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Dan Gurney: The Ultimate Racer Hardcover – Aug 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Haynes Manuals Inc (Aug. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859606555
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859606551
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 25.4 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,385,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In addition to his motor industry activities as an executive (with GM, Fiat and Ford) and head of a consulting company, Karl Ludvigsen has been active for over 50 years as an author and historian. As an author, co-author or editor he has nearly 50 books to his credit. Needless to say, they are all about cars and the motor industry, Karl's life-long passion.

Since 1997 Ludvigsen has been drawing on the photographic resources of the Ludvigsen Library to write and illustrate books on the great racing drivers. His first title in this series was Stirling Moss - Racing with the Maestro. He followed this with Jackie Stewart - Triple-Crowned King of Speed and Juan Manuel Fangio - Motor Racing's Grand Master. Fourth in this series for Haynes Publishing was Dan Gurney - The Ultimate Racer and fifth was Alberto Ascari - Ferrari's First Double Champion. Next came Bruce McLaren - Life and Legend of Excellence and Emerson Fittipaldi -- Heart of a Racer.

Also in the field of motor sports Karl Ludvigsen has written about road racing in America, the cars of the Can-Am series, the AAR Eagle racing cars, the GT40 Fords and Prime Movers, the story of Britain's Ilmor Engineering. His introduction to At Speed, a book of Jesse Alexander's racing photography, won the Ken W. Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism.

Other motors-sports titles include Classic Grand Prix Cars, a history of the front-engined G.P. racer, and Classic Racing Engines, Karl's personal selection of 50 notable power units. Ludvigsen has written the story of BRM's ill-fated Formula 1 V16 and the saga of the great 200 horsepower Benz racers, two of which were nicknamed "Blitzen Benz".

Four of Karl Ludvigsen's books concern the Chevrolet Corvette, one of them an industry best-seller. He has written three times about Mercedes-Benz, twice about its racing cars. His books on the latter subject have won the Montagu Trophy (once) and the Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot Award (twice), both recognising outstanding automotive historical writing.

In 2001 Karl again received the Cugnot award from the Society of Automotive Historians for his book about the early years of the Volkswagen and its controversial factory, Battle for the Beetle, a Robert Bentley publication. In 2002 the Society gave him its highest accolade, Friend of Automotive History.

Karl Ludvigsen is also the author of the definitive histories of Porsche and Opel. His Porsche history, Excellence was Expected, is considered by many to be a model of the researching and writing of the history of an auto company. He has updated it in three volumes for Bentley Publishers for the new Millennium. A further update was published in 2009, bringing its content to one million words.

At the request of Ernst Piëch, a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, Ludvigsen has researched the early life and work of that great engineer. The result, a book titled Porsche -- Genesis of Genius, is published by Bentley in 2008. It has won both the Montagu Trophy and the Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot Award. An accompanying book, titled Sublime Creations, describes cars in Mr. Piëch's personal collection.

In 1997 Ludvigsen researched and wrote the catalogue for a special exhibition of Ferrari technological innovations on the occasion of the company's 50th anniversary and contributed a major section to the company's official 50-year history. For Ferrari's 60th anniversary he was commissioned by them to research and write a major over-arching history of Ferrari's technical innovations.

Ludvigsen's understanding of the Ferrari world combined with his Library's holding of the Rodolfo Mailander photo archive to produce Ferrari by Mailander in 2005, a Dalton Watson publication. Its launch was accompanied by major exhibitions in Turin and Pebble Beach of selected photos from the book. In 2010 Dalton Watson published Karl's book about the genesis and evolution of the great Rolls-Royce/Bentley V8 engine.

The year 2008 saw the publication by Haynes of a history of the battles between Ferrari and Maserati from the 1940s to the 1960s, titled Red-Hot Rivals. Ludvigsen is also the author of a series of monographs on great Maserati cars. In 2010 Haynes published his book about the life and work of famed Lotus creator Colin Chapman.

