Review: Saga of the Roaring Road

A Story of Early Auto Racing in America

Fred Wagner was “The Dean of Race Starters.” From the earliest days of American motorsport through the 1920s, Wagner supervised races at nearly every major track in the US. Rife with factual errors, its imperfections are precisely what makes this book special.

Originally published in 1937, I was fortunate enough to pick up a pristine 1949 reprint. With glorious pulp cover art, the book delivers similar non-fiction. Not always factually accurate, the value of this book lies in its communication of the excitement and fraternity of early American Motorsport.

Wagner persistently inserts himself deeply into stories which he was, most likely, only a peripheral character. But, this is what makes it a charming read. While I do not recommend this book for confirming facts, I highly suggest picking up a copy to learn about the excitement of speed and the feeling of being part of a great community of enthusiasts.

The Details:

Fred J. Wagner, The Saga of the Roaring Road: A story of Early Auto Racing in America