From dust jacket notes: "This is a book, first, for those millions of automobile owners who realize that the purpose of the automobile is to get somewhere fast now, and faster next year; and it is a book for racing enthusiasts of all ages, from the hot-rod youths to just plain grown-up men. And this is the autobiography of Wilbur Shaw, one of America's most colorful sports figures before his death in 1954 in, ironically, an airplane crash. 'Gentlemen, Start Your Engines' is an amazing, exciting, and human revelation of a vivid personality adventuring in one of the most stirring occupations known to man. There is agony and joyous laughter in Wilbur Shaw's story, warmth of friendship and love of woman, high adventure and earthy comedy. Above all, there is the story of a man's demanding search for competition against any and all odds. It is one of the most unusual stories of our times. For thirty-five years Wilbur Shaw had sought speed and danger, and found both in automobile, airplane, and motorboat racing. Three times he won the 'Olympics' of auto racing, this country's most popular spectacle -- the Indianapolis 500-mile classic on Memorial Day. Only two drivers since 1911 have equaled that feat and Shaw is the only driver to have won it two years in a row without relief. Indeed, within a period of seven consecutive years he was first three times, second twice, and seventh once, an unparalleled record. At his death he was president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and just previously he had finished his autobiography, the story not only of his life but also of the auto racing fraternity, composed of men who are a breed apart, living in a violent world of their own and governed by a code that is a curious mixtures of the Ten Commandments and the rules of mayhem. However, Shaw was much more than a racing driver. He was a top executive who, in interesting Anton Hulman in financing the speedway, saved it and turned it into a valuable and glamorous property...."