In co-operation with publisher Iconografix, Ludvigsen has established the Ludvigsen Library Series of 128-page books drawing on the holdings of the Ludvigsen Library. The series now numbers 19 titles, including books on Indy racing cars of 1911 to 1939, the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the Indy Novis, Chevrolet's Corvair and Corvette, Jaguar XK120, XK140 and XK150, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL of 1952 and 1954-1964, the 300SLR of 1955, two books on Porsche Spyders, the Porsche 917, the Ferrari factory and American sports-racers: the Cunninghams, Chaparrals and Can-Am racing cars. More titles are in preparation.

Karl's Ludvigsen Library is also active in the provision of photographs and research material for authors, publishers of books and periodicals, and collectors and enthusiasts. It holds extensive original negatives and transparencies from the 1950s forward with special strengths in motor sports, American cars and sports cars. As well it holds original photos and glass negatives from the dawn of the automotive era. The Library website is www.ludvigsen.com.

On motor-industry topics Karl Ludvigsen has written books about high-performance engines, the Wankel rotary engine and the histories of American auto makers. His latest book on power units is The V12 Engine, published by Haynes in 2005. He was editor of The Future of the Automobile, the report of the 1981-1984 study of the world auto industry by M.I.T. This was named one of the best business books of the year by Business Week.

In 1996 publishers in Britain and the United States launched Karl Ludvigsen's book on motor industry management, Creating the Customer-Driven Car Company. It draws on his industry experience and in-depth research to advise industry personnel on customer-pleasing best practice.

From 1989 to 1998 Karl Ludvigsen edited and contributed to numerous studies published by Euromotor Reports Limited, a leading researcher of special reports and studies about the European motor industry and market. Resident in England since 1980, Mr Ludvigsen is respected as a close and knowledgeable observer of, and participant in, the world motor industry.

Leading periodicals also publish Karl Ludvigsen's writings. He is a former technical editor of Sports Cars Illustrated (1956-57), editor of Car and Driver (1960-1962) and east coast editor of Motor Trend (1970s). His articles about cars, companies and motoring personalities are published in America by Automobile Quarterly, among others, while in Europe he writes frequently for The Automobile. He is a regular writer and columnist for Hemmings Sports & Exotic Cars, 911 & Porsche World and Just-Auto.com.

Karl Ludvigsen's personal website is www.karlludvigsen.com.

