|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
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)
In the 1950s and '60s, the 24 hours of Le Mans in France were not just a race but, according to Playboy editor Baime, œthe most magnificent marketing tool the sports car industry had ever known. It was also incredibly dangerous, the site of the biggest tragedy in racing history—Pierre Levegh's Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR slamming into an embankment and leaving at least 75 dead in 1955. Baime's narrative culminates in the 1966 Le Mans race—where Ford cars placed first, second and third—and the fierce competition between Ford and Ferrari. Ford head Henry Ford II realized that in order to compete in the world market, his cars had to win races—and he could accomplish both by winning at Le Mans. Blocking him was the œagitator of men, Enzo Ferrari, who devoted his life to building the perfect champion automobile and who prevented Ford from buying Ferrari in 1963. Both men's quest for victory trickles down to their workers. Henry II spent millions on technology and manpower to build the perfect car, the GT40, while displaying limited patience after years of failure. Meanwhile in Italy, Ferrari's world-class drivers faced their own difficulties pleasing their calculating, results-driven boss. Baime's skillful reporting and introspective writing style make for an insightful portrait of two automobile legends, as well as an exciting account of a bygone era in racing and in American culture. 8-page color insert. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I love racing history and this book did not disappoint me. I really can't think of a flaw with it and recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about racing history.Published 4 days ago by Spngr311
A really good story, and very well written. There are so many people's stories involved, as well as so much interesting detail. Read morePublished 5 days ago by T. Nevius
Good author interesting story. I remember some of this because I was living in Detroit during this timePublished 10 days ago by patrick mallette
Go Like Hell isn't quite what I was expecting, but it is certainly worth owning if you're any kind of gearhead. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Michigoon
This is a must read for true racing enthusiasts. It sheds light on the Golden age of racing likely will never be repeated.Published 1 month ago by CliffD
I read nearly exclusively nonfiction, because real life, when told well, never fails to amaze as well as educate. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Konni Rodeghier
Those were exciting days and the book captures that excitement quite well. This book is a must for anyone who is anticipating the return of Ford to LeMans next year (2016).Published 1 month ago by Robert J. Huskey