Books – So-Cal hot rods

“So-Cal Speed Shop” – Mark Christensen

After World War II, many returning American servicemen turned their eyes onto motorsports. One such person was Alex Xydias, an ex-B-17 airman. Xydias opened his shop in 1946, in Burbank, California, initially selling parts for car owners to boost the performance of their race cars. With these cars achieving good results and breaking a few records mostly on the salt flats, the So-Cal brand became a trusted name among the land speed record community.

Christensen tells the story of how the So-Cal Speed Shop moved on from a small car parts shop to one of the most famous hot-rod brands. The book is a hardcover, and it’s chock-full of high quality photos, though most black & white. Unfortunately out of print, though you can find a used copy on Amazon. An easy and very interesting read, I’m sure it will appeal to the gearhead in general.

Onboard race footage with Fangio

A few years ago, I posted the link to a short video showing footage of Fangio testing a Maserati 250F in 1957 at Modena. The video is really cool, showing El Chueco deftly handling that beautiful car. I’m bringing up this again because yesterday I found out how they made that footage. When I first saw that video I assumed that the camera had been fixed to the rear of the car, and remotely triggered by Fangio himself. However, I was mistaken, and as you can see above, it was not shot using a GoPro either 😂. Well, I therefor conclude that if pilots at that time had balls of steel, cameramen had balls of adamantium. Even though it was Fangio at the wheel, holy cow! 😲😲😲