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Carroll Shelby Hardcover – April 26, 2012
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"...the book is worth adding to a personal automotive library" - The New York Times
“This biography is not the usual fluff. Here at last is the real, raw, high octane truth, right from Shelby’s first memory as a child through to the present day. Mills has it all in fascinating detail that can be as outrageous as it is funny. It’s all there including the whole deeply researched early automotive history in Texas with Jim Hall, Shelby’s racing days in Europe and, of course, the legendary Cobra and Ford eras, as well as the years with Toyota and Chrysler and including Carroll’s “lost” years in Africa. It’s all etched deeply in the pages of this fantastic 400+ page volume that took Mills several years to research and write. In his almost nine decades Shelby managed to surround himself with incredible talent and wily scoundrels who created as many byzantine problems as stellar triumphs that made Shelby one of the most colorful and controversial characters of our time. I personally recommend this fine book as one of the most interesting and intriguing biographies you’ll ever have a chance to read. Having spent several years of my life with Shelby I thought I knew more than most…I wasn’t even close. Rinsey has it all.” - Peter Brock
"Mills has written a comprehensive account of Shelby's amazing life that at times reads more like novel than nonfiction. It is highly detailed... a fascinating read." - Muscle Car Review
"... this is the most complete story we've read chronicling Shelby, truly a legend in his own time. In it we learn much about Shelby's personal and racing life, the ups and downs, and what made this man who he was. Although there are 70 photos, this book is far more about the story than the imagery, a superb effort that no Shelby enthusiast should miss." - Vintage Motorsport
"Plenty of books detail the life and times of Carroll Shelby, but none has ever been endorsed by the man. Until now, because Motorbooks has just released Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography by Rinsey Mills. The 464-page hardbound book includes 25 color and 40 black-and white photographs, many of which come from Shelby’s own archives and have never been seen by outside eyes. The book should be considered an integral part of any Shelby aficionado’s library". - Hagerty’s Classic Cars
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Top customer reviews
Now for the product review. The author is obviously an authority of SCCA racing, as the book delails every race down to each major driver, and almost every pit stop. However, my defination of a biography is a book that reviews a person's life, not the life of their sport or business. Granted, Shelby lived and breathed racing, but the book sorely lacks any of the content of the man's life that any normal biography would contain. I'm only 3/4 of the way through, and I continue to plunge forward only hoping to learn more about the person. This book has been a long, painful journey through the minutia of the history of sports car racing, and I'm only hoping the final chapters will look a little more at the person that the book portrays to document. A lessor reader would have given up hope many chapters ago.
The book also does not read easily, with many gramatical errors and tight fonts. I don't proclaim to be a liturgist, but the grammar errors and comma faults wreck havoc on a smooth reading experience. If the writer would have stuck with the promised subject matter, and been reviewed by a competent editor for gramitical integrity it would have been a little more tolarable.
The book should be retitled "The History of SCCA Racing in the 1960's", featuring the involvement of Carroll Shelby". That would better represent the content to prospective readers. Until a REAL biography of Shelby is written, this one should be passed by.
This is a very thorough and detailed book, in parts, overly so, IMHO, but, in the end, I did not really gain a sense of who Shelby really was. The author notes numerous times that Shelby was not one to reflect much upon the past, and was constantly looking forward, part of the secret of his success. Perhaps that mindset leads to little self analysis, and an ability to shrug off failures and difficulties.
It certainly worked so very well for Shelby and his skilled and dedicated team; problems were there to deal with and overcome, and they usually did, in convincing and winning fashion. I just hoped for more personal insight into what made this automotive legend "tick". There were a number of snippets in the book, but I still wanted more. I may be emphasizing this too much, but since I was very familiar with the Cobra " story" , and the trials and tribulations of the racing teams, I hoped for more on Shelby the individual. Perhaps this is the inevitable outcome of " authorized" biographies.
Also, I believe that a more extensive, and better choice of illustrations should have been expected.
I believe a shorter, and better biography of Carroll Shelby may still be written.