The Stainless Steel Carrot: An Auto Racing Odyssey—Revisited

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9781888978155: The Stainless Steel Carrot: An Auto Racing Odyssey—Revisited
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In 1970, Sylvia Wilkinson was a writer in the category known as 'young Southern Woman Novelist'. While her novels and teaching paid the bills she had a passion for motorsports that led her to write The Stainless Steel Carrot: An Auto Racing Odyssey. The book profiled young up-and-coming road racer John Morton as he raced the BRE Datsun 510 in the 1971 and 1972 SCCA Trans-Am 2.5 Challenge. John won the championships and continued on a road-racing career that saw dozens of championship level victories around the country and abroad. The book, well regarded among both racers and general audience readers, has been out of print since 1973. Original copies often sell for over $100 online and at collectors events. Now, thanks to years of requests from fans, and Sylvia s interest in animals, the book is republished with additional material.

'Like many writers I had no interest in revisiting the past and had turned down multiple requests to reprint the book. But Brown Fox has a great reputation with new editions of out-of-print racing books. When a friend suggested that it could be done as a fundraiser for animal welfare, and that is indeed my weak spot, I said yes, noted Sylvia Wilkinson. In 1970, Sylvia Wilkinson was a writer in the category known as 'young Southern Woman Novelist'. While her novels and teaching paid the bills she had a passion for motorsports that led her to write The Stainless Steel Carrot: An Auto Racing Odyssey. The book profiled young up-and-coming road racer John Morton as he raced the BRE Datsun 510 in the 1971 and 1972 SCCA Trans-Am 2.5 Challenge. John won the championships and continued on a road-racing career that saw dozens of championship level victories around the country and abroad. The book, well regarded among both racers and general audience readers, has been out of print since 1973. Original copies often sell for over $100 online and at collectors events. Now, thanks to years of requests from fans, and Sylvia s interest in animals, the book is republished with additional material.

'Like many writers I had no interest in revisiting the past and had turned down multiple requests to reprint the book. But Brown Fox has a great reputation with new editions of out-of-print racing books. When a friend suggested that it could be done as a fundraiser for animal welfare, and that is indeed my weak spot, I said yes, noted Sylvia Wilkinson.

The 2012 Brown Fox edition includes additional photography from both the 1971-72 timeframe as well as throughout John's career. Forwards from both Dan Gurney and Parnelli Jones introduce the new book.
REVISITING AN AUTO RACING ODDYSEY­ In this Revisited Edition of the classic motor racing book, author Sylvia Wilkinson has added a new 45-page chapter catching up with many of the people who made the BRE team successful and the book so compelling, including John Morton, the team s number one driver, who went on to race professionally for now close to 40 years.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Author Sylvia Wilkinson was born in Durham, North Carolina. She holds degrees from the University of North Carolina and Hollins University. She also studied at Stanford University under a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship. Wilkinson taught at various institutions including the University of North Carolina, the College of William & Mary, Sweet Briar College, Hollins University, Washington University and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.

She received a number of literary awards including the Sir Walter Raleigh Award twice -- in 1968 for A Killing Frost, and in 1978 for Shadow of the Mountain, a Eugene Saxton Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the UNC Greensboro Alumnae Service Award, and a Mademoiselle Merit Award for Literature. She has published over two-dozen books ranging from novels for adults, non-fiction works and juvenile titles with automotive themes. She was a Motorsports Correspondent for AutoWeek and is currently a World Book Encyclopedia contributor on auto racing. She was an auto racing timer and scorer for many years for numerous drivers including Paul Newman, Al Unser Sr., Bobby Rahal and Keke Rosberg. In her spare time she rescues possums. Really.

Review:

This book tells the story of John Morton when he was on the cusp of the big time but held back, ironically, by his consummate skill in smaller cars. Sylvia Wilkinson's mastery of dialogue puts you behind the scenes and brings supporting characters such as team owner Pete Brock and arch rival Horst Kwech to life with an honesty that at times is almost painful. This is authentic stuff -- a must-read for Morton fans -- and for anyone who likes a tale told with accuracy and passion.
--Sam Posey

The Stainless Steel Carrot is one of the most incisive books ever written about professional motorsports. Sylvia Wilkinson's reporting is scrupulously honest, and she captures the highs and lows of racing with sometimes painful accuracy. Besides shining a light on Trans-Am s often overlooked 2.5 Challenge, Wilkinson also brings a fascinating cast of characters to life, most notably the book s reluctant but ultimately winning hero, John Morton.
--Preston Lerner

I was asked to comment about Sylvia Wilkinson's auto racing classic, The Stainless Steel Carrot. At first I thought, 'oh yeah I remember enjoying that -- I can think of a few words to say.' To refresh my memory I pulled it off the shelf, opened a page here and a page there. Pretty soon I started at Page 1 and ended at Page 335. Not only did I become (re)engrossed in it, but it was even more enjoyable the second time around.

