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Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  2,159 ratings  ·  223 reviews
By the early 1960s, the Ford Motor Company, built to bring automobile transportation to the masses, was falling behind. Young Henry Ford II, who had taken the reins of his grandfather’s company with little business experience to speak of, knew he had to do something to shake things up. Baby boomers were taking to the road in droves, looking for speed not safety, style not ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2009)
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Average rating 4.46  · 
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 ·  2,159 ratings  ·  223 reviews

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Start your review of Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans
The race known has the 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most famous, testing the endurance of drivers, pit crews and cars alike. It was a very dangerous race, as it was once called “a four hour sprint races followed by a 20 hour death watch” by Car and Driver magazine. However, winning the race was also very prestigious for everyone involved. Two car makers waged an epic war in the 1960’s for this glory, Ford and Ferrari, and the battle is captured in this excellent book by A.J. Baime.

The book
Judith E
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible, jim
This is a great audio book! My husband (Mr. Gearhead) loved the mechanical/technical aspects and I (tolerant of Mr. Gearhead) loved the history of the personal lives of Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari and their racing teams. The fierce competition they had over winning the LeMans road race and reigning supreme in auto racing in the 1960's is an incredible story and Mr. Baime writes an excellent recounting. Highly recommended audio book.
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What!? You haven't read this yet? Do so...immediately.

Okay, I may love cars, cars racing, and 60s lore more than the average reader, but this book really is a great piece of history. It's literally the biggest grudge match that the world of racing has ever seen. Ford vs Ferrari at lemanns is the stuff of legend. On top of that, you get a front row seat to the damn the torpedoes 60s racing mentality. These guys didnt even wear seatbelts, for gods sake! No wonder 4 in 10 didn't survive the race
Rahul  Adusumilli
"To do something well is so worthwhile that to die trying to do it better cannot be foolhardy."

-Bruce McLaren, who himself died at the age of 32 but left a racing team behind. It's shocking the number of racing drivers who perished during these years. Sir Jackie Stewart did the industry a great service by prematurely retiring from racing and dedicating his life to pushing for improved safety standards.

Work-life balance sounds immaterial and ridiculous when you're racing against the clock to
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans, is the true-life story of classic duels of machine and driver in the French countryside.
There’s just enough biography of Henry Ford II (the Deuce) and Enzo Ferrari to understand the motivations of these two rivals, willing to stake their fortunes, their companies’ futures, and (all too often) their drivers’ lives on this grueling competition. The Deuce believed—correctly—that supremacy in the racing circuit would lead
carl  theaker
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to carl by: Doubledf99.99
Shelves: history, sportz, motoring
“Go Like Hell” made me “Read Like Hell” as author AJ Baime weaves a compelling tale of this mid-1960s battle for the honors at the historic race track at Le Mans, France. I do like sporty cars, and until now, was medium on watching auto races, but this story pulled me right in, I floored it to the next chapter, hell with the curves. I even went out to the garage and read a few chapters in the ambience of oil, tools, machinery.

Baime does a great job of setting up the competitive situation
Phillip Elliott
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic review of an important part of automotive history. The names of the players are still icons on the roads of the world. If you like cars, or just a little curious about what makes a gear head tick this is a must read.

I was just as enthralled the second time I read it as the first. This is a great story that speaks to some of the greatest minds of the muscle care era in the states as well as the pinnacle of Ferrari’s dominance in motor sports.
Overall the information was interesting but a few glaring errors make the rest of the story suspect. All the way through I got the feeling the story had been dumbed down to appeal to a n0n-racing audience.
Nov 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans
By: A.J. Baime
Read it in cheap paper back at 320 pages.

Our November selection is brought to you by Dust. Our little reading group has two practicing mechanics, a third college educated (no longer practicing) mechanic, and a few car enthusiasts. One of these enthusiasts is Dust and thus picked A.J. Baime's Go Like Hell.

Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans is well, exactly that. The
Ryan Strohl
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I rated "Go Like Hell" 5 stars because the book was an awesome read. The car industry had to have started from somewhere. We didn’t start off with powerful, V12 super speed cars that are traveling faster than 250 mph. This true story tells the tale of Henry Ford II, Enzo Ferrari, Carol Shelby, and many other racing legends who started a global industry that has revolutionized the world. Their cars raced night and day, with new improvements on top of innovation to create the base of the cars that ...more
Taylor Magouirk
This is a fantastic book. If anyone is a car nut, they will like this book. It is filled with history and some of the most well known names in the auto industry. I learned a lot from just reading this book.

Before I read this book I had no idea what Le Mans was. I did not know that Ford and Ferrari had a speed grudge match. I was incredibly into this book and I am not much of a reading fan. I am very happy to have found this book.

The main people in this book are mainly businessmen and race car
Kelsey Wheeler
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
My husband and I are reading this book before the movie 'Ford v Ferrari' comes to theaters in November, and let me tell you, this is an interesting read! My husband is very into cars and racing, so this is up his ally, but for me, I could care less honestly. What is truly interesting is how much technology has advanced from then and now, even in the early days of car development to the mid-60s. It was super interesting to read about what these drivers go through to get to Le Mans, and that is ...more
Aditya Vipradas
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A book that tells a story about one of the biggest wars in Motorsports history. I was surprised to see so many racing legends connected to it directly or indirectly. A.J.Baime describes their personalities and private lives in such detail, that I could literally form their mental picture. It was a treat to understand their characters.

