There was no more exciting racing in the world in 1971 and 1972 than the Sports Car Club of America’s Trans American Sedan Championships. With intense competition from Pete Brock’s BRE Datsun 510 up against the Italian might of the Alfa Romeo squad, this was perhaps the golden era of small-bore racing. While competition raged among factory-backed American teams in the 5-liter class, the under 2.5-liter was an intense thrust and parry between some of the best in the sport. Thankfully for all of us, Sylvia Wilkinson was there to document the whole thing.
Unfortunately for most of us, print runs of this legendary story have been small and few-between. As a result, it’s been difficult to find copies of this book in the decades since, and when you can find one for sale, it’s hundreds of dollars. In fact, there are four currently for sale between Amazon and Ebay with asking prices ranging from $175 to $350. If you’re like me and you’ve always wanted to read that story from someone who was there for it, but didn’t want to shell out big money for it used, Carrara Media is reprinting it as an e-book for just $9.99!
From publisher Ryan ZumMallen
I first read SSC a long time ago, but when I read it again for this project I was really floored by how relevant it is today.
John talks a lot about how guys postured as being tough while they were really afraid and had to tend to their mental health, plus how hard it is to make it in racing without big sponsors or fat pockets, and I especially loved this passage:
“Toughness has nothing to do with being a good driver… just like driving at 9/10ths and 10/10ths is sports-car bullshit… I used to be a snob about racing but I’m not anymore. I respect a driver who is the best in any form of racing.”
Cool stuff. This is really a special book and I’m just proud to be a part of its history now.
This era of motorsport has always been among my favorites as new advancements were found on track seemingly every week to massive result. Teams and drivers were still sort of figuring out how important things like aero were to racing, even in these low-power shoeboxes. It was really a ragtag effort back then, even with a big factory backed effort like a full-fledged Trans Am team.
I really look forward to digging into this book when it is released digitally on April 5th. If you want to pre-order your own ebook copy, go check out Carrara Media right now.