Bill Vukovich considered auto racing a hobby and thought that his true livelihood was the grape farm he cultivated in Fresno, California. If it was merely a pastime to him Bill's racing career was certainly more than successful. He won the Indianapolis 500 successively in 1953 and 1954. He was bidding to win it once more in 1955 when he was caught up in a spectacular crash that ended his life.
Marshall Teague was killed at Daytona International Motor Speedway in 1959 while testing an Indy type car built in Terre Haute, Indiana. NASCAR President Bill France used Teague's trial run to gain publicity. The car began veering, crashed and broke in pieces that scattered as far apart as five football fields. Teague was clocked as fast as 160 on the last lap he completed before he crashed.
Glenn Fireball Roberts was a frequent winner of stock car races and one of NASCAR's early heroes. He was voted most popular driver in the late 1950s by fans and was a good interview for reporters. His life ended after he was burned in a stock car race at Charlotte in 1964. My book reveals why it was easier for Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett to survive the wreck than it was for Fireball Roberts.
Chris Bristow impressed numerous people in his short career, among them mechanics who attest to his potential greatness had he lived. Bristow was a Cooper marque driver in only his fourth grand prix race when he died tragically at Spa in 1960. I have written my short bio of him with a combination of newspaper accounts and interviews with those who attest to his great potential.
Ludovico Scarfiotti was a talented mid 20th century Formula 1 and sports car driver from Lodi, Italy. He ran Le Mans, Sebring, the Grand Prix circuit and was an excellent hill climber in Europe. Unfortunately his early demise occurred while he was participating in the European hill climbing championship near Berchtesgaden, Germany. He also raced NASCAR including the Rockingham 500 race of 1963.
Jo Bonnier was a versatile driver who began racing motorcycles when he was only seventeen. In sports car and F1 events Jo drove Lolas, BRMs, Porsches (beginning in 1961) and Coopers. Considered an athlete before his time because of his leadership in driver/constructors affairs, he also raced ubiquitously over three decades. It is unfortunate for the racing world that his life was so very short.
Piers Courage might have won many races in Formula 1 had he joined Scuderia Ferrari, the famous team which courted him to drive for them in 1970. Yet he elected to stay with Frank Williams and De Tomaso, and he soon met a frightful end. My e-book discusses Piers' career from the time he met Williams at Mallory Park in 1961. The text was written from news clippings and various other sources.
Gerhard Mitter dominated hill climbing in Europe during the mid 1960s. He also won the first Formula Junior championship in a family owned car. Gerhard was a Porsche factory driver beginning in 1964. Not until the final year of his life did he switch marques, moving to BMW. Mitter was a tenacious, gritty driver whose brilliance as a competitor was most evident at the '69 Targa Florio in Sicily.