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

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9780760340158: Mickey Thompson: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of a Racing Legend
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On March 16, 1988, motorsport legend Mickey Thompson and his second wife, Trudy, were gunned down by hooded assassins in the driveway of their Bradbury, California, home. This shocking and brutal double-murder brought an abrupt end to one of the most extraordinary lives in the history of motorsports, one that has never been completely profiled—until now. Author Erik Arneson delves into the life and career of one of racing’s greatest innovators and most successful businessmen, while also chronicling the story of his tragic murder and his family’s relentless quest to bring his killer to justice. This is a fascinating account of an amazing life that ended too soon.

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Review:

"His life was one of racing adventures." - Dan Davis, Victory Lane

Thompson was a highly influential driver and promoter in the drag-racing field of motor sports. A hard charger and innovator, he lived life at 200 miles per hour and in the process developed a legion of fans and not a few enemies. Still, it was shocking when he and his wife were murdered in 1988, even more shocking when it took the authorities 15 years to solve the case, and surreal when a business associate was convicted of the crime nearly 20 years after it happened. Arneson (John Force: The Straight Story of Drag Racing's 300-MPH Superstar) relays the tale in a stark narrative that highlights Thompson's accomplishments, the facts surrounding his death, and the heroic fight of his family to keep the case in the spotlight until justice was served. Recommended for public and all motor sports collections." - Library Journal.


"The author, head of public relations for Speed Channel, offers a strongly researched recap of Thompson's remarkable life story in this 304-page hardcover. Arneson enjoyed the family's cooperation on the book, with added help from countless interviewees and court records from the determined police investigation that finally resolved the slayings and brought the Thompson's killer to justice. On a bittersweet anniversary, this book arrives as very overdue and very welcome." - Hemmings Muscle

"Well researched, Erik talked to most if not all of the main players in Mickey's life. Performing the job of bringing all of these facts, stories and remembrances together is no small job. It's done beautifully in Mickey Thompson: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of a Racing Legend. It's a good book and deserves your serious attention, if you want to learn more about a true racing legend. I highly recommend it." - Ed Justice Jr., edjusticejr.com

SPEEDTV.com, September 2008 (views per month: 604,122).
"Mickey Thompson: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of a Racing Legend grabbed me from the second I saw the cover photograph. I would label the image "A couple of Mavericks." The photo shows Mickey with a bandaged hand posing in front of a Ford Maverick dragster. How appropriate. Mickey was the ultimate "Maverick." He did things one way-HIS way! Mickey Thompson: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of a Racing Legend documents the triumphs and tragedy of this motorsports legend. The book rates four out of five lug nuts. " - Gregg Leary, SpeedTV.com

"This 304-page hardcover book, which includes 75 black-and-white photographs, reacquaints readers with Thompson, who he was and what he accomplished." - National Speed Sport News

"Author Erik Arneson, through close cooperation with the Thompson family, has written a full accounting..." - Ventura County Star

"It's a compelling book which is hard to put down." - Drag Racing Action

"Despite the overtone of the couple's murder and the length of time it took for an arrest and conviction, the book is a celebration of the life of the person who, Arneson writes, would "influence more kinds of racing in a wider variety of ways than any other single person, making him the true center of the high-performance era in American history." In addition to reciting the amazing chronology of Thompson's life in motorsports, Arneson includes some delightful anecdotes: how, at age 12, Thompson and his father built a soapbox derby racer and how Mickey equipped the "car" with batteries so he could drive it back up to the top of the derby hill; how a high-school aged Thompson could do math problems in his head but couldn't duplicate his calculations on paper; how, to keep Thompson in the racecar so the crew could fix it without his input, Thompson's partner and crew chief Fritz Voigt had the crew tip the car onto its side, trapping Thompson in the driver's seat, while a leak was fixed by soldering a penny over a hole in the radiator." - Larry Edsall, IZoom.com



"This compelling book is a can't miss book for racing fans, and everyone, actually. Arneson's style of writing will pull you in to this interesting story of one of racing's true "marathon man" heroes. Mickey could do it all. He was heralded as a great racer, builder and promoter until his untimely murder. Your emotions will be on a roller coaster with this book, so get ready when you start reading. You won't be able to put it down." - carreraslotcar.net

From the Back Cover:

"Mickey Thompson: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of a Racing Legend" goes beyond the grisly headline stories covering the mysterious 1988 murder of Thompson and his wife to tell the complete story of a full-throttle driver, an innovative car builder, a tireless motorsports promoter, and a businessman extraordinaire who succeeded in nearly every form of racing. "Mickey Thompson was a charismatic American go-getter . . . a trailblazer with an infectious and stimulating love for the automobile. He was a huge credit to southern California hot rod racing. He and his wife, Trudy, are missed to this day, and it is nice to see a book published recording for history the many contributions he made to the sport of motor racing."-Dan Gurney, first driver to win races in Formula One, NASCAR, and Indy cars "We all knew Mickey Thompson was great, but I didn't realize how amazing and revolutionary he was to the world of racing. I was stuck to this book. I couldn't wait until the next chapter to learn more about this remarkable man."-Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, four-time NHRA Funny Car champion

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