The story on the other hand has been beautifully narrated with carefully-chosen words. What a masterpiece! Read it like hell.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To put it quite simply...this book was incredible. If you have any, any, interest in cars, racing or compelling storytelling, read this book.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of death in the early days of racing, even as a spectator. pretty interesting to learn some of the details of the early racing days.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So fun and so unexpected. Great writing, a great cast of characters, and great history make for a great weekend read.
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A pretty good book. If I were more of a Motörhead then I would have loved it. It’s interesting to learn the history of cars in the mid twentieth century.
Charles Mitchell
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent in-depth insightful look into the battle for speed supremacy at the 24 hours of Le Mans between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari in the early to mid 60's. Baime goes deep into the history, from the birth of the automobile, the building of the Ford empire, the origins of motorsport, to the rise of the Ferrari sprtscar dynasty, all building to the fateful arms race between the Americans at Ford and the Europeans at Ferrari. Four years ago I began to follow motorsport, evolving to my new ...more
Jon Mellberg
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Why is speed so intoxicating?

Go Like Hell…. To Audible and download this book ASAP! That is, if you love history, if you love a thrilling chase (several of them, in fact!), if you love intense competition, if you’re a fan of cars, racing, industry, triumph and achievement! Or you could wait for the upcoming James Mangold movie Ford v. Ferrari, and see these players portrayed by the likes of Christian Bale as racer Ken Miles or Matt Damon as the legendary Carrol Shelby. I’ll be doing both.

Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Well written informative and very interesting.
Christian Jordan
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit, I am not much of a reader myself. One thing I enjoy is anything with wheels and going fast. That being said, "Go Like Hell" by A.J. Baime was a book I loved reading. The book brought an interesting point of view of how big named companies take apart in building the fastest cars possible for big time races like "The 24 Hours of Le Mans". It was interesting to learn the technological aspects that go into building a super-car from scratch and learning the back story and lives of ...more
Arthur Goldgaber
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the first movies I remember seeing at the cinema was "Le Mans" in 1971 with Steve McQueen. The movie was more of a documentary than a feature film because there was little dialogue and quite a bit of footage of the racing--the movie is hard to follow if you don't know quite a bit about the annual 24-hour race. Thanks in part to that movie, I have been a big fan of car racing and I had to read In A.J. Baime's "Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans ...more
Jordan Anderson
I probably wouldn’t have read this book had it not been for James Mangold’s cinematic masterpiece Ford v. Ferrari. While I knew the basic story from the short biography that the guys from The Grand Tour did on the subject in season 2, it was the film that made me want to dig deeper and get a closer look at racing’s greatest rivalry.

Go Like Hell, is, like the movie that was derived from the real life battle of Henry Ford II vs. Enzo Ferrari, a true work of greatness. Baime’s history of the
After seeing the movie "Ford vs Ferrari," I was intrigued when this book came as a suggested buy from Amazon. It tells the same story, but with much more emphasis on the Henry Ford II/Enzo Ferrari personal battle (the movie focuses on Carroll Shelby's and Ken Miles' roles in the competition).

I'm not a "car person," so I glossed over the detailed descriptions of the cars, how they were built, how they were tested, etc. What I DID find fascinating was the author's recounting of both Ford's and
Rick Presley
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When one of my former students informed me that there was a movie coming out this fall about the battle between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari at Le Mans, I was hooked. He said it was based on this book. He's a Ford employee, so he tends to be both biased and one of the biggest cheerleaders for Ford Motor Company that I know. And he said the book was fantastic. I picked it up with a little trepidation thinking this is just a fanboy's opinion on something he likes already.

I was wrong.

This is
Dave Courtney
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I can see how this would be a must read for anyone truly interested in cars and the history of the automobile. For myself, I was interested more in the history, but the thrill of the race certainly hooked me in by the time I was done.

It deals with the 60's and 60's lore. A time when the automobile was growing as a cultural force. It could also be seen as the golden age of racing.

It narrows in on the Le Mans race (or 24 hours at Le Mans), a pivotal moment in terms of racing, but also for the
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reading this piece is like watching a military movie. Conflicts, death, camaraderie, rivalry, the feel of losing, it's all here, and it's geniusly written to keep readers glued to each page with its meticulous syntax and amazing attention to detail. The plot change focus of characters provide us with more point of view. Every racing fan knows about Ford-Ferrari rivalry, but I bet not many know the actual story under the curtain is a lot cooler. The writer play with your emotion - melancholic, ...more
Jim Welke
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Go Like Hell, is the book the movie Ford vs Ferrari is based on and the movie doesn't do the book justice. The book goes into far more detail about Enzo Ferrari and his racing teams. A.J. also goes more into the life of the drivers, also. He did lots of research, both in the US and Europe, researching newspaper accounts and interviewing drivers and family members.

Mr. Baime also goes into great detail regarding Le Mans and other raceways. The best trips are into the Ferrari factory an into the
Brandon Nichols
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
A thrill ride to be sure.

Every character in this is interesting (not the least of which is because they're real). Baime manages to put you right in the pits for about a dozen interesting races. The whole thing is a collection of interconnected anecdotes, but they all are fascinating in their own way.

As an engineer and a race fan, I was constantly entertained. The book manages to pull you along between corporate meetings and high-speed endurance races and never loses your attention. There's no
Hunter Satterfield
Nov 18, 2019 rated it liked it
With all the pub the new movie "Ford vs. Ferrari" is getting I wanted to read the book behind the movie. This is overall a good, not great, sports history/biography book. There are times where the book bogs down in "car talk" which slows the book down and pulls the reader away from the story of the rivalry. It also drifts in different areas and never comes back to tie up the loose ends. That being said the history of Ferrari, Ford, car racing in general, and the rivalry is excellent and a story ...more
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