World War II Veterans in Motorsports


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About the Book

“This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny,” said President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the young Americans who grew up during the deprivation of the Great Depression and later served during World War II. The 23 described in this book went on from military service to make their mark in auto racing, particularly in the sports car scene of the 1950s and 1960s.
Ken Miles and Vasek Polak were not Americans during the war but later went on to become citizens. Carroll Shelby was not only a great driver but also created cars that are still manufactured. John Von Neumann and Vasek Polak were instrumental in helping to establish Porsche as a marque in the U.S. John Fitch, Ed Hugus, Chuck Daigh, Bill Stroppe, Max Balchowsky, Jay Chamberlain, Jim Peterson and Paul Newman were heroes in the war before succeeding in businesses and motorsports.

About the Author(s)

Art Evans is a former race car driver, Paramount Communications vice president for production, Army Reservist, police officer and author of a number of books and numerous articles for photography and automotive magazines as well as professional journals. He lives in Redondo Beach, California.

Bibliographic Details

Art Evans
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 202
Bibliographic Info: 148 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7670-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3590-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  v
Prologue  1
1. John Fitch  5
2. Ed Hugus  15
3. Paul Newman  21
4. Mary Davis  27
5. Bill Devin  35
6. Jay Chamberlain  41
7. Jack McAfee  49
8. Ken Miles  57
9. Jim Peterson  66
10. Vasek Polak  72
11. Bill Pollack  79
12. Carroll Shelby  87
13. John Von Neumann  100
14. Rodger Ward  107
15. Sam Hanks  115
16. Steve McQueen  124
17. Ginny Sims  129
18. Shav Glick  137
19. Chuck Daigh  142
20. Bill Stroppe  150
21. Pete Lovely  158
22. Max Balchowsky  166
23. Dan Gurney  175
Epilogue  185
Bibliography  187
Index  189

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “It certainly deserves a place on the reference shelf since it is one of the few such works to feature some of the subjects profiled.”—SAH Journal
  • “The book’s stories easily engage the casual reader. But Evans’ words are also of real worth to researchers and motorsports historians because of the added information he is able to incorporate from his own firsthand relationship with each he has chosen to write about.”—SpeedReaders