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The stories in Sex, Lies & Superspeedways comprise about 20% of the stories in Smokey's autobiography: Best Damn Garage in TownÉThe World According to Smokey. It was originally published as a 3 Volume boxed set with slipcase, with 1,100 pages, 409 photographs and illustrations, all black and white, weighs 11 pounds, indexed.
Smokey got the idea for writing a history of stock car racing after giving a talk to explain racing to a group of kids at LoweÕs Motorspeedway, around 1995. He realized that all the people who were a part of the early days were dying and most of the ones who were still alive were too involved with racing to be able to tell the real stories. He started writing this book as a history of stock car racing and ended up with look at American history of the past 60 years through a very unique set of eyes.
The first volume, WalkinÕ Under a SnakeÕs Belly, covers SmokeyÕs life outside racing, beginning with growing up in Neshaminy, Pennsylvania on a farm, dropping out of high school to take care of the family and going off to World War II as a B-17 pilot. The war stories are told through the eyes of a young man who believed all that the Army Air Corps taught him, but he had a mind of his own and was also hell-bent on having fun at all costs. (If that meant irritating a few generals, then that was just par for the course.)
After the racing years, Smokey ended spending most of his time working on his inventions and working in the oil and gold fields of Ecuador. Along the way, Smokey had a knack for finding fun and adventure everywhere he went. Alcohol, women and speed were his main addictions - he eventually gave up alcohol, but never did give up the other two.
The second volume, All Right You Sons-a-Bitches, LetÕs Have a Race, chronicles the stock car racing years in living color. The warning on these books, that they are not to be read by those under 18 unless they are with a grandparent who can translate the social and moral implications of the stories, is not to be taken lightly. (Smokey even includes his own dictionary to explain the terms that racers used in the early days to the uninformed.) Smokey and his band of merry compatriots were racers and there were only two things on their mind when the sun went down Ð women and booze. Smokey had his share of both during 15 years of racing, when racers were looked down on as the dregs of society. Nothing could stop his dream of being the fastest at the sport he loved, no matter what happened along the way Ð the sign of a true racer.
During his years in stock car racing, Smokey fell in love with a mistress that he would visit every May for over 20 years Ð The Indianapolis 500. The first half of the third volume, LiÕl Skinny Rule Book, covers his love of this famed event and the wonderful stories of the days before the big corporate sponsors; when it was just men and their machines, sleeping on the floor in the garage and most times coming home with nothing. As the title implies, Smokey loved Indy because the rules were so simple. His inventive mind and knack for thinking way outside the box were at their best when Indy was involved.
The second half of the third volume, EatinÕ an Elephant, covers his years of inventing inside and outside of racing. SmokeyÕs 10 patents donÕt begin to cover the breadth and depth of his inventing. His work with the car companies and on the racetrack led to a host of developments that have improved surface transportation for everyone. The value of some of his ideas and inventions, like his famous hot vapor engine, were never fully realized.
Many books have been written about the last 50 years of American history, but few are this entertaining, revealing and introspective all at the same time. Real stories from World War II, stock cars, the automotive industry and the Mexican Road Race are just a few of the elements in SmokeyÕs autobiography. They combine to make Best Damn Garage in TownÉThe World According to Smo
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Smokey Yunick, the world's most famous mechanic, accomplished more in one life than most poeople could in five. He flew 50 missions as a B-17 pilot during WWII. He was an integral part of the birth of stock car racing and ran open wheel cars during the glory days of the Indy 500. He spent years in the jungles of Ecuador and held 10 patents. Smokey was concerned for the future so he developed more efficient and powerful engines for passenger cars and safer crash barriers for race tracks. These are the real stories of racing and everything automotive in America - told by someone who was there every step of the way!
Warning: These stories aren't politically correct or grammatically correct...neither was Smokey.From the Author:
I believe I wrote this book because of Reverend Hal MarchmanÕs (all racer's preacher) introduction of me to a bunch of kids at Darlington in 1996. Suddenly, it dawned on me that racing had no past...it was lost. So doesn't that go hand in hand - it therefore will have no future?
NASCAR's past up to 1970 was burned at the city dump. I decided to write the book in as close a way as it actually happened...including language and racer's view of our part of the world. We had a status of a ÒmonbackerÓ...you know the guy on the back of a garbage truck saying Òmon-back, mon-back.Ó We were considered Ð and maybe we were - social trash...couldnÕt borrow money, couldnÕt buy insurance, couldnÕt even stay in good a good hotel...had zero credit.
I doubt many people have ever lived the adventures I have. I believe my lifeÕs experiences afforded me an almost impossible act to follow...not by plan...but by the natural flow of life.
I want this book written and read in such a way you and I are sitting on a porch in rockinÕ chairs...you asking the questions and IÕm giving you the real story. I know the book will cause some problems...there is no way to please everyone. For those who are ashamed of what you did...you did it. IÕm not proud of all I did and I have tried to include my warts and bad stuff also.
If you have a legitimate criticism, let me have it...IÕm not a model, but I believe my life has a loud and clear message. I think the Army says it best...ÒBe all that you can be.Ó With my uncouth delivery, I still miss Òthank you,Ó Òplease,Ó ÒyouÕre welcome,Ó ÒI appreciate it.Ó Kinda like the moose in the Pep Boys commercial, when he asks if the good brakes come from Pep Boys, and he says ÒI appreciate that.Ó
Proud to have been a racer? Yes. I am.
Would I trade today? No way.
Any regrets? Yup. I wanted to win every race I run in.
Any advice to those behind me? Yes. Identify your life target early and then lock on...let nothing deter you.
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