26 Wilbur Shaw     58

27 Pikes Peak     59

28 Drag Racing     62

29 The Best Revenge Is Revenge     65

30 Tony Hulman     67

31 The Tweedy Jacket Set     69

32 Carrera Panamericana     71

33 The Race of Two Worlds     72

34 Run What You Brung     74

35 All American Sports Car     75

36 A.J. Foyt     79

37 Rear Engine Revolution     81

38 When Holman and Moody Meant Ford     84

39 Garlits Goes to the Rear     86

40 America’s First World Champion: Phil Hill     88

41 Total Performance     90

42 The White Winged Warriors     93

43 Karting     96

44 Carroll Shelby’s Greatest Product, and the Cobra     97

45 Linda Vaughn     101

46 Andy Granatelli and the “Whooshmobile”     102

47 The Greatest Field in the History of Racing     105

48 If You Can’t Buy ’Em, Beat ’Em     107

49 The Eagle Flies at Spa     111

50 Richard Petty Becomes “King Richard”     113

51 Unlimited Dreams, Dominant Reality     115

52 Movies Go Racing, and a Few Get It Right     119

53 Sprints and Midgets     121

54 Sports Cars or Stock Cars?     124

55 Everyone’s Mr. Speed     127

56 It Sure Sounded Good on Paper     129

57 Records Without Limitations     131

58 We’re Just Racing for Trophies     134

59 More Than Acting Like a Racer     136

60 Wings and Wide Tires Exploit the Wind     137

61 IMCA     141

62 New Tracks Built     142

63 The Unfair Advantage     145

64 I Can Go Slow Faster Than You Can     150

65 This Time with More Rules and More Competition     151

66 DIRT on Dirt     152

67 A Great Idea Sold Out     154

68 American Formula One     156

69 A True “World” Champion     158

70 Road Racing Goes Professional     162

71 United States Grand Prix     165

72 Unser, the First Clan of Racing     168

73 Awesome Bill from Dawsonville     173

74 World of Outlaws     175

75 Tracks Lost     177

76 Eight in a Row, Nissan GTPs     178

77 The New Fuel of Racing     181

78 It’s More Than Just an Old Car Thing     184

79 The Open Wheel Schism     186

80 Gordon Doesn’t Take Lanier     191

81 The Viper Strikes for Dodge     193

82 Who’s This Guy Panoz?     194

83 The Luck of Being Earnhardt     196

84 Sports Car Split     200

85 The New Speedways     202

86 Lo Tech with Hi Excitement     204

87 A Day for History     206

Epilogue     209

Bibliography     211

Index     213