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Driving Ambition: The Official Inside Story of the McLaren F1 Hardcover – June 15, 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Publishing (June 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852278412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852278410
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #776,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Written with F1 designer Gordon Murray and McLaren Cars head Ron Dennis, Doug Nye's Driving Ambition is to car books what the F1 is to production road cars. In its 12in x12in, 272-page embossed hardcover format, Nye begins with the background of McLaren Cars and its legendary founder Bruce McLaren, and takes the reader through the ideas and concepts leading to the dream, commitment, talent and development of the F1. Probably never-before-published photos of F1 designer Gordon Murray's hand-written notes, sketches and F1 patents accompany exquisitely detailed full- and two-page color photos of the F1, including snapshots of the F1 during every phase of its development and subsystem prototypes. Nye writes lucid details and quotes, tying chronological events to the day. The F1's brief but glorious racing history is charted with the results of each McLaren in every race. One may be left in awe after reading Nye's transcript of the incredible 240-mph+ high speed runs at VW's test track in Germany, firmly establishing the McLaren F1 as the official fastest production road car in the world (now published in the Guinness Book of World Records). If the performance capabilities, colorful racing success and visual perfection weren't enough for the general car enthusiast to appreciate, reading Driving Ambition will reveal why so many regard the million-dollar price tag justifiable for what may be the best road car built--ever. The execution of this dedicated book, in content and substance, is worth every penny, and does honor to the car, designer and team that brought this dream car to reality. With the collaboration of Gordon Murray, Ron Dennis and McLaren Cars, this beautifully printed book is the definitive reference work on the McLaren F1, and by which all other F1 books will be judged. If you're a collector, get your copy now!
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
"Driving Ambition: The Official Inside Story of the McLaren F1" is an absolutely delightful book, especially from an engineer's perspective. It thoroughly and entertainingly tells the story of how an engineer and his team can achieve their creative dreams if allowed maximum latitude.
The overall quality of the text, diagrams and photographs is excellent. And it won't disappoint motorsport fans, either! This book would be well worth twice the asking price.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I received this book today and all I can say is WOW! You won't be disappointed if you order this. This book is intended as a Christmas gift for someone I know and I can hardly wait for him to open the box. Also, Amazon says 4-6 weeks delivery as this is a special order book, but mine arrived just 1 week after ordering it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book without seeing the cover or the pages. When it arrived, I was overwhelled at the quality. The hardcover is beautiful. In a few words, this book is a masterpiece, containing some of the most stunning images I have ever seen of this road rocket. If you are in love with the F1 as I am, this is a, without a doubt #1 must have.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Clark Wendt on February 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Climb inside the car. This book will give anyone interested the real, real story. The photo's and text roll along at a pace that makes you feel like you are helping build the car with the group that really did build it. I've spent many hours behind the wheel of one of these incredible machines. I never had any idea of what I was really driving untill I had read this book. The book is full of first hand accounts and actual notes and sketches that lead you from the beginning to the end of production. The story of setting the world speed record for production cars is really something to read too. I can say first hand if you have an interest in any car like this, then this is worth the price. It's LOADED with great photos and info that will take you on a great ride. So, climb in and start your imagination. Your in for the ride of a lifetime.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Driving Ambition "The Official Story of The McLaren F1" is a great book because it explains many things about the McLaren F1, from the thought of the car to the winning of the famous LeMans race. The book is 272 pages long, it has over 600 photographes and illustrations (the pictures in the book are great), it is hard covered and jacketed, and the book comes with a McLaren poster. Buy the book if you like McLarens, besides all you have to do is get a credit card type some numbers and wait a little while. Its worth it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SportingBlue on January 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The depth and breadth of this book are astonishing. I just started reading it seriously a few days ago, and rather like the car, it goes quickly. The tone is stiff-British and humorless, although I'm glad it avoids so many of the exclamations and hyperbole usually seen in books of this type.

Much of the text is made up of quotes from the main players involved with the F1 project, but Doug Nye adds much from his knowledge of racing and cars in general. Near the end the author wisely lets Rowan Atkinson, better known as Mr. Bean, give his impressions of the project. The hundreds of captioned pictures, sketches, and notes make for a revealing peek into the car's gestation. Many times I felt as if I were seeing privileged information, to be kept within the company, although it's obviously not as sensitive as it once was.

If anything, this book outlines what a torturous and exhaustive process creating a road car from the ground up really is. So much has to come together to make the finished product, and none of the problems had obvious solutions. One bit of irony concerns how McLaren were searching for a specialized facility to construct prototypes. By coincidence, such a building was owned by Ferrari, who were looking to sell. McLaren boss Ron Dennis pounced on the deal, avoiding a delay of months (or maybe years!) to the project. Ferrari were perhaps less than pleased by the acquisition... Other than that, there was no luck involved in the McLaren F1 process, just slavish testing, sleepless nights, and an obsessive refusal to compromise anything. The total budget is never given, but it's hard to believe the McLaren F1 ever made any money.

The book also includes a large poster/chart with the F1 GTR's full racing record, as well as the number and paint color of each chassis. Not to be missed.
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