Recommended Reading List

Here are some of my favorite books about auto racing. If you have any interest in the racing classics discussed in this section of Sandcastle V.I., you can't go wrong getting any of them.


  • Shelby's Wildlife: The Cobras and Mustangs by Wallace A. Wyss. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 1977.

    (One of the earliest Cobra books. Primarily a narrative history, with many B/W photos throughout.)

  • Carroll Shelby's Racing Cobra: A Definitive Pictorial History by Dave Friedman and John Christy. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 1990.

    (Great B/W photos by Friedman, with interesting text by Christy. But Friedman's more recent Shelby Cobra is better.)

  • Shelby Cobra: The Shelby American Original Archives, 1962-1965 by Dave Friedman. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 1994.

    (The best compilation of B/W and color Cobra photos yet.)

  • Shelby American Racing History by Dave Friedman. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 1997

    (Another great pictorial history by Friedman. This one highlights the Cobras and GT-40s, but concentrates on Shelby's Can-Am, Trans-Am, and GT-350 racing programs. An excellent race record listing is included as an appendix.)

  • The Cobra-Ferrari Wars: 1963-1965 by Michael L. Shoen. CFW Publishing. Vancouver, WA: 1990.

    (The definitive history of Cobra's World GT Championship years. If you want just one book that covers that specific topic, this is it. Excellent narrative and equal B/W and color photos throughout.)

  • Daytona Cobra Coupes: Carroll Shelby's 1965 World Champions by Peter Brock, Dave Friedman, and George Stauffer. Stauffer Publishing. Blue Mounds, WI: 1995.

    (An even larger volume that covers every detail of the Cobra Coupes, with an unbelievable array of B/W and color photos. Another "must have.")

  • Cobra: The Real Thing! by Trevor Legate. Veloce Publishing. Dorset, England: 1994.

    (The Cobra story, from the British point of view. Many great color shots of British "AC" Cobras.)

  • Cobra by Beki Adam. Osprey Publishing. London, England: 1989.

    (An all-color photo essay of rebuilt/refurbished Cobras and Cobra replicas.)

  • Shelby American World Registry by the Shelby American Automobile Club. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 1987.

    (Like the title says, a registry of every single Cobra, GT-40, and Shelby Mustang, with individual car histories and many B/W photos. A new edition is now available.)

  • Remembering the Shelby Years - 1962-1969 by Dave Friedman. Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation. Los Angeles, CA: 1998.

    (A collection of almost 90 essays and tons of Dave Friedman's incomparable photographs commemorating the highlights of Carroll Shelby's legendary years as an auto racing team owner.)

  • Shelby: The Complete Book of Shelby Automobiles by Colin Comer. Motorbooks International. Minneapolis, MN: 2009.

    (A complete reference to all of the supercars associated with Carroll Shelby, from the very first Shelby Cobra roadster to the 2009 Shelby GT-500 produced by Ford, and everything in between. Definitely a collector's item.)


  • Shelby GT-40: Shelby American Original Archives, 1964-1967 by Dave Friedman. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 1995.

    (Companion to Shelby Cobra, with equal B/W and color coverage of the GT-40s.)

  • Ford GT-40 by John S. Allen. Osprey Publishing. London, England: 1991.

    (Companion to Osprey's Cobra. An all-color essay of refurbished GT-40s.)

  • Ford GT-40: Production and Racing History by Trevor Legate. Veloce Publishing. Dorset, England: 2001.

    (Companion volume to Veloce's Cobra: The Real Thing, traces the development of this great racer. Great color and B/W coverage throughout.)


  • Gurney's Eagles: The Exciting Story of the AAR Racing Cars by Karl Ludvigsen. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 1976.

    (Until 2000, this was the only book about Dan Gurney and his Eagles. Nice text and B/W photos, but a more up-to-date offering with color coverage was sorely needed.)

  • Dan Gurney: The Ultimate Racer by Karl Ludvigsen. Haynes Publishing. Somerset, England: 2000.

    (Finally -- a book that pays fitting tribute to one of the most talented and versatile auto racers ever! Concise text, many great B/W photos, and a too-short color section highlight the key aspects of the racing career of Dan Gurney. Of course, extensive coverage is given to the Formula 1 and Indianapolis Eagle efforts.)

  • Dan Gurney's Eagle Racing Cars by John Zimmermann. David Bull Publishing. Phoenix, AZ: 2007.

    (Again... Finally! -- the definitive history of all of the racing cars carrying the "Eagle" name and constructed and raced by Dan Gurney's All American Racers. Filled with concise text, beautiful B/W and color photos, technical details, and race records, this book has a chapter devoted to each and every AAR racing car. If you're a Dan Gurney fan, you MUST get a copy of this book. It may be hard to find, but your search will be well worth it. A great companion to Karl Ludvigsen's book (above) about Dan Gurney - the racer.)


  • Amazing AMC Muscle by Edrie J. Marquez. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 1988.

    (More than half of this volume is devoted to the design development of AMC vehicles, but it's the only book with any meaningful coverage of AMC racing. Nice, but it left me wanting for more racing details and photos.)

  • AMC Muscle Cars by Larry G. Mitchell. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 2000.

    (Most of this book looks at specific AMC muscle cars, such as the Javelin and AMX. but one chapter is devoted to AMC racing programs. Great color and B/W coverage throughout, although I'd still like to see a volume devoted solely to AMC racing.)


  • Chaparral: Complete History of Jim Hall's Chaparral Race Cars, 1961-1970 by Richard Falconer and Doug Nye. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 1992.

    (Another great volume. This one's about one of the most successful competitors in the early years of the Can-Am series. Lots of B/W and complete Chaparral race record.)


  • Fifty Years of Ferrari by Alan Henry. Haynes Publishing. Somerset, UK: 1997

    (A very nicely illustrated overview of Ferrari's 50 year racing history. It includes both grand prix and sports car racing, with appendices that list race victories for the "Prancing Horse."

Other Racing

  • Indy: Seventy-Five Years of Racing's Greatest Spectacle by Rich Taylor. St. Martin's Press. New York, NY: 1991.

    (Nice photo history of the "500," with results of all races through 1991.)

  • The Le Mans 24-Hours Race by Michael Cotton. The Bath Press. Bath, England: 1989.

    (A nice narrative history of the famous all-nighter with lots of B/W and a few color photos, but individual race results would have made it even better.)

  • Le Mans 24-Hours by Brian Laban. MBI Publishing. St. Paul, MN: 2001.

    (Large, fully-illustrated history of the racing classic. Includes top 5 finishers and class winners for all races through 2001.)

  • Can-Am by Pete Lyons. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 1995.

    (The definitive history of the definitive American road racing series. This one has it all, lots of B/W and color and the results of every race in the series.)

  • Trans-Am: The Pony Car Wars 1966-1972 by David Friedman. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 2001.

    (The definitive history of the "Pony Car" road racing series. Filled with B/W and color and the results of every race during the years covered. An expanded history bringing the Trans-Am story through the present would be great.)

  • The Complete History of Grand Prix Motor Racing by Adriano Cimarosti. Crescent Books. New York, NY: 1989.

    (A little dated now, but a very good history of Grand Prix racing, from 1894 to 1989. It includes year-by-year narratives, tons of B/W and color photos, car cutaways, and track diagrams. No race results, though.)

  • American Grand Prix Racing by Tim Considine. Motorbooks International. Osceola, WI: 1997.

    (A text and photographic look at "A Century of Drivers and Cars" representing America's efforts in international Grand Prix racing. Extensive coverage is given to Dan Gurney's Grand Prix racing career and his Formula 1 Eagles.)

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Last Updated: January 5, 2010