Auto Racing Comes of Age

A Transatlantic View of the Cars, Drivers and Speedways, 1900–1925

Paperback Edition


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SKU: 9781476683652 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

Robert Dick is a historian in mechanical engineering and automotive matters. He lives in Germany.

Bibliographic Details

Robert Dick
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 312
Bibliographic Info: 139 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020 [2013]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8365-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface  1
1. Bennett  3
2. Vanderbilt  14
3. Hippodrome Sprints  31
4. Auto Import  41
5. French Scenery  55
6. Specials  69
7. Mercer  82
8. Stutz  97
9. ­Mason-­Duesenberg  109
10. Camshaft Handlers  121
11. Indy Expedition  138
12. Peugeot Career  149
13. ­Aero-­Engines  161
14. New Wave Racers  174
15. Sheepshead Bay  186
16. Farewell Performance  196
17. Fiat School  215
18. Bugatti’s Way Up  232
19. New Generation  251
Appendix A: Biographical Data  269
Appendix B: Technical Data  274
Appendix C: Riding Mechanics  277
Notes  283
Bibliography  295
Index  297

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Promises the reader the ride of a life-time…. This is a fascinating book and well worth the time to explore, as the reader will get a solid historical foundation in ‘veteran to vintage’ era American and European auto racing”—SAH Journal
• “Meticulously incorporates media reports from and histories of the era…recommended”—Choice
• “This informative work provides welcome insight into a defining period in motorsports”—Antique Automobile
• “Dick provides a fresh perspective on the leading racers. Dick has unearthed a wealth of historic photos”—Classic & Sports Car
• “Provides a lot of the answers from a technical viewpoint a lot of other books fail to answer concerning the early advances of engines…wonderful anecdotes of drivers, and sometimes the races and companies, which have never been reported before…extremely well researched”—Auto Racing History
• “Vivid text…many fascinating photos and action shots not seen before…not just informative but also entertaining and packed with incidents…. Anybody who wants to learn about this era (the early years of automobile racing) should get this important book”—
• “Superb history…highly recommended”—Octane; “excellent”—SpeedReaders
• “Recommended”—Reference & Research Book News