Books

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".  "Amazon.com" offers a search service for those that are out of print.
 
 
 

James 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.

"Veloce Today's" excellent review of Mike Martin's "USRRC, A record of the United States Road Racing Championship.

I just finished reading Mike Martin's excellent book.  Essential if you're fascinated with this wonderful, transitional era of American racing.
 
 

Raskin Lee:    "James 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) :   "Porsche 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."
 

Oosthoek, Willem and Bollée, Michel:  "Maserati Tipo 60 and 61: The Magnificent Front-engined Birdcages". 

Read your webmaster's review!
 

Shoen, Michael:  "The Cobra-Ferrari Wars 1963-1965"

Read your webmaster's review!
 

Rudow, 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. 
 

Levy, 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 omnipresent danger".

Levy, 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"

Levy, 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 bug".

Levy, 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)
 

Olczyk, 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.

Olczyk, 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".

Brinker, 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.

Oosthoek, 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."

Antonick, 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 "Fabulous-Fifties" 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.

Finn, 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.

Finn, 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.

Girdler, 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.
 

Guldstrand, 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.


Lerner, 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.

Lynch, 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 well.

Osmer, Harold:  "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." 
 

 Pollack, Bill:  "Red Wheels and White Sidewalls -- Confessions of an Allard Racer"
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.
 

Scalzo, 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:     dretceterini@hotmail.com
 

The "Talbot Lago Encyclopedia" is an exhaustive history of the marque in two volumes.
 

White, 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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