by Michael Argetsinger. ISBN 1-893618-54-4. Published by David Bull, £29.99
Kudos to David Bull for publishing this thumping 400-page hardback. Hansgen may be largely forgotten in Europe, but this accomplished all-rounder drove for Cunningham, NART, Team Lotus (scoring World Championship F1 points) and Ford, winning 106 of his 244 race starts (162 in the top three). And he was Mark Donohue’s mentor.
Where this book really works is in relating the omnipresent conflict between Hansgen and race organizers during US sportscar racing’s embryonic years. Participation was strictly along social (and ethnic) lines while sponsorship was frowned upon. You really do get a flavour for Hansgen’s personality – never demonstrative but not one to shy away from expressing an honest opinion – and his unswerving loyalty to friends. Of particular enjoyment is the story behind his home-built Hansgen Special which in the early ’50s cost roughly twice as much as the desired C-type to construct and was, according to everyone else who drove it, utterly terrifying. Recommended. RH