MEN OF THUNDER by William F. Nolan


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Forsooth, Bremgarten was fierce and unforgiving, lined with trees, curbing and ditches, and by 1952 it had claimed several lives. Then did all the knights open their throttles and burn their superchargers, Sir Fangio the Master of the Mille Miglia, in his 4.5 Maserati; the Marquis de Portago in his 12-cylinder quadruple overhead cam Ferrari; Sir Moss de Liones in his three-litre Maserati; Sir Nuvolari, the Devil's Son, in his red Alfa Romeo; and they jousted, and Sir Fangio smote Sir Moss sorely, and Sir Moss smote Sir Fangio, for he would to prove worthy to capture the Grail...Though this particular tournament is not chronicled by Mr. Nolan, his men of thunder in search of the Grand Prix form an international Round Table of patrician adventures bent on one all-consuming quest: shining glory. They don't mind the money but what they really want is that Cup. If Moss takes Fangio on a difficult stretch, it's as woundingly meaningful among these invincible giants as Tristram unseating Launcelot. A reputation shivers in its rivets. Among the fabled daredevils highlighted here are Nuvolari, de Palma, Rodriguez, Eddie Rickenbacker, Chiron, Fangio (The Master), Caracciola and seven others. Though Mr. Nolan accents the human rather than the automotive side of racing, he doesn't get into the dark, romantic heart of the sport with the apothegmatic brilliance of Moss's recent All But My Life. Nonetheless, this is a useful introduction to racing lore.

Publisher: Putnam