Product Description


This legendary American, was an all-rounder , winning in sports car, Formula 1, stock car, Indy and endurance events. In 1967, in the space of only two months he achieved a front row grid position in the Indianapolis 500 with a car of his own making, won the Le Mans 24 hours with A.J. Foyt in a Ford Mk IV and came first in the Belgian Grand Prix in his Eagle V123.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Tyrrell on 6 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A true account of Dan Gurney. 10 Jun. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book and enjoyed it very much. I have also heard on the grapevine that in fact Mr. Ludvigsen did speak to Mr. Gurney quite a lot and was constantly in touch with him during the writing of the book. They had been friends for years. When it came to the final edit Mr. Gurney requested a copy and Mr. Ludvigsen kindly supplied one. Mr. Gurney then demanded changes which did not necessarily portray the truth of what happened in certain instances. Mr. Ludvigsen was not prepared to compromise on the truth (and as a respected and award-winning author I am not surprised) and published the book as an honest account of this talented drivers career. Mr. Ludvigsen and Mr. Gurney at that point fell out and this is why Mr. Gurney claims to have not been consulted!!! If you want a true account of Dan Gurney read this book!!!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Almost a GREAT Book 6 Nov. 2000
By Jeff MacPherson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Almost a great book, certainly this book attempts to immortalize one of the sport's greatest heroes, Dan Gurney. It is a beautiful photographic record of his career and perhaps worthy of purchase based on the photos alone. The shame of this book lies in the fact that Dan was not consulted at any time. Introduction, Page 7, 3rd paragraph from the end,last sentence: "Because I did not interview or consult Dan specifically for this book, any and all errors of fact or interpretation are solely my responsibility" What on earth is the author thinking!?! Not only is Dan alive and well "writing" additional chapters in his life, he's in the phone book! Ludvigsen should well be ashamed of himself for his lack of respect for Dan, not only an All American Racer, an All American Hero!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
COME ON !!!! 18 May 2001
By Botnik Roller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Write a biography about a racing driver who still is alive and lucid and not interview the guy for this book???!! And still have the guts to say so ???!!! The photos are great, but I wanna text, no photos, to know about someone !!! This guy Karl does always the same. Of course, in the lack of great biographies of F-1 drivers, he can get along with this...
World-Class Driver, Car Builder, and Gentleman 30 April 2015
By Ricardo Mio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dan Gurney has left his mark on motor racing as few if any ever have. As the subtitle suggests, he was “The Ultimate Racer.” Sir Jackie Stewart said of him: “A world-class competitor, Dan is hands down the best American driver ever.” (Sports Illustrated, June 28, 2004). Cars built in Gurney's Santa Ana shop won three Indy 500s (1968, ’73 and ’75), two U.S. National Championships (1968 and ’74), two F-1 races (Brands Hatch and Spa-Francorchamps, both in ’67), and utterly dominated IMSA in the 1990s. Gurney retired as a driver at the end of 1970, having failed to achieve his two biggest goals—winning the F-1 Drivers’ World Championship and the Indianapolis 500. With the slightest bit of luck, he would have won the 1964 world championship, and the 1967 Indy 500; more about that in a moment. As a driver, his biggest victory was winning Le Mans (with A.J. Foyt) in 1967. His greatest achievement perhaps was his record of versatility. During one 18-month period, he won races at the highest level of the sport in six different categories: Can-Am (Bridgehampton, 9/66), Trans Am (Green Valley, 4/67), Grand Prix (Spa-Francochamps, 6/67), Sports Car Prototype (Le Mans, 6/67), Indycar (Riverside, 11/67), and Nascar (Riverside, 1/68). It’s a record unlikely ever to be rivaled.

Karl Ludvigsen’s book recounts many of Gurney’s biggest victories, as well as his many disappointments. And there were many disappointments (two recounted above), so much so that for three decades “Gurney Luck” was a term as familiar to racers as “Gurney-Flap.” (“The Gurney-Flap” is a small tab projecting from the trailing edge of a wing, to increase downforce, developed in Gurney’s shop.) Indeed, wherever he raced, Gurney was always among the quickest, if not THE quickest. His record of near misses is legendary. Ludvigsen recounts Gurney’s meteoric rise to the top of motor racing, from club racer to F-1 driver in less than two years. Also covered are a number of Gurney’s questionable career choices, leaving three teams on the brink of winning all the marbles (Ferrari, BRM and Brabham). Also covered is Gurney’s midas’ touch as deal-maker: pulling off the Lotus-Ford deal that revolutionized Indy and made Ford a seven-time Indy winner, his association with Goodyear that bankrolled All-American Racers, and (discussed briefly) his association with Toyota that created the IMSA dominant Toyota Eagle. And, too, his association with Carroll Shelby and a series of memorable drives in Ford Cobras, culminating in victory in a Shelby-prepped Ford Mk IV at Le Mans.

The book contains quotes by the likes of Stirling Moss, Phil Hill, Jack Brabham, and may others. Included are a treasure-trove of photographs, taken around the world, in black & white and in color, some famous, some obscure. The book is published on glossy, heavy paper stock, and the text is ample, well-written, and well edited. While Gurney was not consulted directly, his quotes run throughout the book. This is a top-notch book. Five stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Dan Gurney The Ultimate Racer 10 April 2009
By Roland E. Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book is very well done and even though I purchased a used version
it is in like new condition
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