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Dan Gurney: The Ultimate Racer Hardcover – August, 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Haynes Pub Group (August 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859606555
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859606551
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 10 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,574,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book and enjoyed it very much. I have also heard on the grapevine that in fact Mr. Ludvigsen did speak to Mr. Gurney quite a lot and was constantly in touch with him during the writing of the book. They had been friends for years. When it came to the final edit Mr. Gurney requested a copy and Mr. Ludvigsen kindly supplied one. Mr. Gurney then demanded changes which did not necessarily portray the truth of what happened in certain instances. Mr. Ludvigsen was not prepared to compromise on the truth (and as a respected and award-winning author I am not surprised) and published the book as an honest account of this talented drivers career. Mr. Ludvigsen and Mr. Gurney at that point fell out and this is why Mr. Gurney claims to have not been consulted!!! If you want a true account of Dan Gurney read this book!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeff MacPherson on November 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Almost a great book, certainly this book attempts to immortalize one of the sport's greatest heroes, Dan Gurney. It is a beautiful photographic record of his career and perhaps worthy of purchase based on the photos alone. The shame of this book lies in the fact that Dan was not consulted at any time. Introduction, Page 7, 3rd paragraph from the end,last sentence: "Because I did not interview or consult Dan specifically for this book, any and all errors of fact or interpretation are solely my responsibility" What on earth is the author thinking!?! Not only is Dan alive and well "writing" additional chapters in his life, he's in the phone book! Ludvigsen should well be ashamed of himself for his lack of respect for Dan, not only an All American Racer, an All American Hero!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Botnik Roller on May 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Write a biography about a racing driver who still is alive and lucid and not interview the guy for this book???!! And still have the guts to say so ???!!! The photos are great, but I wanna text, no photos, to know about someone !!! This guy Karl does always the same. Of course, in the lack of great biographies of F-1 drivers, he can get along with this...
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Format: Hardcover
Dan Gurney has left his mark on motor racing as few if any ever have. As the subtitle suggests, he was “The Ultimate Racer.” Sir Jackie Stewart said of him: “A world-class competitor, Dan is hands down the best American driver ever.” (Sports Illustrated, June 28, 2004). Cars built in Gurney's Santa Ana shop won three Indy 500s (1968, ’73 and ’75), two U.S. National Championships (1968 and ’74), two F-1 races (Brands Hatch and Spa-Francorchamps, both in ’67), and utterly dominated IMSA in the 1990s. Gurney retired as a driver at the end of 1970, having failed to achieve his two biggest goals—winning the F-1 Drivers’ World Championship and the Indianapolis 500. With the slightest bit of luck, he would have won the 1964 world championship, and the 1967 Indy 500; more about that in a moment. As a driver, his biggest victory was winning Le Mans (with A.J. Foyt) in 1967. His greatest achievement perhaps was his record of versatility. During one 18-month period, he won races at the highest level of the sport in six different categories: Can-Am (Bridgehampton, 9/66), Trans Am (Green Valley, 4/67), Grand Prix (Spa-Francochamps, 6/67), Sports Car Prototype (Le Mans, 6/67), Indycar (Riverside, 11/67), and Nascar (Riverside, 1/68). It’s a record unlikely ever to be rivaled.

Karl Ludvigsen’s book recounts many of Gurney’s biggest victories, as well as his many disappointments. And there were many disappointments (two recounted above), so much so that for three decades “Gurney Luck” was a term as familiar to racers as “Gurney-Flap.” (“The Gurney-Flap” is a small tab projecting from the trailing edge of a wing, to increase downforce, developed in Gurney’s shop.) Indeed, wherever he raced, Gurney was always among the quickest, if not THE quickest. His record of near misses is legendary.
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More About the Author

Biographical Background
Karl Ludvigsen

In addition to his motor industry activities as an executive (with GM, Fiat and Ford) and head of a consulting company, Karl Ludvigsen has been active for over 50 years as an author and historian. As an author, co-author or editor he has some four dozen books to his credit. Needless to say, they are all about cars and the motor industry, Karl's life-long passion.
Since 1997 Ludvigsen has been drawing on the photographic resources of the Ludvigsen Library to write and illustrate books on the great racing drivers. His first title in this series was Stirling Moss ' Racing with the Maestro. He followed this with Jackie Stewart ' Triple-Crowned King of Speed and Juan Manuel Fangio ' Motor Racing's Grand Master. Fourth in this series for Haynes Publishing was Dan Gurney ' The Ultimate Racer and fifth was Alberto Ascari ' Ferrari's First Double Champion. Next came Bruce McLaren ' Life and Legend of Excellence and Emerson Fittipaldi ' Heart of a Racer.
Also in the field of motor sports Karl Ludvigsen has written about road racing in America, the cars of the Can-Am series, the AAR Eagle racing cars, the GT40 Fords and Prime Movers, the story of Britain's Ilmor Engineering. His introduction to At Speed, a book of Jesse Alexander's racing photography, won the Ken W. Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism. Other motors-sports titles include Classic Grand Prix Cars, a history of the front-engined G.P. racer, and Classic Racing Engines, Karl's personal selection of 50 notable power units.
Four of Karl Ludvigsen's books concern the Chevrolet Corvette, one of them an industry best-seller. He has written three times about Mercedes-Benz, twice about its racing cars. His books on the latter subject have won the Montagu Trophy (once) and the Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award (twice), both recognising outstanding automotive historical writing. In 2001 he again received the Cugnot award from the Society of Automotive Historians for his book about the early years of the Volkswagen, Battle for the Beetle, a Robert Bentley publication.
Karl Ludvigsen's Porsche history, Excellence was Expected, is considered by many to be a model of the researching and writing of the history of an auto company. He has updated it twice in a three-volume format for Bentley Publishers for the new Millennium. He is the author of a series of monographs on great Maserati cars. His book BRM V16 for Veloce Publishing tells the story of one of the most controversial racing cars of all time. In The V12 Engine for Haynes he describes the creation and consequences of all the cars ever powered by the iconic vee-twelves.
In 1997 Ludvigsen researched and wrote the catalogue for a special exhibition of Ferrari technological innovations on the occasion of the company's 50th anniversary and contributed a major section to the company's official 50-year history. He has updated this for the company's 60th anniversary. Karl's understanding of the Ferrari world combined with his Library's holding of the Rodolfo Mailander photo archive to produce Ferrari by Mailander in 2005, a Dalton Watson publication. In 2006 with Dalton Watson Karl has published The Incredible Blitzen Benz, the story of six great record-breaking cars.
In co-operation with publisher Iconografix, Ludvigsen has established the Ludvigsen Library Series of 128-page books drawing on the holdings of the Ludvigsen Library. The series now numbers 19 titles, including books on Indy racing cars of 1911 to 1939, the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the Indy Novis, Chevrolet's Corvair and Corvette, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL of 1952 and 1954-1964, the 300SLR of 1955, Porsche Spyders, Porsche 917, Jaguar XK120, XK140 and XK150, Land Rover Defender the Ferrari factory and American sports-racers: the Cunninghams, Chaparrals and Can-Am racing cars. More titles are in preparation.

Status: December 2006

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