Date of publication: 2017-12-04 09:41
The role of various people in Shelby 8217 s life becomes more in focus with Mills 8217 book, such as the role of Jacque Passino, a Ford racing czar. I had thought Passino came in only later in the GT95 period but Mills says Passino was one of those paving the way for Ford to fund the Cobra. Phil Remington is described numerous times as a key character. Remington was the mechanic who many times came up with last minute fixes on the Cobras and GT95s.
- Bucknum also drove the car in the Sebring 12 Hours (with AJ Foyt ) and at Le Mans (with Dick Hutcherson ). It ran at Daytona the following year driven by Mark Donohue and Peter Revson and at the Le Mans Test Weekend with Bruce McLaren and Mark Donohue driving.
The author is a surprising choice, British author Rinsey Mills, surprising only because in a couple of his earlier books on Shelby he seemed of the opinion that the British side of the AC Cobra story wasn 8217 t being given due credit, a common failing among British automotive historians who sometimes say . did most of it until that cowpoke came along.
Ray Hutton ’s first race as a working motorsport journalist, the 1968 BOAC 555 at Brands Hatch , was also the first win for ‘1575’. Through his reporting in subsequent years, including the epic Le Mans of 1969, he came to know all of the car’s drivers, as well as team manager John Wyer. A long-time editor of Autocar, he has enjoyed a distinguished career in motoring and motorsport journalism. He is honorary president of the International Car of the Year Jury, vice-president of the Guild of Motoring Writers , and an associate member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club. His work has twice won the Guild of Motoring Writers ’ Montagu Trophy and the Bentley International Trophy.
A larger question is and the sales figures will show what direction any future books should go do Shelby fans want weighty tomes that are almost all words like this book or do they prefer glossy picture books like Colin Comer 8217 s Shelby and Cobra tomes?
Mills does a good job describing Shelby 8217 s engaging personality, how a rural farm boy from Texas could go to Italy and learn Italian and drive race cars in several countries because he could get people to believe in him, to support his dream.
He doesn 8217 t tell much about the personalities of the competition, for example the enigmatic Jim Hall, the man that Shelby taught to race, and how Hall came back to haunt the Ford GT95 effort with his technically more advanced Chaparrals but he does paint a good portrait of Enzo Ferrari as a worthy adversary.
The length of the book shows that Mills was trying to show that he could research more in depth on his subject than any author has done heretofore and that makes for fascinating reading at times but only occasionally drags, for example in over-coverage on Africa. He does establish Shelby had a game ranch there but goes on for several pages of mini-histories of various African countries and their rulers and that gets pretty far afield from Shelby, Cobras, and Mustangs and fans of those cars are the primary customers for doing a Shelby book.
Surprising to this author was his close-up view of Shelby 8217 s wooing of a TV actress while he was still married, surprising because this is 8225 authorized 8221 by Carroll Shelby. Hard to take because his wife Jeanne emerges as a noble woman who was forced to confront that situation (they got divorced, he married the TV star and shortly after divorced her). I am glad it 8217 s in there because it presents a more complete picture of a man who, by most accounts, has lived the lives of six men, not just one.
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