Bookshelf: Ford Total Performance by Martyn Schorr

Schorr coverVeteran automotive journalist Martyn Schorr has a brand new book: Ford Total Performance, focusing on the glory days of Ford racing from 1961 to 1971. Here’s MCG’s review. 



The ’60s was a golden age for motorsports, and the Ford Motor Company was its driving force, with major programs in every form of racing—from drag racing and street performance to NASCAR, Indy, Le Mans, and Formula One. Truly, it was a magic time that can never be duplicated.

As the Editor and then Editorial Director of New York-based Hi-Performance Cars magazine, Martyn Schorr was there to report every moment of the Ford story, starting with the birth of the Total Performance concept. Now, after half a century, he’s circled back with unique period photos and his own first-hand recollections to create an awesome new book, Ford Total Performance: Ford’s Legendary high-Performance Street and Race Cars.  

This certainly isn’t the first book about Ford’s racing exploits in the ’60s, and it won’t be the last. What makes this book special, among other things, is the author’s first-person perspective. As a top journalist, Schorr has known and worked with all the key figures in Ford performance, from Fran Hernandez to Mickey Thompson, and he counts a few of them among his personal heroes—Roy Lunn and Mose Nowland, to name two. Schorr’s experience, insights, and passion for his subject have created a book that virtually no one else could write.


Martyn Schorr Ford GTAuthor Martyn Schorr with his 2006 Ford GT 


Along with the expert big-picture views of the Ford racing scene, we are also treated to a number of angles never before covered in other works, including the story of Ford super salesman and racer Bill Kolb, and the fascinating but forgotten Falcon Cayuse show cars created by Vince Gardner. Also included are behind-the-scenes glimpses of the failed Ford-Ferrari deal and the sad demise of Kar Kraft, Ford’s performance skunk works—the stuff that wasn’t in the press releases.

All this great material is illustrated with hundreds of rare period photos that haven’t been seen in 50 years, if ever, from the Ford archives and from the author’s own extensive collection. If you’re a fan of the Blue Oval or simply want to learn more about American racing’s greatest hour, you can’t go wrong with Ford Total Performance. Great book, get a copy.

Ford Total Performance: Ford’s Legendary High-Performance Street and Race Cars by Martyn L. Schorr; foreword by Lee Holman; Motorbooks $45.00. Available at Amazon. 


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