Archive for Items Categorized 'Biography/ Autobiography', only excerpts shown, click title for full entry.

A Race with Love and Death

by Richard Williams

A young English aristocrat won the 1938 German Grand Prix—as a works driver for Mercedes-Benz, selected by Hitler himself—and became a Nazi hero! There’s plenty of drama right there, and that’s not even scratching the surface.

An English Car Designer Abroad

by Peter Birtwhistle

Recognize the cars on the cover? One man did those and many more, over the course of a 40-year career in which he saw everything—from how to shave clay to designing by committee—change.

Richie Ginther, Motor Racing’s Free Thinker

by Richard Jenkins

I hate to see anything broken” is a strong candidate for the most unlikely quotation ever attributed to a Grand Prix driver. But Richie Ginther was no ordinary driver, and no ordinary man. Here is the first-ever authorized biography.

Not Much of an Engineer, An Autobiography

by Sir Stanley Hooker

Gravely ill, this highly acclaimed aero engine engineer managed to stay alive just long enough to finish his autobiography. A modest man, he would have been embarrassed by the praise his eulogists bestowed on him.

Louis Coatalen

by Oliver Standerwick Heal 

A portrait of charm and wit, and an “eye on the prize” sort of determination that could be quite ruthless. You may not know the name but you use stuff that has his fingerprints on it even if you don’t realize it. Someone spent twenty years writing this book—read it!

Harold Edgerton: Seeing the Unseen

by Ron Kurtz, Deborah Douglas, Gus Kayafas (editors)

Thanks to the use of strobes and flashes, Edgerton’s Speedray photos, as they were nicknamed, gave visual evidence of laws of nature that had only been theorized upon before but not been observable. This book offers a look at the science and the man.

Niki Lauda: His Competition History

by Jon Saltinstall

He won two of his three F1 championships after the fiery crash in 1976 that almost killed him. The courage and willpower this takes defies description. So does losing the title one year by one point and winning it another by half a point. Racing is about so much more than car control; this book paints the picture of a driver who applied himself with unprecedented  commitment.

World War II Veterans in Motorsports

by Art Evans

As both a former race driver and movie industry PR man, the author understands his topic from both sides. Plus, the 23 men and women covered here were personal friends of his.

Second to One: All But For Indy

by Gordon Kirby & Joseph Freeman

Winning the Indy 500 makes you a household name. Well, in some households. For a while. The ones who don’t win, no matter how long the list of their accomplishments here or elsewhere, get no love. Here’s their story.

One Formula – 50 Years of Car Design

by Gordon Murray and Philip Porter  

“Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” – the extraordinary legacy of oenophile, soap box racer, and Bob Dylan disciple Gordon Murray. He is the man who also created the road-going sports car that won Le Mans, who designed  F1 cars that won 50 Grands Prix, and who is still pushing every envelope he can find.

Design Between the Lines

by Patrick le Quément, Stéphane Geffray

You’d have to have been sequestered on your private island for the last 50 years not to know the name of the author of this book. Simca, Ford, VW/Audi, Renault—some 60 million cars have Patrick le Quément’s fingerprints on them, and he reshaped his industry.

Lady Lucy Houston DBE, Aviation Champion and Mother of the Spitfire

by Miles Macnair

Picture this: an air force is fighting for its very survival. A private citizen offers to buy her impoverished government several squadrons of fighter planes. The government says—no. This snub kickstarted a chain of events that culminated in Britain developing one of the important aircraft of all time.