Quarantine Reading - Faster! - How a Plucky Heiress and a Brave Driver Beat The Odds in Pre-War Grand Prix Racing
With the entire country under stay-home orders in response to the Coronavirus, we're all going to have a lot of time on our hands. Racing is being canceled and we're not sure when we'll get back to it.
All that means there's plenty of time to pick up a good book and learn some fascinating racing history. In the 1930s, the Silver Arrows from Mercedes-Benz were the envy of Grand Prix racing. They were backed by the German government, and part of the propaganda campaign of the Nazi party.
In racing, dominance always invites challenge. It's in our souls as racers to look at the leaders and try to catch them. And that's exactly what happened. Faster is a pulse-pounding tale of triumph by an improbable team of upstarts who beat back theSilver Arrows during the golden age of auto racing.
They were the unlikeliest of heroes. Rene Dreyfus, a former top driver on the international racecar circuit, had been banned from the best European teams—and fastest cars—by the mid-1930s because of his Jewish heritage. Charles Weiffenbach, head of the down-on-its-luck automaker Delahaye, was desperately trying to save his company as the world teetered toward the brink. And Lucy Schell, the adventurous daughter of an American multi-millionaire, yearned to reclaim the glory of her rally-driving days.
These three people banded together to challenge Hitler’s dominance at the apex of motorsport: the Grand Prix. Their quest for redemption culminated in a remarkable race that is still talked about in racing circles to this day—but which, soon after it ended, Hitler attempted to completely erase from history. The tyrant could not stand to be an object of ridicule, especially when beaten by people he considered losers.
Bringing to life this glamorous era and the sport that defined it, Faster chronicles one of the most inspiring, death-defying upsets of all time: a symbolic blow against the Nazis during history’s darkest hour. Author Neal Bascomb has an easy storytelling style, which makes this book enjoyable as well as edifying.
You can buy a hardbound copy of Faster for just $28 through Portland's own Powell's Books by clicking here.
By Jeff Zurschmeide
Area 13 Director,