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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)
A very entertaining and well written book, Go Like Hell reads like a novel.
Wonderfully-written book that reads like a novel, but is actually a gripping insight into one of the best eras of sports car and prototype racing in history.
Especially good are the portraits of Henry Ford II, Enzo Ferrari, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Ken Miles, and Carroll Shelby.
Very interesting story about two car companies! Must read for the car enthusiast!Published 18 days ago by Daniel Fulk
If you are a racing fan or a car nut... this is one of the finest books you will ever read.Published 19 days ago by David J. Segasture
Excellent book of not just some of the best and worst parts of American history but also of the one the greatest man made inventions to grace the earth, the automobile. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Brett Taylor
A story that I knew about. Well researched and well told. A time when America and American companies had the will and the clout to make a difference. We fought back and we won. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Glenn A. Legge
After reading this book several years ago I've given purchased and "gifted" at least a half dozen auto loving friends with this book. They've all loved it too. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Steve Larsen
This a great story of racing history. At the time, I was too young to know that this great rivalry was taking place, but I have become somewhat familiar with it over the years. Read morePublished 1 month ago by William J. Winslow
Couldn't put the book down. Read it cover to cover twice. Gives the reader such and immersive feel, like you're in the pits with Carol Shelby.Published 1 month ago by Scott Ecklond