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Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth Dec 03, 2019 at 07:30. 11 comments

Surplus Jet Engines And Other Stories From The Deadly American Battle For The Land Speed Record

Surplus Jet Engines And Other Stories From The Deadly American Battle For The Land Speed Record

The desire to go fast is universal. The desire to go faster than anyone else has gone before, to buy your own jet engine and tempt fate at 400, 500, 600 mph, is a drive few possess and fewer still survive. This is what’s detailed in Speed Duel by Samuel Hawley, covering a near decade-long battle for the land speed record.

(Welcome back to the Jalopnik Race Car Book Club , where we all get...

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Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth Nov 05, 2019. 4 comments

The Comprehensive Story Of The Indy 500 Secret That Became A Legend

The Comprehensive Story Of The Indy 500 Secret That Became A Legend

Imagine a racing program kept so silent that not even motorsport’s most inquiring minds would be able to figure it out. No leaked information, no teasers, no slip-of-the-lip. Dead silence until one month before the biggest racing event of the year. That could never happen in this modern era. But Penske, Ilmor, and Mercedes pulled it off in the early 90s in order to produce one of the most...

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Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth Sep 03, 2019. 8 comments

The Jalopnik Race Car Book Club Is Finally Coming Back!

The Jalopnik Race Car Book Club Is Finally Coming Back!

Yes, my literary-but-automotive friends, the rumors are true: the Jalopnik Race Car Book Club is making its triumphant return! Get your reading glasses on, because we’re going to take a ride.

Starting a full-time job here at Jalopnik while also attending graduate school full-time for two degrees, getting married to someone in a different country, and trying to write an entire novel proved to...

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Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth May 12, 2019.

Brock Yates' Cannonball! Reminds Us Why We All Fell in Love With the Open Road  

Brock Yates' <i>Cannonball!</i> Reminds Us Why We All Fell in Love With the Open Road  

It’s 1971, and America looks like it’s getting, well, boring. Yeah, yeah, we were in the thick of anti-Vietnam protesting, Black Power movements, feminist resistance, and the drug craze. The music was great and the cars looked incredible. But for automotive enthusiasts, things weren’t quite so great. Ralph Nader was calling for safety behind the wheel, and it looked like the Jack Kerouac...

Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth Mar 01, 2019. 16 comments

Adrian Newey's How to Build a Car Proves How Draining a Life in Formula One Can Be

Adrian Newey's How to Build a Car Proves How Draining a Life in Formula One Can Be

So you want to build a race car just like ten-time Constructors’ Championship-winning Formula One engineer Adrian Newey. You think there’s no better place to start than his book, so aptly titled How to Build a Car. Well, folks, I’m sorry to report that this book will not unveil all the tips, tricks, and trade secrets that make a successful F1 car—but you should read it anyway, because it’s...

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Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth Feb 01, 2019. 17 comments

Jason Vuic's The Yugo Actually Makes You Kinda Love This Disaster of a Car

Jason Vuic's The Yugo Actually Makes You Kinda Love This Disaster of a Car

It’s both an 1980s icon and the butt of more jokes than you can reasonably imagine. Even today, its name brings a curl of disgust to the lip, associations with other words like “dud” and “lemon” and “shitbox.” It’s the Yugo, fondly —and perhaps incorrectly—remembered as the worst car in the world. And author Jason Vuic leads us through the car’s complicated history to really understand why...

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Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth Jan 05, 2019. 10 comments

Sid Watkins' Beyond the Limit Misses the Mark When It Comes to Formula One Memoirs

Sid Watkins' Beyond the Limit Misses the Mark When It Comes to Formula One Memoirs

The racing world would be a far worse one if it weren’t for Professor Sid Watkins, the neurosurgeon-cum-FIA Formula One Safety and Medical Delegate, head of the medical team, and first responder at crash sites around the world for a stunning 26 years. Imagine being able to take a peek inside his mind, just for a moment, and you’ll have the premise of Beyond the Limit.

(Welcome back to the

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Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth Dec 02, 2018. 13 comments

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Racing to the Finish is a Fascinatingly Unconventional Autobiography of the Medical Issues in a Racing Career

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Racing to the Finish is a Fascinatingly Unconventional Autobiography of the Medical Issues in a Racing Career

When you pick up the autobiography of a race car driver, you’re expecting a description of a career, a life. You’re probably not picturing a brief account of five short years out of a decades-long career, riddled with mental and physical health. But with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s autobiography, that’s exactly what you’re going to get.

(Welcome back to the Jalopnik Race Car Book Club , where we...

13 Comments

Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth Oct 20, 2018.

Go Like Hell Makes a Real Life Le Mans Battle Read Like the Stuff of Movies

<i>Go Like Hell</i> Makes a Real Life Le Mans Battle Read Like the Stuff of Movies

Imagine: you’re the head of a multi-million dollar company with a legacy to fulfill. You have consumer cars to build, and yet, the allure of the most grueling race in motorsport is calling your name. But that race is dominated by one of the most impressive car making giants to ever walk this Earth—and you know he’s willing to do anything to win. Welcome to the live of Henry Ford II as he...

Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth Oct 06, 2018. 6 comments

The Limit Recreates a Thrilling Formula One Championship Battle Between Two Unlikely Candidates

The Limit Recreates a Thrilling Formula One Championship Battle Between Two Unlikely Candidates

Welcome to Formula One in the early 1960s. I bet you’re expecting free-wheeling danger-loving manly men competing for the World Championship, the Steve McQueen cool that everyone expects of drivers in the sport’s most dangerous era—especially from a team as prestigious as Ferrari. So, what if I told you that the battle for first came down to a neurotic skilled at worrying himself sick and a...

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Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth Aug 05, 2018. 12 comments

Mark Donohue's The Unfair Advantage Reveals the Magic of Motorsport Before Anyone Knew What They Were Doing

Mark Donohue's The Unfair Advantage Reveals the Magic of Motorsport Before Anyone Knew What They Were Doing

When you think “race car driver”, you’re probably thinking “composed professional who is very skilled and on top of their game”. You’re probably not picturing someone who shrugs their shoulders and says, “I have no idea why this worked, but, uh, it did”—which is exactly the kind of picture Mark Donohue paints of himself in his autobiography.

(Welcome back to the Jalopnik Race Car Book Club,...

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Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth Jul 08, 2018. 12 comments

Formula One Got A Little More Down To Earth—And A Little More Dangerous—In The Mechanic's Tale

Formula One Got A Little More Down To Earth—And A Little More Dangerous—In <i>The Mechanic's Tale</i>
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Chances are, most of us are never going to have a chance to step foot on a Formula One pit lane—let alone even, y’know, walk into a factory. It’s a good thing we’ve got guys like Steve Matchett, then, who can tell us all about his experiences so that it’s like we were hanging out there the whole time.

(Welcome back to...

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Elizabeth Werth Elizabeth Werth Jun 11, 2018. 11 comments

Speed Readers Unite: The Jalopnik Race Car Book Club Starts Today

Speed Readers Unite: The Jalopnik Race Car Book Club Starts Today

We all know that humans have been writing books since the invention of the wheel. But a lot of us forget that there are tons of amazing books about racing out there waiting to be read. That’s a crying shame.

So, I’d like to formally invite you to take part in the Jalopnik Race Car Book Club. Similar to the Jalopnik Movie Club , we’ll tell you the book of the month. We’ll read it, you’ll...

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