High Performance: The Culture And Technology Of Drag Racing, 1950-1990 (Johns Hopkins Studies In The History Of Technology)

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For those who love high drama and high-powered machinery, there is nothing to top big-time drag racing. High Performance is a dramatic, firsthand history of this daring sport, from the earliest legal drags run on rural airfields to the spectacular--and sometimes tragic--careers of drag racing's boldest innovators. Post, a former drag racer himself, has interviewed most of drag racing's legends and superstarssuch as Pappy Hart, who opened the first commercial strip in Santa Ana, California; Florida's Big Daddy Don Garlits, the first person to define himself as a professional drag racer; and Shirley Muldowney, who was nearly killed in a 250-MPH crash and returned to the cockpit two years later with the simple explanation, It's what I do.

Post looks at all aspects of drag racing: the sport, the business, the means of personal affirmation. But most of all he explores it as an example of technological enthusiasm, tracking the innovations that permitted racers to disprove on pavement the laws of physics that experts had laid out on paper.

By writing about the combination of talent and technology that make drag racing the most exciting sport in the world, Bob Post has finally given us the credit and credibility we deserve. This book has been a long time coming. --Shirley Muldowney

All the roar and smell of rubber that one finds at drag races is present in this comprehensive study of the sport. --Ray Browne, Journal of Popular Culture


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