By Philippe Defechereux. In 1948 Watkins Glen staged the first official American race
for sports cars since the Vanderbilt Cup races of the early years of the
century. This book is about the transformation of post-World War II racing in
America and how road racing became a leading sport in the US, beginning at Watkins
Glen and followed by Sebring, Daytona, Laguna Seca and other circuits.
These historic first five years are fundamental to road
racing in America when the race was staged through the village streets and
neighboring countryside until a permanent track was built in 1953. The races
introduced famous international marques such as Ferrari, Jaguar, Porsche,
Allard, Healey and Cunningham and encouraged a pantheon of great drivers to
develop, among them, Briggs Cunningham, John Fitch, Phil Walters, Phil Hill, Jim
Kimberly and Walt Hansgen. Later, from 1961 to 1980, Watkins Glen was the site
of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.
Cameron Argetsinger, a lawyer and leader in upstate New
York, was the man with the dream and the story of how he made it all happen
against enormous odds is told in detail. It includes anecdotes and interviews
contributed by many of the early participants, and has exclusive color
photographs taken during years when color photography was practically unknown.
In 2011, Watkins Glen celebrated the 50th anniversary of its
first Formula 1 Grand Prix. Had the early Sports Car Grand Prix of 1948-52 not
taken place and quickly become a huge popular success, Watkins Glen would long
ago have disappeared in the annals of history. Instead, it remains to this day
a challenging race track, with two nationally televised events each year, and
it is the home of the world’s first Motor Racing Research Library.
Over 300 photographs provide vivid and fascinating
illustrations of the men and machines who threaded together every part of this
extraordinary story. Full race results and statistics for all entrants in the
13 races run between 1948 and 1952 are also provided in detail. A final chapter
shows how many of the race cars from the early years are now highly valued and
are prize-winners at concours events.
This is an updated book, one that will do even fuller
justice to Cameron Argetsinger and his towering accomplishments. The abundance
of unique and exclusive color photos, now at last reproduced luminously within
the full chromatic range, is simply dazzling. This should make the Watkins Glen
community very proud of their racing heritage.
Click here to view sample pages
- Entirely new 216 page book with more than 100 exclusive
- The early Watkins Glen and American Road racing story told
in dramatic detail
- Unique chapter on Concours cars of the era in bright color photos
- 229mm x 300mm (portrait)