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Fast Lines Paperback – August 19, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

For several years Pete reported on the North American scene for Autosport, regularly attending great events like the Daytona 24-hour and 500-mile races, the Sebring 12-hour, the Indy 500, and the annual Formula One Grands Prix in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. A special favorite was the Can-Am, the Canadian-American Challenge Cup series for essentially unlimited big sports racing cars. Those glorious years from 1966 to 1974 are the basis for two of Pete's books, CAN-AM and CAN-AM PHOTO HISTORY, both from MBI Publishing (see BOOKS page).

Pete then went international, and spent four wonderful years as the F1 correspondent for both Autosport and and the American publication AutoWeek. From 1973 through 1976, at a time before live television or the internet, when fans had to wait for their magazine to arrive to learn the results of a race weekend, Pete tried to put the reader into his shoes at such exotic locales as Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Japan and all the great circuits of Europe.

After several years on-staff as editor of a US racing monthly, which at first was called Formula and later renamed Racecar, Pete chose to become a freelancer once again. Today he contributes to a wide variety of automotive publications, including AutoWeek, for whom he is now a Senior Contributing Editor, and Vintage Racecar Journal, which carries his regular column, "Fast Lines." He also serves as editor of MilePost, the monthly organ of the Motor Press Guild (MPG). Other prestigeous publications in which Pete's byline has appeared include Racer, Road & Track, Corvette Quarterly, Car and Driver, Vintage Motorsport, Cycle, Cycle World, Private Pilot and many others.

To date Pete Lyons is the author of six books. His work has been honored with the Dean Batchelor Award of the Motor Press Guild, an Award for Journalism given by the Road Racing Driver's Club, and the International Motor Press Association's Ken Purdy Award.

The Historic Grand Prix Association periodically awards its Pete Lyons Cup to owners of vintage F1 cars whom Pete feels best recreate the spirit of the historic times he remembers so vividly.

To scratch that old F3 itch, Pete has attended several competition driving schools, including the Bob Bondurant School, Skip Barber School, British School of Motor Racing, Jim Russell School and Jim Hall II Kart Racing School. He has test-driven many high performance cars, including several Ford GT40s, Lola and Shadow Can-Am machines, a Porsche 935 Turbo, a March-BMW GTP, and a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. He has competed in Formula Ford open-wheel racing, on go karts, and as a navigator in rallies (class winner with World Champion driver Denny Hulme in Tour of Britain, 1976).

No Cooper-Norton has come his way, but Pete has owned a Norton motorcycle and several other bikes, including Honda, Suzuki, Triumph, Triton (Triumph-Norton special) and Vincent, and has ridden all across the United States, deep into Mexico, and throughout much of Europe. His most interesting personal car was a 1973 Corvette, a bright red coupe which he drove from race to race in Europe during his F1 years (see photo above). The flying bug bit, too: he earned his private pilot's license in 1976, and has owned Cessna, Mooney and Piper aircraft. At the extremes of the flight envelope, he has proudly logged pilot time in the Goodyear Blimp and at the (back seat) stick of a Navy Blue Angels jet.

Pete, his wife Lorna Fitts Lyons, and two cats are at home today in a small mountain community in Southern California.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Octane Press (August 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982913192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982913192
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,034,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By John Mccarrier on January 14, 2014
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Publishing a collection of magazine columns as a book is a risky venture. It worked for Peter Egan and Leon Mandel.
It doesn’t work here. I think the problem is that the editorial standards of Road and Track and AutoWeek are higher than those of Vintage Racecar magazine. I assume the pay is also better.

Peter Lyons has written some great books on auto racing, especially about the Can Am series, but this collection of columns doesn’t meet those standards. The columns vary widely in quality. Too many read like snippets of articles that never got published or recollections of long past events that were triggered by reading old articles.
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My two favorite motorsports columnists over the years were Eoin Young and Pete Lyons, and now they've both published great books of their writings. Pete's columns were one of the joys of following road racing over the years, and this collection of some of his best brings back some great memories.

But even if you weren't around during the era that he writes about, this is a very readable and enjoyable book about the time when motorsports was less of a business. Just be aware that Pete does not avoid the tragedy that was an all-too-frequent occurrence. But in view of how relatively safe racing has become nowadays, even that isn't too much of a negative.

Buy this book, keep it near your reading chair, and absorb it in modest bites.
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I've been reading about motor racing since 1960 and have read hundreds of books and thousands of magazine articles on motor racing and motor sports. Pete's book is a fantastic read and one that any gearhead will thoroughly enjoy. He touches on many different kinds of racing but the main theme here is road racing across the decades; F1, Can-Am, Trans-Am, endurance racing and he covers the great venues, from Le Mans to Sebring, Targa Florio, Riverside and, his stated favorite, the old Nurburgring. He talks drivers (and he knew some of the greats), cars, tracks, etc. As a fellow American, it's as if he was reading my mind except that his experience base is much broader.

This is a wonderful book! Give this to your favorite motor racing fan.
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