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Speed With Style: Peter Revson book

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  • Speed With Style: Peter Revson book

    Has anyone read this? I can't seem to find it anywhere for less than $60, I'll probably end up shelling out for it but I thought I'd check here first to see if anyone had any thoughts or feelings to share. I've always been interested in his story, it's a shame his promising career was cut so short.

  • #2
    Checked it out from the library years ago ... I remember enjoying it and Leon Mandel the ghost writer I always enjoyed reading.
    Last edited by Big G 94; 06-11-2021, 04:40 PM.

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    • #3
      I had a copy...bought it from the Carson, Pirie Scott store where I worked in 1977 for 2 bucks on clearance. A few years ago, my garage kinda flooded, and the book was unfortunately a casualty.

      From what I remember, the book went to the publishers the day Revson was killed, or within a few days of his death. The publisher considered making some editorial changes to reflect that, but ultimately decided against it. The book was co-written by Leon Mandel of Autoweek fame, and featured segments written from Peter's viewpoint and Mandel's as well, making it somewhat unique in this genre. There was a lot of contrasting point-of-view as a result.

      I thought it was an honest look at Revson's career and his personality. I'd recommend the book to any race fan.
      Tibi Fumus Obsidio Septum Doro

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      • #4
        There's one on e-bay for $23. To find out of print books, I use viaLibri.

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        • #5
          I have like 5 copies of this book. If you need one for 20 plus shipping hit me up.

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          • #6
            Sold, thank you and everyone else for the input.

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            • #7
              I've read several times and still have my copy. You will enjoy it.

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              • #8
                The book alternates between chapters written by Mandel and Revson. Very good account of his late career and the state of the sport at the time. The book begins with a page intimating that Revson had lost his life just as the book went to print. And the photos of Marji Wallace are always worth looking at.

                Mandel wrote my favorite book, Fast Lane Summer, about Danny Sullivan's problematic 1980 rookie Can-Am season.
                "Thank God for the fortune to be here, to be an American."--Alan Kulwicki, 11/15/92

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dalz View Post
                  The book alternates between chapters written by Mandel and Revson. Very good account of his late career and the state of the sport at the time. The book begins with a page intimating that Revson had lost his life just as the book went to print. And the photos of Marji Wallace are always worth looking at.

                  Mandel wrote my favorite book, Fast Lane Summer, about Danny Sullivan's problematic 1980 rookie Can-Am season.
                  Fast Lane Summer should be considered an example of fact-based fiction. Many of the events and characterizations portrayed within its covers are contradicted by other coverage and by fact. There were people so upset by what Leon Mandel wrote that they contemplated taking legal action against him once they got hold of the galleys. They were dissuaded not so much by the high legal bar they would have to vault, but because of second-order effects they failed to weigh. One team member was so concerned by Mandel's apparent false personal claims that he feared the writer had cost him his career, perhaps even his freedom. People within the sport long recognized much of Mandel's writings for what they were; the team member went on to have an esteemed career working for top-flight teams on two continents.

                  During the time I was embedded with Garvin Brown Racing, I never saw Mandel use a notebook or a tape recorder to gather information, including quotes. I did not see him test information. Allusions to the contrary, he wasn't present for many of the things he wrote about. Mandel did not act like a fly-on-the wall, but rather like the boss of the team, ordering team members and non-team members about. He regularly upbraided anyone for any perceived slight. Mandel L., as he liked to refer to himself, was known for his holier-than-thou attitude, according to people who worked for him for years. He shared the same skewed view Peter Revson had about a person's intrinsic worth.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by editor View Post

                    Fast Lane Summer should be considered an example of fact-based fiction. Many of the events and characterizations portrayed within its covers are contradicted by other coverage and by fact. There were people so upset by what Leon Mandel wrote that they contemplated taking legal action against him once they got hold of the galleys. They were dissuaded not so much by the high legal bar they would have to vault, but because of second-order effects they failed to weigh. One team member was so concerned by Mandel's apparent false personal claims that he feared the writer had cost him his career, perhaps even his freedom. People within the sport long recognized much of Mandel's writings for what they were; the team member went on to have an esteemed career working for top-flight teams on two continents.

