If you have exhausted your Netflix account during the stay-home era, it might be time to pick up a good book. "Faster" by Neal Bascomb is a thrilling true story of audacity and triumph against steep odds. In the late 1930s, the Silver Arrows from Mercedes-Benz were the envy of Grand Prix racing. The racing program was backed by the German government, and its success was part of the propaganda campaign of the Nazi party.
However, in Grand Prix racing, dominance always invites challenge. In 1938, it was an improbable team of upstarts who beat back the Silver Arrows and struck a blow for liberty. René Dreyfus was a former top driver on the international Grand Prix circuit, but he had been banned from the best European teams by the mid-1930s because of his Jewish heritage. Charles Weiffenbach, head of the down-on-its-luck French automaker Delahaye, was desperately trying to save his company as the world slid towards war. Finally, there was Lucy Schell, the adventurous daughter of an American multi-millionaire, who had made a name for herself as a Grand Prix and rally driver before becoming a racing team owner.
These three people banded together to challenge Hitler's dominance at the apex of motorsport: Grand Prix racing. With the clouds of war darkening on the horizon, they achieved their goals, beating the German national team. Afterwards, Hitler attempted to completely erase the event from history. The tyrant could not stand to be beaten by people he considered losers.
Bascomb's story takes you inside this glamorous era and the aristocratic auto racing world of pre-war Europe. "Faster" chronicles one of the most inspiring, death-defying upsets of all time: a symbolic blow against the Nazis during history's darkest hour.
You can buy a hardbound copy of Faster for $28 through Powell's Books here.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.