If you'd like to learn
more about this era of racing, there's plenty of information in these volumes.
Some are available from "Autobooks".
offers a search service for those that are out of print.
Randy Cannon has written a long, extremely well-researched tome (more
than a book!) exhaustively documenting the history of auto racing in
Las Vegas. Beginning with informal street drags in the early 1950s,
racing in the Las Vegas Valley progressd to top-level professional
drag and road racing at the eponymous “Stardust International
But there’s more to the story than just the racing. Cannon also
brings alive the involvement of organized crime figures in this
history. From shady businessmen to outright gangsters, colorful
characters all, Las Vegas lived up to its reputation as the USA’s
But it is the racing that will bring the enthusiast to this book.
Especially, drag racing fans will find much here to enjoy. I’m not
that much into drag racing, so I’ve never sought out the specifics
of drag racing history. But I found plenty here that fascinated me
about the cars and the personalities; I’ve never seen so much
information on the evolution of drag racing in a popular book.
Of course, most of us who’ll read this book will be drawn to it for
the Can-Am and USRRC history.
“Stardust International Raceway” was carved out of raw desert.
Few amenities awaited spectators. Blazing heat, freezing cold, and
often, high winds, greeted participants and spectators alike. A trip
off-course usually meant damage to the errant driver’s car from the
rough, rocky, terrain. Then there was Jim Hall’s accident in the
1968 Can-Am which ended his driving career and could easily have
Financially, “Stardust Internaional Raceway” was never a winner.
Not enough spectators attended, and its real purpose, drawing
gamblers to the Stardust Casino’s tables, didn’t pan out either.
With no profits for anyone involved, the Raceway’s real estate was
sold to developers and big time racing in Las Vegas came to an end.
Dean scholar Lee Rasklin's latest book on the legendary young movie
star, killed on his way to a race in Salinas, CA on 9-30-55.|
Dean At Speed". ""Featuring vivid photographs, personal memorabilia,
and telling reminiscences from his closest friends and family, "James Dean:
At Speed" captures Dean's life both on and off the screen and reveals an
unseen side of this quintessential American idol." -- Autobooks Books Review,
March 20006. Available Autobooks, Burbank, CA; Amazon.com, and on
eBay.com through Lee Raskin. Lee will autograph and inscribe personally
when purchased on Amazon and Ebay. First Edition is now out
of print. $29.95 suggested retail."
Raskin, Lee (co-author) :
Speedster Typ 540: Quintessential Sports Car". Porsche Speedster
TYP 540: Quintessential Sports Car, 2004 by S. Heinricks, M. Marinello,
J. Perrin, L. Raskin, C. Stoddard, D. Zingg. "The essential Speedster book
has been created. Three years in the making, Porsche Speedster Typ 540:
Quintessential Sports Car presents the story of the Typ 540 from its inception
as the America Roadster, through its defining years as the Speedster, and
follows with a look at its successor, the Convertible D. In respective
chapters, six of the world's foremost Typ 540 authorities address their
areas of expertise in an account that is meticulous and at the same time
very readable." A superb book with historic photos, technical
data, racing achievements, and celebrity ownership. This book will
be the Speedster standard for your library or archives. Available
at Autobooks, Burbank, CA; Amazon.com $140.00 suggested retail."
Willem and Bollée, Michel: "Maserati Tipo 60 and 61: The Magnificent
Read your webmaster's
Michael: "The Cobra-Ferrari Wars 1963-1965".
Read your webmaster's
Martin: "Long Straights and Hairpin Turns"
A passionate and detailed look at sports car racing in the Pacific Northwest
in the formative years of 1950-1961. The book follows the grass-roots
evolution of racing on the scenic and often rainy airport and road courses
of Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. Capsules describe the
lives and careers of drivers who made their marks outside the Northwest:
Jerry Grant, Pete Lovely, Pat Pigott, Lew Florence, and others; as well
as the colorful local characters and interesting cars that made Pacific
Northwest sports car racing unique and fascinating.
