James Dean: At Speed

Reviewed by Doug Stokes

James Dean: At Speed, By Lee Raskin, 11"x11", 144 pages, 200+ photographs, $29.95

he newest offering from the always-in-top-gear David Bull Publishing celebrates the life and times of one of the most enduring pop icons in American history, James Dean. This book vibrates with the ghosts and goings-on of 50 years ago. This guy is forever young, forever, someone that we all felt that we knew personally, and yet could not have. Featuring vivid photographs, personal memorabilia, and telling reminiscences from his closest friends and family, James Dean: At Speed captures Dean's life both on and off the screen and reveals an unseen side of this quintessential American idol.

This hot-off-the press book provides a richly illustrated and definitive account of Dean's life, from his early childhood and his determination to succeed as an actor to a minute-by-minute account of the events of September 30, 1955, and Dean's untimely death. The unmatched accuracy and careful attention to detail of this research have earned this book the endorsement of the Dean family and a personal foreword by Dean's cousin, Marcus Winslow.

Dean's love affair with speed started early. By age ten he was driving around the family farm on a tractor, then on a motorized bicycle called a Whizzer. In high school he was the only teenager to own a motorcycle, a CZ 125cc, and he was famous for daredevil stunts and scaring the wits out of his classmates.

In the years following Dean bought a succession of more powerful motorcycles. When his acting career generated the money that finally allowed him to purchase a proper sports car, he immediately bought a race-prepared MG, then traded that for a Porsche Speedster, competing in sports car races in southern California. As the whole world knows, Dean was on his way to a race, driving his new state-of-the-art Porsche 550 Spyder, when he lost his life in what has become a legendary road accident.

This remarkable biography ends with a comprehensive epilogue that brings Dean's story up to date. The reader will learn what has happened to the people and the machines that filled Dean's life.

This "Where are they now?" information is fascinating and remarkable, it debunks the many myths and misconceptions that have become intertwined with Dean's saga. Now, fifty years after Dean's death, there are new facts and many surprises in store for the reader. Since no one has, I'd like to sub-title this one "He Sees Me!" Are there any more (in)famous last words? Surely not in our world!


Off the Track
Music, Book, and Movie Reviews-or Whatever Catches Our Attention
Slingshot Dragsters of the 1960’s Photo Archive

Magic Muffler Explosion Hot Rod Nostalgia Issue 5 Drag News CDs Wheels of Fire on Video High Performance EJ Potter Match Race Madness Youngblood Lithos Infinity Over Zero Bob McClurg Posters Click Into The Time Machine

Copyright 1999-2005, Drag Racing Online and Autographix