Walt Hansgen: His Life and the History of Post-War American Road Racing

Walt Hansgen: His Life and the History of Post-War American Road Racing by Michael Argetsinger and published by David Bull Publishing in 2006

by Michael Argetsinger

Top Shelf Books
This is the first in a series of reviews of books that may have escaped your notice when they were initially released but, with time, have proven their value and belong in your library.

The first in our series is Walt Hansgen: His Life and the History of Post-War American Road Racing by Michael Argetsinger and published by David Bull Publishing in 2006. Hardcover, 393 pages, $49.95—or $35.00 if you order before August.

Every time I handle this book I am freshly impressed by its weight. The 400 pages of content and 150 black and white and 15 color images goes some way in explaining that. The quality of the paper, the binding and the dustcover give me confidence that the content is of equivalent quality. There are tons of black and white images throughout and 16 pages of color pictures, so the book does not disappoint in that area.

Walt Hansgen: His Life and the History of Post-War American Road Racing by Michael Argetsinger and published by David Bull Publishing in 2006 - Cunningham D-type 1956

Michael Argetsinger is an excellent writer and a diligent researcher. Walt Hansgen is divided into three main parts and broken down into more than 130 individual chapters, which gives you some idea of the effort that went into this book. The subject, though unquestionably about the great American sports car driver Walt Hansgen, is, as the sub-title suggests, far broader. That sub-title, dry as it might sound, is really what this book is all about. This is a history book that reads like a novel. In post war America, not without resistance, the old order of amateur racing was changing, under pressure from younger men who insisted on broadening the participating base. Briggs Cunningham, John Bishop, Cameron Argetsinger (the author’s father), John Fitch and John Mecom all, in their own way, led the charge that brought European racers to America and Americans to International racing. As we learn, it wasn’t always a smooth transition. This is the story of American road racing coming of age and the role Walt Hansgen played in that change.

Walt Hansgen: His Life and the History of Post-War American Road Racing by Michael Argetsinger and published by David Bull Publishing in 2006 - Jaguar E2A 1960

Walt Hansgen: His Life and the History of Post-War American Road Racing by Michael Argetsinger and published by David Bull Publishing in 2006 - Maserati Tipo 63 1961

Walt Hansgen: His Life and the History of Post-War American Road Racing by Michael Argetsinger and published by David Bull Publishing in 2006 - Road America 1956

This is one of the top five books in my library and I hope you will add it to yours.

NB. This book also sheds light on the beginnings of Mark Donohue’s career under Walt’s tutelage and the impressive driving career of the already established Roger Penske, who competed against Hansgen.

This is a keeper. A MMR Top Shelf choice.

Available at Bull Publishing. The company is offering a SPECIAL 30% DISCOUNT on Walt Hansgen through August 1, 2013, so if you order by that date you'll pay just $35.00 (plus shipping) instead of the standard price of $49.95. Just be sure to enter the discount code WH30 when you order online, or mention it if you order by phone at 602-852-9500, or toll free at 1-800-831-1758.