The Complete Grand National Championship, Volume I: 1954-1969 is a landmark book for any dirt-track fan. Written by racing historian Gregory R. Pearson, its 637 pages contain the bikes, riders, battles and results of all 237 AMA Grand National Championship races run in that timeframe.
You needn't be a flat-track fanatic to appreciate this one, but it helps. The stories are classics, and there are images even rabid fans haven't seen before. Pearson delivers personal and technical insights that rarely made it out of the paddock back then, from the days when the national championship was decided in one weekend at the Springfield Mile to its evolution into a points-based series.
The 150-plus images alone are easily worth $50. There's excellent racing action, with shots of everyone who was anyone on and off their bikes: Everett Brashear, Carroll Resweber, Joe Leonard, Al Gunter, Dick Mann, Bart Markel, Neil Keen, Sammy Tanner, Gary Nixon, Mert Lawwill, Cal Rayborn, Dick Hammer, Jody Nicholas, a young Eddie Mulder, Mark Brelsford, Jim Odom and Gene Romero. Pearson even does justice to riders who were top-level amateurs at the time, such as David Aldana, Keith Mashburn and Don Castro.
All the legendary tracks are here, from Florida's Daytona Beach course to Ascot Park in Gardena, California. Riders, brands and racing technology come and go-too soon for some of us-but the heart of AMA Grand National Championship racing is alive and well on these pages. Sign us up for Volume II.
The Complete Grand National Championship Volume I: 1954-1969
Contact: Greg Pearson
P.O. Box 193
Culloden, WV 25510
Verdict 4 stars out of 5
The best source of Grand National knowledge since Dick Mann.