Mickey Thompson:The Lost Story of the Original Speed King in His Own Words

MICKEY THOMPSON                             TOM MADIGAN

Four decades after his tragic death, Mickey Thompson’s name and accomplishments remain legendary among motorsports and automotive enthusiasts. Thompson did it all on four wheels: land-speed racingdrag racingoff-roadNASCARIndianapolis…anything involving speed. Armed with a restless mind and a keen business sense, Thompson moved from success to success.

In the early 1970s, motorsports writer (and former drag racer) Tom Madigan and Thompson embarked on a project to write the latter’s autobiography. After two years, extensive interviews, and a near-finished manuscript the whole enterprise fell apart for a number of reasons. Type-written sheets, neatly stacked, were boxed, stored, and mostly forgotten.

Mickey Thompson: The Lost Story of the Original Speed King in His Own Words is that never-published work—an amazing biographical artifact from what many consider the golden age of automotive racing.


This is a book that the author says he began collecting information many years ago while Mickey Thompson was still alive. The book goes back to the mother and father’s generations and how the two of them met and then married and the birth of Mickey and then his sister. You follow his growing up and how a trip to Yellowstone would have a profound effect on him and the rest of the family.
You then see how he gets into racing and the people around him. The tracks that are mentioned now have homes built over them which are a shame for it was nice growing up in Southern California and going to see the different races, from Orange County to Riverside Speedway.
Then you see the different modifications he makes and the fighting he goes through when asked to build a car to race at Indy. When they would not let his cars pass inspection after getting pissed, he would change it out. Then years later his ideas were put into use. It was like that for a lot of his equipment and other cars he would come up with. The author goes into all of that. This was part of the story that I did not know about just like he's going for the speed record at the salt flats.
What I knew him from was off-road racing. And in that field, I saw his name everywhere. Then as I would go to other drag races in the 70’s I again would see his name now knowing that those were his products. He was and still is famous in the racing world. The author does not go into the murder of him and his wife other than saying someone was finally charged and convicted of their deaths. Overall, I really liked this book I would think anyone who likes racing would like it as well. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

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