Juan Manuel Fangio
Motor Racing's Grand Master
10 in. x 10 in.
Juan Manuel Fangio
Juan Manuel Fangio began racing in the 1930s in his native Argentina and was immediately successful. He first raced seriously in Europe in 1949, planning on one season only, but stunning victories led to a change of plan and the creation of a legend. Fangio won a record five Formula I World Championship titles before retiring in 1958. His brilliant achievements remain a yardstick against which motorsport is measured. Karl Ludvigsen's authoritative book?in series with his well-received biographies of Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart?contains much new information, together with a wealth of photographs published here for the first time.
Juan Manuel Fangio was among the most powerful, sympathetic and engaging of any sportsman of the post-war era. But his radiant charisma stemmed from far more than his record as a racing driver. That record, to be sure, was awesome. Concentrating on the great events?Formula I racing above all?Fangio won 78 of his 200 races and placed in 69 more. In the years 1951 to 1957 he won an astonishing five drivers' World Championships, setting a standard for every Grand Prix driver since.
In this biography of Fangio, which brims with new insights from fresh research into his life and career, Karl Ludvigsen sets out the dominance that Fangio wrought over his generation of drivers. Ludvigsen also brings out the strength of character?honed on the rough road races of South America?that made the Argentine driver an idol to generations of sportsmen in all fields.
Fangio's personal magnetism captivated the fair sex. Ludvigsen discloses the secrets behind the wife who was not a wife, the son who was not a son and the glamorous Belgian racing driver who often had to be 'made to disappear'.
He also relates for the first time the terms of Juan Fangio's 1954-55 driving contracts with Mercedes-Benz and, indeed, how close Mercedes came to letting Fangio slip away. Fangio planned to retire when Mercedes-Benz stopped racing at the end of 1955; Ludvigsen reveals why he changed his mind.
'All my life I have been lucky,' said Juan Manuel Fangio. Ludvigsen describes why this very luck may well have compensated for Fangio's failure to qualify for Indianapolis in his only attempt on the 500-mile race in 1958. Luck, too, was with Fangio when he was kidnapped in Cuba by pro-Castro rebels, a saga that brought him more fame in America than all his racing exploits.
This enthralling book?in series with Karl Ludvigsen's highly-praised biographies of Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart?is lavishly illustrated with many rare and unpublished period photos.
Fangio's career is depicted by such fine photographers as Rodolfo Mailander, Bernard Cahier, Peter Keen and Guy Griffiths, together with the Klemantaski Collection.
Ludvigsen has been following Fangio's career since his exploits became known outside Argentina in 1949. He saw Fangio race and win in 1957 at Sebring, and also experienced his frustration at first hand in the Monza 500 of 1958.
ISBN: 1-85960-625-3 (ISBN-10)
ISBN: 978-1-85960-625-4 (ISBN-13)