                    During the time I was embedded with Garvin Brown Racing, I never saw Mandel use a notebook or a tape recorder to gather information, including quotes. I did not see him test information. Allusions to the contrary, he wasn't present for many of the things he wrote about. Mandel did not act like a fly-on-the wall, but rather like the boss of the team, ordering team members and non-team members about. He regularly upbraided anyone for any perceived slight. Mandel L., as he liked to refer to himself, was known for his holier-than-thou attitude, according to people who worked for him for years. He shared the same skewed view Peter Revson had about a person's intrinsic worth.
                    Yep, that seems about right when it comes to pegging Mandel. Of course, he was not alone with this sort of attitude and the rather casual approach to such small things such as facts, etc.
                    And so we beat on, boats against the current, drawn back ceaselessly into the past ... F. Scott Fitzgerald
                    Ever have the feeling that the rest of the world is a tuxedo and you're a pair of brown shoes? ... George Gobel

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                    • #11
                      I have an old copy of Speed With Style and I was a big Peter Revson fan as a kid. I wanted to BE Peter Revson! But I found Mandel's writing very annoying in that he drew deep Psychological meaning in things Revson did but never seemed to ask Revson about them. I was given a copy of Fast Lane Summer by a Garvin Brown associate, so I assume Garvin liked the book. Weird book too, Mandel sometimes did not seem to know much about racing.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Don Capps View Post

                        Yep, that seems about right when it comes to pegging Mandel. Of course, he was not alone with this sort of attitude and the rather casual approach to such small things such as facts, etc.
                        Without disagreeing on Mandel*, Don, is there anyone in journalism that you don't hold seething contempt toward? There are some that do it well, and right.

                        *full disclosure: I once received a brief, yet positive, e-mail reply from Mandel to a query I made. I was shocked when I awoke the next day to find he'd passed away from leukemia hours after sending his reply to me.
                        "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
                          Without disagreeing on Mandel*, Don, is there anyone in journalism that you don't hold seething contempt toward? There are some that do it well, and right.
                          I do not have "seething contempt" towards journalists as implied -- simply the bad/poor/lousy ones. This is not least because some of my good friends happen to be journalists. The problem is, just as within the community of historians, some are simply not very good at it. There are a number of historians whose work is utterly abysmal and yet are the darlings of many. For some reason, there seems to be unfortunate tendency for more than a few journalists who focus on motor sport to be simply bad at what they do. To their credit, there are also those who are/were really good at what they do, which only makes the bad ones look worse. Part of the craft of research and analysis is simply evaluating material and making judgment calls on its quality, veracity, and usefulness. By suggesting that some sources are not worth a hoot, this can also ruffle feathers and send bowels into uproars. So be it. We tend to learn some very painful lessons as we become more aware of context and the possible issues relating to the veracity of sources as our knowledge develops over the ages. There are often very good, solid reasons why yesterday's hero can be today's bum (to paraphrase Col. Pappy Boyington, who certainly knew of what he spoke...).
                          And so we beat on, boats against the current, drawn back ceaselessly into the past ... F. Scott Fitzgerald
                          Ever have the feeling that the rest of the world is a tuxedo and you're a pair of brown shoes? ... George Gobel

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                          • #14
                            Don, thanks for the reply, and I figured as much, but so many of your recent posts have had "journalism" this, and "journalist" that, I wondered if journalists and journalism were your adversaries du jour Concur completely with your comments. As you well know, I have never shied away from calling out poorly researched or poorly judged material, but also consider other factors playing into it for earlier writers/journalists. I am far less forgiving to those who have access to all that can be found via the internet*, or public libraries, and still choose to cite the soundly debunked earlier works.

                            *of course, here I am referring to newspaper archives showing contemporary accounts, warts and all, and not those simply recycling past errors or, shudder, Wikipedia.
                            "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Don Capps View Post

                              I do not have "seething contempt" towards journalists as implied -- simply the bad/poor/lousy ones. This is not least because some of my good friends happen to be journalists. The problem is, just as within the community of historians, some are simply not very good at it. There are a number of historians whose work is utterly abysmal and yet are the darlings of many. For some reason, there seems to be unfortunate tendency for more than a few journalists who focus on motor sport to be simply bad at what they do. To their credit, there are also those who are/were really good at what they do, which only makes the bad ones look worse. Part of the craft of research and analysis is simply evaluating material and making judgment calls on its quality, veracity, and usefulness. By suggesting that some sources are not worth a hoot, this can also ruffle feathers and send bowels into uproars. So be it. We tend to learn some very painful lessons as we become more aware of context and the possible issues relating to the veracity of sources as our knowledge develops over the ages. There are often very good, solid reasons why yesterday's hero can be today's bum (to paraphrase Col. Pappy Boyington, who certainly knew of what he spoke...).
                              I have never been a full-time motorsports journalist. But my assessment of a goodly number of full-time motorsports journalists who I’ve been around is they get too close to both their subjects and the sport as a whole to the point of becoming advocates and not impartial, dispassionate observers going wherever the facts lead. I mean, I am a human being and a fan and I have my favorite athletes. Benny Parsons was my all-time favorite driver and I absolutely was hoping under my breath that he’d win every NASCAR race I covered and it was a thrill to cover his final Cup win at Atlanta. But when I was in work mode, it was all business and again, you go where the facts lead, period. You don’t already have the variable following the equal sign in the equation in place and then look for ways to get there, if that makes sense.

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