The Complete History: Sebring to Le Mans
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Published on Tue, Feb 5, 2013
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
BOOK REVIEW CORVETTE RACING The Complete Racing History from Sebring to Le Mans Published by Motorbooks By David Kimball 256 pages: 155 color/95 b/w illustrations ISBN: 978076034342 Price: $60.00 USA David Kimball, world-renown for his microscopically-detailed cut-away drawings of cars, chassis, and engines, has here turned that same sharp eye on the history of America’s sportscar, the incredible plastic fantastic, iconic Corvette. This book is billed as a racing history and, it is well and good that, but along the way each of succeeding Corvette production model is introduced as well. This author really should know the territory since he’s been illustrating the insides of all sorts of late models, mostly on the GM persuasion, and of every Corvette released in the last 30 years at least. Kimball follows the 50-year ’Vette racing story from some very “stock” beginnings. Names of the heroes like Bondurant and Guldstrand on the west coast, Dick Thompson out east, and Don Yenko in flyover country all spill out of this book. Stories of those early speed merchants and the stockers that they drove almost right out of the showroom into early glory on airport road courses are some of the best in the book.
And then there’s the clandestine parts of factory participation, way before the Hall Chaparral days there were the goodies and what I’d call reverse parts listing (sorta like reverse engineering) where parts that worked on the race track were given stock parts numbers maybe a bit after the fact. Chevy wasn’t “racing” for a number of the early years covered in this book, but they could not keep their dealers and independent drivers from running the product could they? What did we say up front? 250 illustrations? If there’s a well-known racing Corvette that isn’t pictured in these pages I’d be very surprised. Of course there are a good number of author Kimball’s own fascinating x-ray looks through the skin of each succeeding Corvette in the pages, but the vintage shots were the great draw for me, a guy who grew up watching the races at Pomona, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Riverside, and even Dodger Stadium. I’m big on good indexes, and this book has a pretty fair one. In it you’ll find the litany of names that made the Corvette legend a living-breathing thing. From Arkus-Duntov to Smokey Yunick, with Tommy Morrison and Dale Earnhardt in there for good measure, readers are going to meet up with a lot of very famous names herein. Here’s a Corvette book that belongs in almost any racing collection. - Doug Stokes To purchase the book on Amazon, click here