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Favorite Books on Indy 500 History

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  • #16
    Another favorite for me: "THe golden age of the American Racing Car" by Borgeson.

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    • #17
      I recommend vol 1 of Ford: The Dust and the Glory for its coverage of the 30s and 60s Ford Indy programs.

      It's probably also the definitive real time report on the Le Mans program.

      Volume 2, written later, is more of a recap of Ford's many varied programs after 1967 than embedded reporting from the events.

      https://www.amazon.com/Ford-Dust-Glo.../dp/B00HZ6043U
      Racing ain't much, but workin's nothing. Richard Tharp

      Lying was a no-brainer for me. Robin Miller

      "I thought they booed [Danica] because she was being a complete jerk, but then they applauded for A.J. Foyt. Now I'm just confused."

      The real world sucks. Ed McCullough

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      • #18
        Originally posted by rjohnson View Post
        Ensign14 - By Indianapolis News, are you referring to newspaper articles, or did the News publish a book? If the latter, what is the title? Thanks.
        Indianapolis 500 Chronicle by Rick Popely. Think it was in some way affiliated with the newspaper.

        A set of Hungness yearbooks is unparalleled as a source for the era they cover.
        "An emphasis was placed on drivers with road racing backgrounds which meant drivers from open wheel, oval track racing were at a disadvantage. That led Tony George to create the IRL." -Indy Review 1996

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        • #19
          Originally posted by ensign14 View Post

          Indianapolis 500 Chronicle by Rick Popely. Think it was in some way affiliated with the newspaper.
          I own and enjoy this book that was published in 1998, but don't see any reference to a connection with the Indianapolis News.

          Here is an earlier TF discussion about the book:

          https://www.trackforum.org/forum/mot...by-rick-popely

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          • #20
            I, too, enjoy the Popely book very much.

            Ken-Paul, thanks for mentioning the prior discussion of that book. It was interesting to read.

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            • #21
              While we are recommending Indy-related books that aren't necessarily 100% Indianapolis 500 history, another good read is "What's it Like Out There?" by Mario Andretti.

              Mario.jpg


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              • #22
                Originally posted by ensign14 View Post
                Did not like the Bloemker book at all. Major missed opportunity. The whole thing read like a children's novel, all made-up quotes.
                I can understand this reaction. It can be distracting when you are thinking 'how in the heck can the author know what was actually said at that moment?" I do recall Donald Davidson referencing the book occasionally on TOGA, so it can have some historical value if the reader can get past the writing style.

                By the way, Paul Page has a new book coming out and he mentioned during a recent Marshall Pruett podcast that one of the objectives of his book is to pick up where Bloemker's book left off in 1960 with a history of the Indianapolis 500.

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                • #23
                  I appreciate all of the suggestions, especially the comments about why a particular book is recommended (or not). I have a number of them already in my library, but a few I do not and will consider adding. atrackforumfan, thanks for recommending "Ford: The Dust and the Glory - Vol. 1." That sounds most interesting.

                  I'm very much enjoying the thread and welcome any and all additional comments. I am particularly interested in the 500 during the 1920s-1940s, but there seem to be fewer books that deal specifically with those decades.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by rjohnson View Post
                    I appreciate all of the suggestions, especially the comments about why a particular book is recommended (or not). I have a number of them already in my library, but a few I do not and will consider adding. atrackforumfan, thanks for recommending "Ford: The Dust and the Glory - Vol. 1." That sounds most interesting.

                    I'm very much enjoying the thread and welcome any and all additional comments. I am particularly interested in the 500 during the 1920s-1940s, but there seem to be fewer books that deal specifically with those decades.


                    You bumped a thread about the Popely book.
                    When I opened it and reviewed it In found a post by myself in which I promoted a what I felt to be underrated book.
                    I'm embarassed that I forgot to mentioned it here in this thread as well.

                    So making up for it:

                    "Design and development of the Indycar" by Roger Huntington, published in 1981.

                    I have read about people not taking it serious because of being a mere softbound (So there goes the majority of the exiting Clymer's and Hungess boos as well .. )
                    it isn't about the races but about the cars that raced. Why some were a succes, why others were failures and so on.
                    When you wanna read how we ended up from Marmon Wasp era technology into ground effects era, this is a lovely, very accessible book. Maybe you wish to read a bit more detailed but then you enter the even more specialistic orientated books.
                    I had forgotten to mention this one but truly undeserved. If cars and progress of technology is your thing you want to read about, this is a real nice book about the first 70 years at Indy.

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                    • #25
                      A little bit off tangent but " The oddest 100 cars ever entered at Indianapolis"

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                      • #26
                        I’ve never heard of “The 100 Oddest...”. Who is the author?

                        I’m familiar with “132 of the Most Unusual Cars Ever to Run at Indianapolis” by Lyle Engel.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by rjohnson View Post
                          I’ve never heard of “The 100 Oddest...”. Who is the author?

                          I’m familiar with “132 of the Most Unusual Cars Ever to Run at Indianapolis” by Lyle Engel.
                          My mistake i was talking off the top of my head from memory... I pulled the book off the shelf its titled "132 of the Most Unusual Cars Ever to Run at Indianapolis" by Lyle Kenyon Engel.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Ken-Paul View Post
                            While we are recommending Indy-related books that aren't necessarily 100% Indianapolis 500 history, another good read is "What's it Like Out There?" by Mario Andretti.

                            Mario.jpg

                            This book is extremely underrated.

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                            • #29
                              I agree, I enjoyed that book about Mario, read it several times as a teenager.
                              I'll see YOU at the races!

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