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The Driver: My Dangerous Pursuit of Speed…

The Driver: My Dangerous Pursuit of Speed and Truth in the Outlaw Racing…

by Alexander Roy

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When I received this book as a gift I dismissed it as likely to be the typical unauthentic, over dramatic portrayal of the life and lifestyle of street drag racers or worse, tuner/drifters. A Fast and the Furious in prose. I wasn't looking forward to it. Boy was I wrong.

The Driver is a memoir of a participant in a motor racing sub-culture known as endurance rallying. It is an insight into this small group of people who make a science of driving cross country as fast as they can - sometimes as fast as 175 mph - on public highways and Interstates for 600, 700, 1000, 1200 miles a day. Unbelievably dangerous and irresponsible but real and fascinating.

The basis for Roy's involvement is the viewing of Rendezvous, the car geeks' cult classic short move in which an unidentified driver races flat-out halfway across Paris though normal traffic with a camera on the hood of his Ferrari. On his deathbed, Roy’s father reveals that The Driver still lives. I don't recall any mention of sabotage, only that Roy becomes determined to find and meet him. In the process he gets hooked on the challenge of driving faster, further than anyone else. The book concludes with his record-breaking attempt to drive from New York to Santa Monica (?) in less than 31 hours.

Roy's writing isn't going to win any literary awards but for a gearhead it is really good (and I've read a lot of gearhead books). The Driver will appeal to a pretty narrow audience but for someone that has a background in motorsports or anyone who takes their cross country driving seriously (food, bathroom only when fuel is needed - calculating average speed and ETA) will really enjoy this book.

(But probably not good for someone who already has too many points on their license.) --SA Justus ( )
  SplAgentsDandJ | Apr 11, 2008 |
An autobiography about a Driver who drives to find the person who sabatoged his dads car before a race. He races illeagaly for the fun of it and he gets chased by cops and gets pulled over a lot of times.
Great book for people who like cars and for people who like street racing. ( )
  JohnD4 | Jan 7, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061227935, Hardcover)

On his deathbed, Alex Roy's father dropped tantalizing hints about the notorious Cannonball Run of the 1970s, the utterly illegal high-speed nonstop race from New York to L.A. that was nothing at all like the one portrayed in the Burt Reynolds movie.

Inspired by his father's dying words, and against the advice of his loyal, lifelong friends, Roy enters the mysterious world of road rallies and underground races—trying both to find himself and to locate The Driver, the anonymous organizer of the world's ultimate secret race—neither of which may exist. But in order to get noticed by The Driver, Roy must first become a force to be reckoned with.

In this riveting memoir, Roy straps you into his highly modified BMW M5 and takes you on a terrifying 120 mph lap of Manhattan (his version of the French cult film Rendezvous), then tackles the Gumball 3000 and the Bullrun—the two most infamous road rallies in the world. He creates a character for himself and his car, Polizei Autobahn Interceptor, and they stick out among the Lamborghinis and Ferraris driven by millionaire playboys, software moguls, Arab princes, movie stars, leggy Czech supermodels, gear-heads, and tech whizzes. Out of the hundred-plus rally drivers, a select few—Alex Roy among them—compete as if these are full-on honestto-god road races, traveling from London to Morocco, from Budapest to Rome, from San Francisco to Miami at speeds approaching 200 mph.

With his M5 armed with amyriad of radar detectors, laser jammers, and police scanners, and his trunk crammed with a variety of fake uniforms, the obsessively prepared Roy evades arrest at almost every turn, wreaking havoc on his fiercest rivals, and gaining the admiration of police forces around the globe.

But his rise to the top of the rally-driving world ultimately proves hollow, until he meets a young film producer documenting the obscure post–Cannonball Run races and the holy grail of cross-country racing—the N.Y.-to-L.A. speed record of thirty-two hours and seven minutes set back in 1983. Can that time even be approached today, much less beaten? As Roy reveals in The Driver, there are reasons why no one has tried in twenty-four years. But should he try? Can he do it?

Full of hilarious, sexy, and shocking stories from a life lived at the right-hand edge of the speedometer, The Driver offers a never-before-told insider's account of the fast, dangerous, and unbelievable society that has long been offlimits to most of us. Filled with insane driving and Roy's quixotic quest to win both for his late father and for himself, The Driver is the tale of one man's insatiable drive beyond life in the fast lane.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A son of a Cannonball Run participant describes his own entry into the world of semi-legal and illegal underground races, a lifestyle marked by high-stakes competitions and the anonymous machinations of a mysterious organizer known only as "The Driver."… (more)

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