Burt "B.S.": "The Last Open Road" "A masterful and hilarious
novel of open-road sports car racing and falling in love with the boss's
niece in 1950s America. In his first novel Burt Levy captures the
atmosphere of a more innocent era in America, the early '50s -- a time
when the horizon seemed open and anything was possible, when enthusiasts
raced European sports cars in open-road races in Bridgehampton, Elkhart
Lake, and Watkins Glen, races that crackled with excitement, fun, and an
Burt "B.S.": "Montezuma's Ferrari" "Burt Levy's second
novel begins where the first one ends. Telling the story of an exhilarating
and funny road trip set against the backdrop of the 1950s racing scene
is Buddy Palumbo, a good-hearted 19-year-old from Passaic, N.J. Levy
has created a salt-of-the-earth character whose simple approach to life
and folk wisdom make him an unassuming yet engaging hero. Moreover,
Levy is a marvelous storyteller,, as adept at explaining the intricacies
of a Jaguar's engine as he is at recounting the bewildering family dynamics
at a Thanksgiving dinner"
Burt "B.S.": "The Fabulous Trashwagon" "The third
novel of Levy's 1950's sports car racing trilogy opens with Buddy Palumbo's
wedding reception. Beside's his changed marital status, Buddy's job
status has changed, too; he becomes the proprietor of 'Finzio's', thus
inheriting all the headaches of being the boss. And in addition,
as you may have guessed from the title, he's bitten by the build-your-own-race-car
Burt "B.S.": "The Potside Companion" "Potside"
is an eclectic collection of stories with the automobile as the central
theme. Burt tells his stories in a unique casual conversational style.
You can imagine yourself standing across the bar from him as he regales
you with stories of his life experiences, such as the time he had a Rolls-Royce
stolen from him at gun-point, by the "customer", on a New Year's Eve test
drive. Or the ill-fated attempt to impress a young woman while on a winter
Rally in his father's Triumph TR3. Or how he learned the nature of bravery.
Each story captures your attention and envelops you until you feel like
you are there, watching as the story unfolds." (From review by John
Summerfield on Amazon. com)
Philippe & Morris, Mike: "Porsche 904 The Truth and the
Rumours". Everything you ever wanted to know about this
worldbeating Porsche GT racer. The book includes more than 650 photos
and more than 1100 race results, and also includes a chassis-by-chassis
history of all the cars.
Philippe: "Alfa Romeo TZ The Cars, The Race Results"
Includes a chassis-by-chassis history of the cars. The complete history
of these beautiful Alfas includes hundreds of period photos from European
racing and the current whereabouts of the cars.. The introduction
features Karl Ludvigsen's "Car and Driver" article on the American- built
"Asardo", the Alfa-powered prototype that inspired the TZ series.
This and other books are among the many interesting things found on "Classicscars.com".
Mark & Pace, Harold: "Vintage American Road Racing Cars
1950-1970" (Search for: Brinker). "This book takes
an in-depth look at more than 50 race car manufacturers and more than 100
racing specials. Many of these have never before been covered in book form.
"Vintage American Road Racing Cars" takes an encyclopedic approach, providing
vintage and modern photography, specifications, and a narrative history
for each car or manufacturer. Knockout photos of period-appropriate memorabilia,
tools, etc., add to the nostalgic feel of this high-quality book.
Willem: "Birdcage to Supercage -- Maserati Tipo 63-64- 65"
The Complete History of the Rear Engined Birdcage Maseratis including World
Championship Rounds, SCCA Nationals, Professional West Coast, Nassau Speedweek.
Using as a central theme the change-over at Maserati from the front-engined
Tipo 61 Birdcage design to the rear-engined Tipo 63, 64 and 65 Birdcages
and Supercages. Supported by some 350 never published photographs,
it describes the development of the Tipo 63 muletto and the background
of the private owners of the first three production cars: Briggs Cunningham,
Count Giovanni Volpi and Lucky Casner. Every event in which the rear-engined
Maseratis were raced in 1961 and 1962 is covered. Each race report
features start photographs, a complete entry list, starting grid positions
and final results."
Michael: "California Screamin' -- The Glory Days of Corvette Road
Racing". In 1961, if anything was more spectacular than
the "Modified Main Event" it was the "Corvette Race". The fiberglass
flew when 20-30 equally matched "plastic pachyderms" (as they were called
then) slammed into Turn 1 together. The careers of Dave MacDonald
& Bob Bondurant, among others, began in this ultra-competitive arena.
Antonick's book captures it all. Priceless and essential.
