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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)
Adam Carolla interviewed the author on his podcast & even though I'm not a car guy,he made the subject sound absolutely fascinating. This book does not disappoint. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Seth Anderson
The minute I picked up this book, I couldn't put it down. Baime's thorough research and engaging writing has resulted in everything you'd expect in a great story: bravery,... Read morePublished 16 days ago by icexe
This is an excellent book about the battle between Ford and Ferrari and the men who ran those companies. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Libby
perfect such a great behind the scenes look at Ford also at Shelby as well as Ferrari. Seriously Amazing BOOKPublished 1 month ago by swimming master
Awesome book. I will say, however, the Baime went overboard on research for this book, and some of the information from here shows up in at least one other book about Ford Motor... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Moose Of Evil
I bought this book for 2 reasons. One, I wanted to know the story of the Ford GT racing teams. How they got started, and how Ford came up with the concept of the car. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Larry W. Johnson
As a kid growing up in the 1960's, ABC's Wide World of Sports with Jim McKay was must watch TV for me. Read morePublished 1 month ago by JeffH
It is a pretty cool story, it is written not as a novel but as if a news guys have wrote it. I still cannot believe how cool can be the story that surrounds a single race, as I... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Daniel R.A.