Mickey Thompson: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of a Racing Legend

Mickey Thompson: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of a Racing Legend

by Erik Arneson, Danny Thompson
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Mickey Thompson: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of a Racing Legend by Erik Arneson, Danny Thompson

When Mickey Thompson and his wife Trudy were assassinated in their driveway in the pre-dawn hours of March 16, 1988, the salacious details of the crime and the years of legal wrangling that followed made for hundreds of splashy headlines and sexy television soundbytes. After all, the story had it all . . . unknown hooded gunmen riding into a gated Southern California community on bicycles, ambushing their victims and brutally ending their lives while neighbors ate breakfast and read the morning paper. Leaving behind more than $70,000 in jewelry, the killing was an obvious “hit,” and those close to Mickey and Trudy immediately pointed to Mickey’s hot-headed former business partner Michael Goodwin as the mastermind behind the tragedy. Nearly 20 years later, Goodwin was found guilty by a Pasadena Superior Court jury in 2006 of two counts of first-degree murder. The actual gunmen were never identified or apprehended. John Walsh and America’s Most Wanted did multiple episodes leading up to the conviction. Robert Stack featured the murders on Unsolved Mysteries. CBS’ 48 Hours Mystery got in the act. Everyone wanted a piece of the story. A good story, however, has much more than a powerful ending. Who was Mickey Thompson? What made him more than just another victim of violent crime in America? This is what Mickey Thompson: The Fast Life and Mysterious Death of a Racing Legend explores.   Mickey was one of the most influential figures in early American motorsports. While he did have loyal and longtime friends, Mickey always did things one way . . . his way. And he did it with speed . . . he did everything with speed.             From his 1950s adventures in the Carrera Panamericana, ending with five dead and dramatic pictures in Life Magazine in 1953, through making a one-way run of 406.60 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1960 in his famed Challenger, through multiple trend-setting entries in the famed Indianapolis 500 and into the creation of some of the most popular off-road racing series and motor sportsstadium shows, Mickey’s life was full of “firsts.” And in a world that seems to be moving faster than even Mickey Thompson could have imagined, the complete story of this true American legend is one worth slowing down for

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616730123
Publisher: Motorbooks
Publication date: 03/11/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,161,188
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

Erik Arneson is a former design editor and motorsports reporter for USA Today and is now director of public relations for SPEEDtv. He has written two books about drag racing, including John Force: The Straight Story of Drag Racing’s 300-MPH Superstar, published by Motorbooks. He received a Bronze Award at the 2008 International Automotive Media Awards for Excellence for this biography of Mickey Thompson.

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Mickey Thompson: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of a Racing Legend 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hotrod7714 More than 1 year ago
Mickey Thompson. To those of us who have grown up around and involved in motorsports the name brings awe. He was not only a legend but a true American icon in the world of motor racing. He set records in land speed and drag racing. He innovated new forward-thinking technologies in all forms of motorsport. His Indy car efforts were ahead in their approach to design but the powers that be cut down his free-thinking ideas leading to a devastating crash causing the death of not only a good friend, Dave McDonald, but also to the 'clown prince' of the Indianapolis Speedway, Eddie Sachs. This book covers a lot of area but doesn't go into the detail that "Challenger" did, as far as the racing achievements are concerned but it does cover the rest of his life from 1964 on that is the point where "Challenger" ended. Not only a racer but a promoter and continual thinker who knows what Mickey might have come up with regarding any endeavor that may have interested him as he scaled back his daily operating of Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group. His and his wife Trudy's murders will always leave a void in the world of motorsports. As is typical of most books written about motorsports personalities this one will be interesting to, and read by mostly people who want to know the history of auto racing and those who made that history. It is a very easy read and I truly could not put the book down once I picked it up. Fast paced and interesting, those who do read it will find it well worth their time. Mickey Thompson was a 'cutting edge' type of person and his story could inspire others with a unique vision to pursue that vision.
chrisromano More than 1 year ago
....than is in this book. There's probably a book just on his death and subsequent quest for justice by his sister, but this work crams all of the Mick's life and death into just over 300 pages. Some good work around his beginnning years and speed record attempts, but it falls short at his Indy efforts. The author is an apologist for the Mick's role in the 1964 disaster at Indy that claimed the life of his driver Dave MacDonald and Eddie Sachs. The author claims MacDonald was thrown from his car. This is the most researched crash in Indy history, and even a cursory view of the hundreds of film clips and photos indicate that both MacDonald and Sachs were in their cars after the crash. While the United States Auto Club bears a lot of the blame for the crash, Thompson bears much too in the form of design of the cars and practically denying after the event that there was anything wrong with his cars. Still, it's good to read about the Mick. We'll not see that kind of innovator again.