Book Review – They All Started in MGs

A new book on sports car racing in the fifties has been published by McFarland & Co. Titled “They Started in MGs,” it features eighty mini-biographies of drivers both well-known and little-known, all interesting characters. The forward of the book is written by racing champion John Fitch.

Some of the drivers include American Formula One Champion Phil Hill, first SCCA National Champion John Fitch, Arnolt MG creator Wacky Arnolt, longtime Put-In-Bay driver Ralph Cadwallader, Briggs Cunningham, Midwest Elva driver Suzy Dietrich, OSCA and SIATA driver Isabelle Haskell, Pike’s Peak champion Porsche driver Bob Donner, Rowland Keith the driver who beat Carroll Shelby, Carroll Shelby, colorful ex-Battle of the Bulge veteran Bob Shea, Corvette champion Dr. Dick Thompson, Bridgehampton race founder Bruce Stevenson, MG Specials builder Ken Miles, Alfa Romeo Champion Chuck Stoddard, club organizers Jim and Sally Carroll, Charlie Ellmers of the Funny Face Auto Racing Team and the 1955 SCCA HP Class winner George Valentine, MGTC.

All the drivers either began in or were inspired by the MG, usually a T-Series car. They either stuck with the marque, as in the case of David Ash, or went on to other cars. These included Ferrari, Maserati, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Corvette, Mustang, OSCA, SIATA, Bandini, Nardi, Giuar, Kieft, Formula Vee, Elva, Lotus, Cooper, Honda F1, Austin Healey, and Triumph.

There are 288 pages and 250 period racing photos in the book. The book is written by Carl Goodwin, with ten awards to his credit from the International Automotive Media Competition and three from the Society of Automotive Historians. Goodwin is a regular writer for Classic MG, Vintage Motorsport, Classic MG, Vintage Racecar, Veloce Today, Cavallino, Forza, and Automobile Quarterly

To order a copy of “They Started in MGs,” write to McFarland & Co., Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640 or it can be ordered through the company’s web site at or call 1-800-253-2187.

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