I have the privilege of reviewing yet another beautiful book of historic race photography for you my readers- this book is Riverside International Raceway by Pete Lyons. Riverside International Raceway documents the history of a track now gone (it is now a subdivision) in beautiful pictures and words.
Right from the back dust jacket of the book we are told that even diehard Riverside raceway fans “will admit the environment was usually too hot, sometimes too cold, extremely dry or depressingly wet, often windy and never ever a garden spot” however they still came in droves.
The book details the three decades or so of Riverside Raceway’s life and subsequent death. The desert, the races, the speed. It’s laid out in chapters that detail specifics of the track and the series that ran it including: FIA Formula 1, SCCA Pro Racing, NASCAR, TransAm, Can-AM, USAC, CART Indy Cars, IROC, Off Road (and the list goes on). A sampling of names in the book: Fred Lorenzen, Rick Mears, Geoff Bodine, Emerson Fittipaldi, Terry Labonte, Bobby Rahal, Tom Sneva, AJ Foyt, and native son Dan Gurney (who also wrote the book’s forward) to name a few grabbed while flipping through the book to remind myself of it’s contents for review purposes. My favorite part of the book- beyond the photography, is just a little sidebar on page 43 detailing the track’s history in film- being so close yet so far away from Hollywood. The book is chucked full of interesting sidebars- including one on how the track was used for teaching driving (page 74), the Olympic Relay (Page 83). There are so many photos that it’s impossible to pick just one…but perhaps the most poignant picture is the one on page 191- a photo of piece of the speedway and a Riverside Raceway patch. Gone but obviously not forgotten by this book.
They physical book itself is a heavy duty book, with a gorgeous dust jacket. The book is 204 pages inclusive of the indexes.
Written by Pete Lyons, Riverside International Raceway clearly demonstrates Lyon’s obvious love of motorsports and the time period of Riverside. Pete Lyon’s father, Ozzie Lyons was the U.S. correspondent to Britain’s Autosport magazine, and often took Pete with him during vacations. It’s that kind of of exposure- from childhood through adulthood that allows someone like Pete Lyon’s to cultivate such a gorgeous book.
This book will satisfy the history buffs, the auto racing buffs and the photography buffs. If your father is any one of these? He will love this book for father’s day- or any day.
Read other Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List reviews.
For “full disclosure purposes” (FTC I’m looking at you): A copy of Riverside International Raceway was provided to me by the publisher for review purposes. The words and ideas in the review are my own.