The epic story also told in the film FORD V. FERRARI: By the early 1960s, the Ford Motor Company, built to bring automobile transportation to the masses, was falling behind. Young Henry Ford II, who had taken the reins of his grandfather’s company with little business experience to speak of, knew he had to do something to shake things up. Baby boomers were taking to the road in droves, looking for speed not safety, style not comfort. Meanwhile, Enzo Ferrari, whose cars epitomized style, lorded it over the European racing scene. He crafted beautiful sports cars, "science fiction on wheels," but was also called "the Assassin" because so many drivers perished while racing them.Go Like Hell tells the remarkable story of how Henry Ford II, with the help of a young visionary named Lee Iacocca and a former racing champion turned engineer, Carroll Shelby, concocted a scheme to reinvent the Ford company. They would enter the high-stakes world of European car racing, where an adventurous few threw safety and sanity to the wind. They would design, build, and race a car that could beat Ferrari at his own game at the most prestigious and brutal race in the world, something no American car had ever done. Go Like Hell transports readers to a risk-filled, glorious time in this brilliant portrait of a rivalry between two industrialists, the cars they built, and the "pilots" who would drive them to victory, or doom.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A. J. Baime’s Go Like Hell is an epic account of the magic that happens when ego, genius, and ingenuity collide. In the 1960s, Ford executives Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca, along with engineer Carroll Shelby, sought to revitalize their struggling brand by designing a car that could defeat the great Enzo Ferrari at the extremely dangerous 24-hour Le Mans auto race. In Baime’s gifted hands, the marathon competition—and the battle to establish automotive dominance—makes for a page-turning read. He captures the friendly-but-heated competition that existed between Europe and the U.S. after World War II, as both regions vied for economic superiority and pop-culture cool. With its pulse-pounding brashness, this book was made for the Hollywood treatment of Ford v Ferrari.
In the 1950s and '60s, the 24 hours of Le Mans in France were not just a race but, according to Playboy editor Baime, "the most magnificent marketing tool the sports car industry had ever known." It was also incredibly dangerous, the site of the biggest tragedy in racing history Pierre Levegh's Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR slamming into an embankment and leaving at least 75 dead in 1955. Baime's narrative culminates in the 1966 Le Mans race where Ford cars placed first, second and third and the fierce competition between Ford and Ferrari. Ford head Henry Ford II realized that in order to compete in the world market, his cars had to win races and he could accomplish both by winning at Le Mans. Blocking him was the "agitator of men," Enzo Ferrari, who devoted his life to building the perfect champion automobile and who prevented Ford from buying Ferrari in 1963. Both men's quest for victory trickles down to their workers. Henry II spent millions on technology and manpower to build the perfect car, the GT40, while displaying limited patience after years of failure. Meanwhile in Italy, Ferrari's world-class drivers faced their own difficulties pleasing their calculating, results-driven boss. Baime's skillful reporting and introspective writing style make for an insightful portrait of two automobile legends, as well as an exciting account of a bygone era in racing and in American culture. 8-page color insert.
Go Like Hell
Great story. I was too young to be familiar with the actual races, but the names of cars and drivers live on!!
A great book!
Really enjoying this one! Learning a lot about the historical significance of Le Mans and Fords history making run. A great read for car guys!