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Mid-Atlantic American
Sports Car Races: 1953-1962.
Terry O'Neil

Mid-Atlantic American Sports Car Races, 1953-1962
 
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By Terry O'Neil.

Book background:The growth of sports car racing in the Mid-Atlantic States of America was not a painless affair. Tragedy, mystery, intrigue and conflicting interests between motor clubs all played their part in the 1950s and early 1960s. Add to this the underlying trend of the better drivers towards professionalism and it is evident that progress would come with its problems.

The Mid-Atlantic area of America was, due to its very nature in being business and commerce orientated opposed to having an industrial base, slower to become established than the neighbouring Northeast area.

New York and Jersey had the facilities to take the container ships that unloaded the imported cars and it was of no surprise that the major European motor manufacturers set up importers and car distributors in that area.

The States of Maryland and Virginia were in no position to challenge their northern neighbours, and sports car sales in particular were mainly generated through military personnel of a certain rank coming back to Washington and surrounding area.

Even though the Washington DC Region of the SCCA was growing stronger as the decade progressed, the development of tracks for the sports car enthusiasts was slow, and for certain individuals, very costly. Road racing had never really figured in the Mid-Atlantic area in the early part of the 50’s, and it was only when the SCCA began using the airfields at Cumberland, Hagerstown and Andrews AFB that any momentum gathered pace.

The purpose made tracks at Marlboro and Virginia International Raceway both experienced growing pains in an area where oval-track racing was more a way of life for the general public. Wilmington, Manassas and Richmond all held regular events, and the Marlboro and VIR enterprises spent a great deal of money, trying to attract the public to their tracks.

To add to these problems, the professional organisations, NASCAR and SCODA were also active in the area, and a disruptive intervention into sports car racing by USAC did little to help anyone. USAC promised much to Marlboro and VIR but delivered little, making for a very tense relationship with the SCCA. It also unsettled some of the better drivers who were thinking of joining the professional ranks. It would come to light that some of these individuals would in fact be better off staying as ‘amateur’ drivers.

The complex situation was to be resolved in a most unexpected way as the 60’s arrived….. Thanks to the help of the Washington DC Region of the SCCA, and many of its individual members and enthusiasts, the author has, over the past three years, managed to uncover an amount of documented and photographic material. It enables the author to relate ten years of Mid-Atlantic motor racing history from 1953 through to the end of 1962 in this book.

Signed, numbered Edition of 600 copies

  • 392 pages
  • 569 images
  • Page size 240mm x 330mm
  • ISBN: 978-1-85443-263-6

Click here to view sample pages.


Author Biography
Born in Hertfordshire some twenty miles north of London, during the Second World War, Terry O’Neil has lived the majority of his life in the Midlands, England. For the past thirty-nine years he has resided in Stourbridge on the edge of the ‘Black Country’. More about Terry O'Neil

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Average Rating: 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 2 Write a review »

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
 
Review of Book/Purchasing Experience May 30, 2015
Reviewer: Mike Matune from Clifton, VA United States  
Good morning - The book arrived promptly and very well packaged. As a result it was in excellent condition. The book is an outstanding research effort by Terry O'Neil. We automotive historians are in his debt for having chronicled a critical period and geographic region in sports car racing. Congratulations to Terry on a job well done. - Take acre, Mike Matune

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
 
Mid atlantic American Sports Car Races 53-62 April 24, 2015
Reviewer: Carlos Alvarez from Coral Gables, FL United States  
Excellent book, nice pictures

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