Ferrari vs Ford- in the race to build the fastest car the world had ever seen.
A. J. Baime is the automotive, sports and features editor at Playboy magazine.
In the 1950s and '60s, the 24 hours of Le Mans in France were not just a race but, according to Playboy editor Baime, "the most magnificent marketing tool the sports car industry had ever known." It was also incredibly dangerous, the site of the biggest tragedy in racing history-Pierre Levegh's Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR slamming into an embankment and leaving at least 75 dead in 1955. Baime's narrative culminates in the 1966 Le Mans race-where Ford cars placed first, second and third-and the fierce competition between Ford and Ferrari. Ford head Henry Ford II realized that in order to compete in the world market, his cars had to win races-and he could accomplish both by winning at Le Mans. Blocking him was the "agitator of men," Enzo Ferrari, who devoted his life to building the perfect champion automobile and who prevented Ford from buying Ferrari in 1963. Both men's quest for victory trickles down to their workers. Henry II spent millions on technology and manpower to build the perfect car, the GT40, while displaying limited patience after years of failure. Meanwhile in Italy, Ferrari's world-class drivers faced their own difficulties pleasing their calculating, results-driven boss. Baime's skillful reporting and introspective writing style make for an insightful portrait of two automobile legends, as well as an exciting account of a bygone era in racing and in American culture. 8-page color insert. (June) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
A must-buy for any motorsports fan * Daily Express *
All I can say is: Wow!...If you like cars - nay, if you have ever seen a car - you must read this book! -- Garth Stein, bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
Go Like Hell is a wonder, chuck-a-block with great heroes and villains, a pedal-to-the metal account of greed and gumption, a chronicle of obsession and vain glory. Don't worry about that seat belt. Just go for the ride. -- Leigh Montville, author of At the Altar of Speed
Reliving the titanic battles between Ford and Ferrari that payed out in the mid-sixties at Le Mans . . . a riveting read * Choice Magazine *
Enzo Ferrari and his sports cars dominated racing beginning in 1952; the 1960s brought high speeds and concerns about safety, as drivers and fans were killed in spectacular crashes. Henry Ford II became determined to unseat Ferrari from his position as the premier sports car manufacturer. Baime (Big Shots: The Men Behind the Booze) combines the saga of the heroic drivers with personal stories of the ruthless and canny businessmen who financed the sport. He focuses on the Grand Prix races at Le Mans and includes all the big names: Carroll Shelby, Lee Iacocca, Phil Hill, Mario Andretti, and John Surtees. The author's profiles are not always flattering, but tantalizing insider stories make the legends of the sport sympathetic, e.g., Hill, born into a well-to-do California family, rebuilt his first car at the age of 12, with help from his aunt's butler. Verdict Baime tells an exciting story at a pace that manages to keep up with the drivers. Racing and automotive enthusiasts will get caught up in the drama of the sport and its colorful personalities.-Susan Belsky, Oshkosh P.L., WI Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.