Evans, Art: "The Fabulous
Fifties -- A Decade of Sports Car Racing in Southern California".
Art's excellent books are available in limited numbers through the author's
website. Evans' first book features portrait photos and biographies
of 54 prominent personalities from southern California sports car racing
in the 1950s. Evans' photos & text present a very impressive
and unique group of individuals who created a hell of a lot of history.
Evans, Art: "The Fabulous
Fifties -- Sports Car Races in Southern California" His second
book relates the rich history of Southern California's racing venues &
events. From well- known courses like Riverside
International Raceway to the barely-remembered Torrey Pines & Hourglass
Field. From Catalina to Pomona and Paramount
Ranch, they're all here.
Joel: "Ferrari Testa Rossa V-12" The full story of
the greatest Ferrari sports/racer of the era, with detailed histories of
every example. All the races, all the cars, all the drivers.
A thoroughly researched labor of love.
Joel: "Maserati Birdcage -- The Marvellous Tipo 60 and 61 Sports
Racing Cars" Finn's companion volume featuring the last
of the great racing Maseratis. Everything I said about "V-12" applies
here as well.
Allan: "American Road Race Specials -- 1934-1970"
"The glory days of homebuilt racers." Many of the cars shown on the
site are described in more detail here. A very good book with lots
of interesting info.
Dick & Friedman, Dave: " Corvette Thunder" The veteran Corvette
driver and expert on all things Corvette joins forces with writer, photographer,
and racing historian Dave Friedman to write the definitive work on 50 years
of Corvette racing & evolution.
Preston: "Scarab -- Race Log of The All-American Specials 1957-1975"
with Photography by Dave Friedman.
Another essential work. Everything
an enthusiast would ever want to know about one of the greatest stories
in American racing history. See Page 103 for two 1961 Riverside GP
photos that are better than any on my website.
Michael T, with William Edgar and Ron Parravano: "American Sports
Car Racing in the 1950s" with a foreword by Carroll Shelby.
This book chronicles an earlier, and greater era, the late 1950s.
This was an age when rich men fielded multi-car teams with hired drivers.
Co-authors Edgar and Parravano are both sons of such men, and spent their
formative years in the milieu of big-time sports car racing. This
book is another labor of love and is absolutely essential. The age
depicted, which began the careers of Dan Gurney, Richie Ginther, Masten
Gregory, and many others is a tremendous era and this book describes it
"Where They Raced". Osmer is an award-winning author of
three books devoted to Southern California auto racing history. His work
is a prime reference for anyone interested in the historical significance
of this sport."
Bill: "Red Wheels and White Sidewalls -- Confessions of an Allard
Bill Pollack drove Allards and other
sports/racers in the 1950s and won many races. Here he tells the
story of these glorious years in west coast racing.
Joe "Indianapolis Roadsters 1952-1964" From
Amazon's review: "The era of postwar Indianapolis roadsters offered
fans some of the most exciting racing and biggest names in the history
of motorsport. These big roadsters were a unique breed -- front-engined,
Offenhauser- powered beasts that demanded equal parts brute strength and
sheer bravery of their drivers." Joe Scalzo covered the California
sports car racing beat in the early 1960s. I loved his writing
then and I love it now. Lately he's focused on oval track lore and
writes as well as ever.
Also from Joe Scalzo: "City
of Speed": From Amazon: "No American city opened its arms
and embraced the automobile like Los Angeles. But for L.A., the car was
always more than just a mode of transportation. From the days of Ford's
Model T right through today, Los Angeles and Southern California have been
all about speed, racing, and building performance in a thousand ways that
no one else could have ever imagined."
If you're interested in the "etceterini"
-- Stu Schaller says: "A new MUST have book is one called "La
Sport E I Suoi Artigiani 1937-1965 (the sports-cars of the artisans)".
Published by Georgio Nada. Italian language ONLY, but about 600 photos.
I've been involved with "etceterini" for as long as John and Jarl DeBoer
(30+ years), and at least 40% of the photos I've never seen before!!
I have some extra copies for sale if anyone is interested." Contact
Stu at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lago Encyclopedia" is an exhaustive history of the marque in two volumes.
Gordon, "Kurtis Cars, Masterworks of Speed & Style"
This book deals mostly with circle track cars, but there is an informative
chapter on the Kurtis sports cars.
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