Forty years of time has given an entirely different perspective to Sylvia s work. Not only was it a fine piece of literature then but it resoundingly stands the test of time. In a genre where only a few well-written books stood out before or since, the Carrot shines supreme.

It is an odyssey into two seasons of John Morton s career. Many of the anecdotes, technical aspects, racing strategies and the team s trials and tribulations were as true then as they are today. However, the most endearing aspect is its snapshot quality of a moment in racing that was simultaneously innocent and yet fraught with more danger than in later years. For most, racing in the early 1970s was somewhere between a lark and a profession.

I first read The Stainless Steel Carrot at a time when I thought that perhaps there was a career in race driving ahead for me. Thus I tried to glean all one could from the approach taken by a budding talent like John Morton. My subsequent racing career wouldn't have been worth a paragraph while John remains a sought after driver in vintage racing circles. Re-reading the book takes on altogether different atmosphere. It is much like watching a favorite film from that period, for example, a Newman-Redford movie. Reading Sylvia's words about John is as delightful as watching the adventures of Butch Cassidy. It brings back a time and place of the old 2.5 Challenge and Formula A, not as a recitation of facts but as a story of real people in particular moment of motor racing history.
--Janos Wimpffen

The Stainless Steel Carrot is one of the most incisive books ever written about professional motorsports. Sylvia Wilkinson's reporting is scrupulously honest, and she captures the highs and lows of racing with sometimes painful accuracy. Besides shining a light on Trans-Am s often overlooked 2.5 Challenge, Wilkinson also brings a fascinating cast of characters to life, most notably the book s reluctant but ultimately winning hero, John Morton.
--Preston Lerner

I was asked to comment about Sylvia Wilkinson's auto racing classic, The Stainless Steel Carrot. At first I thought, 'oh yeah I remember enjoying that -- I can think of a few words to say.' To refresh my memory I pulled it off the shelf, opened a page here and a page there. Pretty soon I started at Page 1 and ended at Page 335. Not only did I become (re)engrossed in it, but it was even more enjoyable t --Janos Wimpffen

The Stainless Steel Carrot is one of the most incisive books ever written about professional motorsports. Sylvia Wilkinson's reporting is scrupulously honest, and she captures the highs and lows of racing with sometimes painful accuracy. Besides shining a light on Trans-Am s often overlooked 2.5 Challenge, Wilkinson also brings a fascinating cast of characters to life, most notably the book s reluctant but ultimately winning hero, John Morton.
--Preston Lerner

I was asked to comment about Sylvia Wilkinson's auto racing classic, The Stainless Steel Carrot. At first I thought, 'oh yeah I remember enjoying that -- I can think of a few words to say.' To refresh my memory I pulled it off the shelf, opened a page here and a page there. Pretty soon I started at Page 1 and ended at Page 335. Not only did I become (re)engrossed in it, but it was even more enjoyable the second time around.

Forty years of time has given an entirely different perspective to Sylvia s work. Not only was it a fine piece of literature then but it resoundingly stands the test of time. In a genre where only a few well-written books stood out before or since, the Carrot shines supreme.

It is an odyssey into two seasons of John Morton s career. Many of the anecdotes, technical aspects, racing strategies and the team s trials and tribulations were as true then as they are today. However, the most endearing aspect is its snapshot quality of a moment in racing that was simultaneously innocent and yet fraught with more danger than in later years. For most, racing in the early 1970s was somewhere between a lark and a profession.

I first read The Stainless Steel Carrot at a time when I thought that perhaps there was a career in race driving ahead for me. Thus I tried to glean all one could from the approach taken by a budding talent like John Morton. My subsequent racing career wouldn't have been worth a paragraph while John remains a sought after driver in vintage racing circles. Re-reading the book takes on altogether different atmosphere. It is much like watching a favorite film from that period, for example, a Newman-Redford movie. Reading Sylvia's words about John is as delightful as watching the adventures of Butch Cassidy. It brings back a time and place of the old 2.5 Challenge and Formula A, not as a recitation of facts but as a story of real people in particular moment of motor racing history.
--Janos Wimpffen

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Sylvia Wilkinson
Published by Brown Fox Books (2012)
ISBN 10: 1888978155 ISBN 13: 9781888978155
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Book Description Brown Fox Books, 2012. Condition: New. Dust Jacket painting by Rob Ijbema.; B&W and color photos by Stan Sholik; Dennis Gray; Tom Schultz; and many more (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M1888978155

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