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Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans Kindle Edition
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Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
Leigh Montville, author of The Big Bam, Ted Williams and At the Altar of Speed
"Go Like Hell is an epic. Ambitions, lives, fortunes, friendships, and a place in history--all are on the line here. A.J. Baime marvelously reveals the people behind the machines."
Neal Bascomb, author of The Perfect Mile and Hunting Eichmann
Robert Daley, author of The Cruel Sport and Year of the Dragon
A Q&A with Go Like Hell author A.J. Baime
Question: What are you saying in your book that hasn't been said before?
Answer: No one has ever successfully written a book about cars and racing that can be easily enjoyed by someone who doesn't know a thing about cars and racing. My book accomplishes this. At the same time, reviewers who have studied this automotive era for decades have read the book and told me they were shocked to learn many things they didn't know. Specifically, no one has ever written about this story with such a focus on the business side: why it happened in the first place, how Henry Ford II had a vision to create the first pan-European auto company in the 1960s, selling Ford cars from London to the border of Russia. How could he prove that his American cars were the best in the world and that Europeans should buy them? By winning Le Mans. There's a whole foundation to this story that I've never seen fully explored elsewhere.
Q: How did you do your research?
A: For starters, I did dozens of interviews: Carroll Shelby, Lee Iacocca, Phil Hill, Mario Andretti, A. J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, John Surtees, Edsel Ford II (son of Henry Ford II), Piero Ferrari (son of Enzo Ferrari), Lloyd Ruby, plus engineers, mechanics, PR men, executives, and on and on. I conducted interviews in Italy, France, England, Los Angeles, and Florida, plus countless others over the phone from my office in New York. On top of the interviews, I read everything ever written on the subject, and I saw every bit of footage, which was a particularly good source for dialogue. In some cases, I took fast cars onto racetracks, such as Daytona and Ford's Romeo test facility north of Detroit, to try to get further into the heads of the drivers during scenes that take place at these locales.
Q: Any highlights during your research?
A: My interview with Carroll Shelby. Afterward, he drove me from his office in Gardena, California, to the Long Beach airport. The guy was getting on in years, and his vision was fading. But we were passing car after car on I-405 in a Mustang GT-H, which has ridiculous amounts of horsepower. We're talking about a guy who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans wearing chicken farmer overalls in 1959. Nearly fifty years later, he can't see much, but he can still drive.
Q: Why is this topical now?
A: What's happening in the American auto industry today is just stunning. My book is in large part about Detroit at the dawn of globalism. It's kind of like the first chapter in a long narrative that is now reaching its climax. In the 1960s, when the global car sales race began, Detroit was battling against German, British, and Japanese companies for the first time. Ford sold cars by proving on the racetrack they were better than anyone else's. We won in heroic fashion in the 1960s. We’re not winning anymore
(Photo © Timpthy White)
- ASIN : B003K16PBY
- Publisher : Mariner Books; Illustrated edition (June 17, 2010)
- Publication date : June 17, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 1480 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 321 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #81,794 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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The expression “Go Like Hell” that the author has chosen for the title of this book, while not copyrighted and very much part of the public domain, is used several times in my novel “The Ragged Edge” (published in 1999). The first time I heard it was while listening in to the cockpit chatter of a Chicago-LA flight I happened to be on. The plane had just cleared Chicago airspace and I heard the captain say, in response to the control tower, "time to 'Go like hell.'" I liked the phrase so much I used it to described the impatience of race driver John Wagner, the protagonist of my novel. He loathed standing still and needed to always “go like hell,” whether on the track or, at, the end of book, en route to Chicago, to win back his ex-girlfriend, who had walked out on him. The plane he’s on over L.A. seems to hover in the sky, making Wagner uneasy. “Go like hell” he says under his breath. When he feels the jet thrust come on, forcing him back into his passenger seat, he feels better. — author Richard Nisley.
First, there are NO PHOTOS of any kind in this book! That within itself is outrageous. I am sure there are readers who don't know the difference between Formula One class, GT class, and Prototype class race cars. Some of the most famous cars in all three classes are mentioned in this book, but no photos. Some of these cars. arguably, were the most beautiful of their type ever produced, but no photos!
Second, some of the most legendary and famous drivers are mentioned in this book, but not a single photo of anyone!!
Third, 35% of this book is taken up by the "footnotes, bibliography, index, and acknowledgements" at the end of the book.
Finally, this book ends abruptly with the Fords' victory at Le Mans even though the rivalry with Ferrari continued long after that race.
It was a big disappointment considering how much more the author could have put in the book to make it really come alive for the reader...
Top reviews from other countries
I loved it, im already looking forward to reading it again.
I need to stress I have mimimal interest in cars or car racing, Im a motorcycle fan. I do however visit Le Mans purely for the theatre of the event, and an interest in the endurance of the race itself. This book covers the car industry and the general car racing scene of the time, and I found it simply fascinating.
This book is a well written must read in my opinion.
Ambition, skill, leadership, courage and determination are all here - a terrific story without being too technical !