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Driving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR (Unabridged)
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Driving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by Neal Thompson (Author), Buz Mckim (Narrator)
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 12 hours and 41 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Native Intelligence
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 31 Dec 2013
  • Language: English
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product Description

"Moonshiners put more time, energy, thought, and love into their cars than any racer ever will. Lose on the track and you go home. Lose with a load of whiskey and you go to jail." - Junior Johnson, NASCAR legend and one-time whiskey runner.

Today's NASCAR is a family sport with 75 million loyal fans, which is growing bigger and more mainstream by the day. Part Disney, part Vegas, part Barnum & Bailey, NASCAR is also a multibillion-dollar business and a cultural phenomenon that transcends geography, class, and gender. But dark secrets lurk in NASCAR's past.

Driving with the Devil uncovers for the first time the true story behind NASCAR's distant, moonshine-fueled origins and paints a rich portrait of the colorful men who created it. Long before the sport of stock-car racing even existed, young men in the rural, Depression-wracked South had figured out that cars and speed were tickets to a better life. With few options beyond the farm or factory, the best chance of escape was running moonshine. Bootlegging offered speed, adventure, and wads of cash-if the drivers survived. Driving with the Devil is the story of bootleggers whose empires grew during Prohibition and continued to thrive well after Repeal, and of drivers who thundered down dusty back roads with moonshine deliveries, deftly outrunning federal agents. The car of choice was the Ford V-8, the hottest car of the 1930s, and ace mechanics tinkered with them until they could fly across mountain roads at 100 miles an hour.

After fighting in World War II, moonshiners transferred their skills to the rough, red-dirt racetracks of Dixie, and a national sport was born. In this dynamic era (1930s and '40s), three men with a passion for Ford V-8s - convicted criminal Ray Parks, foul-mouthed mechanic Red Vogt, and crippled war veteran Red Byron, NASCAR's first champion - emerged as the first stock car "team." Theirs is the violent, poignant story of how moonshin...

©2006 Neal Thompson; (P)2013 Native Intelligence

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BIG BILL'S BIG STORY A SHAM? 1 May 2007
This book had me hooked from the opening pages. So much more than a book about the origins of a sport, this is the story of many peoples lives (Red Vogt, Bill France, Raymond Parks, Red Byron, Lloyd Seay, Roy Hall and others) and how they intertwined. The backdrop is the Southern inferiority complex and identity of a region who like to thumb their nose at Yankee rules. As an English NASCAR fanatic I lapped it all up but I am sure that anybody with an interest in motor sport, and/or US history will love this. The fascinating story of how Bill France more or less stole the sport right from under the noses of all the founders and made it a dictatorship, and then went on to kick all of the whiskey bootleggers out and write a different history for future consumption is just amazing. Then the irony of him spending his final days riddled with Alzheimers telephoning all of the old cronies to talk about cars and racing is touching. I am now going on to read his book about Alan Shephard - and I don't have any interest in spaceflight!

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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this book . I could not put it down . Neal Thompson has written a sublime history of the birth of NASCAR . It is the story that modern , corporate , NASCAR would rather see airbrushed from its history . Everything is here , all the stuff they'd sooner pretend never exsisted , the moonshine runners who were the sports founding stars , the ramshackle dirt tracks , the beat-up ( but fast ) Ford V-8 Coupes and how Bill France managed to high-jack the sport . Neal Thompson even manages a fine account of illicit whisky distilling and its place in the life style of the Southern States . A delightful book from begining to end . You will loves its heroes and even feel warmly towards its villains , whether or not stock car racing has ever interested you .
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